Retrograde ejaculation: sperm going into the bladder instead of being ejaculated
Up to 10% of men can experience retrograde ejaculation at some point in their life.

What Is Retrograde Ejaculation?

With this condition, your semen goes directly into the bladder instead of coming out of the penis. So when you ejaculate, either no semen comes out, or only a very little comes out. This is why it is sometimes also called a ‘Dry Orgasm’.

It isn’t harmful, but can prevent you from having children.


What Are the Chances of Having Retrograde Ejaculation?

Retrograde ejaculation can come and go through a man’s life, with up to 10% of men experiencing it at some point. The main reason it happens is that the bladder neck does not close during orgasm, causing the semen to go into the bladder rather than out of the penis. Common causes are:

  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications such as those used to treat high blood pressure or mood altering drugs
  • Surgery to treat bladder, prostate or urethra problems


Retrograde Ejaculation Symptoms

The most obvious sign of retrograde ejaculation is producing no semen or only a small amount of semen, when you ejaculate. Before you start to worry, a normal amount of semen is 2 to 5 millilitres (where do you think the bands “10 CC” or “The Lovin’ Spoonful” got their names from?).

Another sign is having cloudy urine when you go to the toilet after sex. This is because the urine contains semen.


Retrograde Ejaculation Diagnosis

If you think you have the symptoms of Retrograde Ejaculation, you should book an appointment with your doctor who will send you for tests to see if your urine contains semen.


Retrograde Ejaculation Treatment

The precise treatment for retrograde ejaculation depends on the cause of the condition.

Caused by Medication

If the retrograde ejaculation is caused by medication, your doctor may recommend you stop taking the medicines, change the dosage or offer alternative drugs.

Caused by Diabetes

If retrograde ejaculation is diabetes related, it may be possible to stop it happening by maintaining good blood sugar levels. If this fails, there are drugs your doctor can prescribe that could help you. If it can’t be cured by drugs or blood sugar levels, it may be possible to extract the sperm from your urine and use it in fertility treatment.

Caused by Surgery

This is dependent on what surgery you had and if the damage done is reversible. If it is not reversible, it may be possible to extract the sperm from your urine and use it in fertility treatment.

Self Help

A male fertility expert I met recommended that men suffering from retrograde ejaculation should wee into a tea strainer after sex and use what is left over to self-inseminate. I still recommend you visit your doctor if you decide to use this method… and I can fully understand if you partner is not up for it.


Associated Problems

If you have or think you may have retrograde ejaculation, you may also want to read up on the following conditions that can be related:

Diabetes and Male Fertility – In addition to causing retrograde ejaculation, diabetes can cause several other fertility problems in men.
Ejaculatory Duct Obstruction – Similar to retrograde ejaculation in that it can be caused by blocked tubes. However ejaculatory duct obstruction just prevents sperm from being ejaculated, so often men do not even know they are suffering from it because they still ejaculate semen


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