What is retrograde ejaculation?


July 24, 2017

What is retrograde ejaculation? |

As the name implies, retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen flows backward into the bladder and not forward into the urethra during orgasm. The urethra is that tube within the penis that conveys either urine from the bladder or semen from the ejaculatory ducts.

Causes of retrograde ejaculation

The neck of the bladder normally closes the bladder during an orgasm, preventing urine from coming out. However, damage to this bladder sphincter or to the nerve that supplies it can make the semen dam back and enter the urinary tract instead of being ejaculated.

The following are commonly responsible:

  • Surgical damage:  Prostate or bladder surgery and radiotherapy can damage the neck of the bladder or the nerves that supply the muscles of the bladder.
  • Nerve damage: Poor control of Diabetes Mellitus (DM) can cause neurological damage to different parts of the body, including the bladder. Also, the rare immune-mediated condition called Multiple Sclerosis (MS) progressively attacks and scars the covering of nerves throughout the body.
  • Drug side effects: Some medications like those used to enlarged prostate, treat high BP and mood disturbances can also cause retrograde ejaculation.

Symptoms of retrograde ejaculation

Men who suffer from retrograde ejaculation alone will get erect but they may experience:

  • Dry orgasms with little or no ejaculation (anejaculation),
  • Milky urine after having sex
  • Difficulty in conceiving children

Treatment of retrograde ejaculation

Depending on the cause of retrograde ejaculation, there are different things that can be done:

Medical treatment

  • Switch medications: If the problem is a side effect of medications that you are taking, your doctor can decide to switch them. This often gives great results.
  • Use medications: Some drugs that are used to treat unrelated conditions have been successful in a number of cases. These include: the antidepressant, imipramine; antihistamines like chlorpheniramine; stimulant and nasal decongestant, pseudoephedrine; and asthma medication, ephedrine.


  • Reparative surgery: This is usually difficult when the damage was caused by previous prostate or bladder surgery. However, it is also quite hard to fix neurological damage from diabetes or multiple sclerosis. However, daily advancements are being made in medicine.

Handling Infertility

If having a child naturally is proving difficult for such a couple, then it is best to see a fertility specialist to discuss the available options for assisted reproduction. It is quite possible to extract good quality sperm from the man’s urine and have it artificially inseminated into his partner or through In Vitro Fertilization.

Final word

Retrograde ejaculation is not a common condition, but with more Nigerians undergoing prostrate surgery and an increase in the number of people with diabetes, many of whom of poorly controlled, it is important to know about this cause of dry orgasms. If you or anyone you know needs this information, do not just share it, call or chat with a doctor on DoctorDial and let us see how we can help you further.


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