Retrograde Ejaculation

Definition - What does Retrograde Ejaculation mean?

Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen fails to expel from the penis in an antegrade (forward) direction; instead, the semen is dumped into the bladder. As a result, retrograde ejaculation can lead to male factor infertility. Retrograde ejaculation is a type of aspermia, a term referring to the lack of fluid released during ejaculation.

FertilitySmarts explains Retrograde Ejaculation

There are two steps involved in ejaculation. The semen initially fills the prostatic urethra, and the bladder neck is closed off. Next, the fluid is expelled in an antegrade, or forward, direction, caused by contractions in the pelvic muscles coinciding with an orgasm. However, retrograde ejaculate is the reversal of this process. The bladder neck does not seal, and the semen falls backward into the bladder.

Symptoms of retrograde ejaculation include:

  • Little to no semen being released after ejaculation
  • Cloudy urine after orgasm
  • Infertility

Certain medications, drug use, viruses, or illnesses may cause retrograde ejaculation. If stopping medication or lifestyle changes are not applicable routes of treatment, urinary sperm retrieval may be used to access these sperm. Corresponding infertility may be circumvented by the use of retrieved sperm in assisted reproductive technologies or fertility treatments.

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