Ejaculatory Duct Obstruction (EDO)

Last Updated: May 5, 2018

Definition - What does Ejaculatory Duct Obstruction (EDO) mean?

Ejaculatory duct obstruction (EDO) is a condition in which one or both ejaculatory ducts are blocked, preventing semen from being ejaculated. This results in a reduced number or no sperm being ejaculated, leading to infertility.

FertilitySmarts explains Ejaculatory Duct Obstruction (EDO)

Normally, sperm and seminal fluid combine in the ejaculatory ducts to make semen. However, in a man with an ejaculatory duct obstruction, semen is blocked from exiting the body (aspermia). When the man ejaculates, the contents of his ejaculate may either lack sperm, seminal fluid, or both. This results in infertility because there isn't enough sperm in the ejaculate to fertilize an egg.

Ejaculatory duct obstruction can either be present at birth or acquired with age. In about 5% of infertile men, EDO is the underlying cause of infertility. In addition to infertility, symptoms of this condition include chronic pelvic pain and post-ejaculatory pain.

EDO is difficult to diagnose, but the current standard is a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS). This type of imaging is useful in determining whether there are cysts causing the obstruction or if the man's body never developed part of the reproductive tract necessary for ejaculation.

The typical treatment for EDO is a surgical procedure called transurethral resection of the ejaculatory ducts (TURED). During this procedure, the duct will be resected, the obstruction will be removed, and the duct will be reconnected. If successful, this will allow for the normal flow of semen through the male reproductive tract, correcting the cause of infertility.

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