Definition - What does Antegrade Ejaculation mean?
Antegrade ejaculation is the normal expulsion of semen through the male reproductive tract and out of the urethra that happens during an orgasm. Having the normal forward direction of the passage of the semen is important as it helps to deposit sperm in the vagina during intercourse. Abnormalities in antegrade ejaculation can give rise to low or absent sperm in the ejaculate or even the complete absence of an ejaculate leading to male factor infertility.
FertilitySmarts explains Antegrade Ejaculation
The male reproductive system consists of a system of tubes, also known as ducts, that connect the testes to the urethra. A single duct called the vas deferens connects to each testis to bring the sperm cells produced in the testes. Each vas deferens in joined by the duct of the seminal vesicle, which is the gland that produces nearly 75% of the fluid medium in the semen, to form the ejaculatory duct. The two ejaculatory ducts open to the urethra inside the prostate gland, where the seminal fluid is mixed with fluid produced in the prostate to form the semen that is discharged through the urethra in the penis during antegrade ejaculation.
Antegrade ejaculation occurs in two phases: the emission phase and the expulsion phase. The initial sexual stimulation prior to the orgasm signals the testes to release sperm cells into the vas deferens. During the emission phase, contractions of the vas deferens, ejaculatory ducts, seminal vesicles and the prostate brings the semen to the prostatic urethra. This is followed by strong rhythmic contraction of muscles in the penis and the floor of the pelvis that expels the semen through the urethral opening in a pulsatile manner.
A blockage at any part of the male reproductive tract can interfere with the normal antegrade ejaculation. Sometimes the flow of the semen can be reversed making semen enter the bladder through the prostatic urethra, which is known as retrograde ejaculation. Such instances can lead to aspermia, or complete lack of semen during ejaculation causing male infertility.