Normally, semen is discharged from the penis when a man ejaculates. Ejaculation forces semen through the urethra and out of the penis. This is made possible because a small muscle, called the bladder sphincter, closes the opening to the bladder, preventing the semen from entering the bladder. When the sphincter muscles does not close off the bladder, the semen travels backward into the bladder instead of emerging through the penis. This impairment is called Retrograde Ejaculation.
Retrograde ejaculation does not make getting spontaneously pregnant impossible, but the number of available sperm is largely reduced because majority of sperm are trapped in the bladder. Hence the chances of getting pregnant is significantly reduced, causing male infertility.
Cause: Retrograde ejaculation may be caused by surgery on the prostrate, testicles, bladder and lower spine. Other causes include diabetes, multiple sclerosis, certain medications like some antidepressants and anti-psychotic drugs.
Symptoms: The most observable symptom of retrograde ejaculation is producing no or low semen volume and cloudy urine after sexual climax.
Diagnosis: Semen analysis will indicate possible retrograde ejaculation. The urine is the assessed for the presence of sperm (urinalysis), confirming or ruling out the diagnosis retrograde ejaculation.
The condition is approached in one of two ways; through the use of drugs to help control the valves or assisted reproductive technologies (ART) if the couple wishes to achieve pregnancy. Medications may be prescribed depending on the underlying cause of the problem. If the man wishes to get his partner pregnant, sperms are extracted without requiring the man to ejaculate via surgical procedures which include: testicular sperm aspiration (TESA), percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA) and testicular sperm extraction (TESE). After successful removal of the semen, they can help a man’s partner to get pregnant by various assisted reproductive procedures which bypass the normal way sperm is deposited into the vagina, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
Retrograde ejaculation is not harmful and is not painful.
Retrograde ejaculation is not always reversible. However, the infertility it can cause is treatable. Even when a man cannot ejaculate at all, we are able to help you at Medical Art Center.