Retrograde Ejaculation – How it Affects Fertility? - Dr Hrishikesh Pai

Retrograde Ejaculation – How it Affects Fertility?

March 2, 2021
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Retrograde-Ejaculation

Many men in India have retrograde ejaculation. To solve this problem, they choose artificial reproduction and approach their IVF doctor in India. Do you have retrograde ejaculation as well?

In this article, we have discussed retrograde ejaculation, its effects on fertility, and how you can treat it.

Let us begin with what retrograde ejaculation is.

Retrograde ejaculation – what is it?

Retrograde Ejaculation Image

In men, ejaculate, and urine both move through the urethra. There is a sphincter, or muscle, near the bladder’s neck that helps to hold urine until you are ready to urinate.

In orgasm, that same muscle narrows to keep ejaculate from going in the bladder. That makes it move through the urethra and out from your penis’s tip.

In retrograde ejaculation, this muscle does not contract. As it remains relaxed, the ejaculate remains in your bladder. The outcome is what is known as a dry orgasm. Despite the lack of ejaculate, it feels like a normal orgasm and does not often affect sexual pleasure.

It is not a condition or a severe threat to your health, but it can affect your fertility.

How does it affect fertility?

One of the main symptoms of retrograde ejaculation is that you are trying to conceive a child without success. This is called male infertility.

Retrograde ejaculation impairs your fertility, yet it is not a common reason behind infertility. It brings only around 0.3 to 2 percent of infertility issues.

Retrograde ejaculation does not mean that your sperm is not feasible. Instead, infertility happens as your sperm is not making it to your partner.

For this reason, many men choose artificial reproduction and find one of the best IVF centre in India for achieving parenthood.

Now that you know how retrograde ejaculation affects fertility let us understand its causes.

What causes retrograde ejaculation?

What causes retrograde ejaculation

Some causes of retrograde ejaculation are psychological, and some result from a physical issue.

Anything that affects the muscle’s reflex at the opening of the bladder can cause it.

Retrograde ejaculation can be a potential side effect of a few medicines, involving those prescribed to treat high blood pressure, enlarged prostate, or depression.

Certain conditions can cause nerve damage that leads to retrograde ejaculation, include:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Spinal cord injury

Surgery for prostate cancer can harm nerves that affect the seminal vesicles, prostate, and bladder. A surgery type called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) causes damage to the bladder valve.

The common reason behind retrograde ejaculation is prostate surgery. 

How is it diagnosed?

If you are having regular dry orgasms, it may be a good idea to visit your specialist. Even though retrograde ejaculation is not harmful to your health, there can be other causes of dry orgasm. You may be having an underlying condition that must get addressed.

Your specialist will do a physical examination to look for apparent abnormalities. To assess your condition more, your specialist checks symptoms like:

  • Lack of ejaculate during orgasm
  • Cloudy urine after orgasm
  • Infertility

Make sure to inform your specialist about:

  • How long and how frequently you have been having dry orgasms
  • Any other signs you may have recognized
  • If you are aware of any pre-existing chronic injuries or illnesses
  • Any medicines that you are taking
  • If you have been treated for cancer, and what were those treatments

A urine test is a right method to determine if the lack of ejaculate is because of retrograde ejaculation. 

If your post-orgasm urine does not have semen, there may be a problem with semen creation or some other issue. You may have to visit an infertility doctor for more testing.

Let us now move on to understand how retrograde ejaculation can be treated.

Can it be treated?

Retrograde ejaculation does not necessarily need treatment. It should not disturb your sexual pleasure, and it has no risks to your health. Yet remedies are present.

When medicines are the cause for retrograde ejaculation, it should resolve when you stop taking the medications. However, do not stop taking prescribed medicines till you talk with your specialist. You may need to try going off a drug to check if it works, yet you will have to do it properly and know your choices.

Before prescribing a new medicine, your specialist will consider your complete health and other health problems you may have. Various medicines can help hold the bladder neck muscle constricted in ejaculation. 

If you have severe muscle or nerve damage because of surgery, medicines are usually not effective.

If you are trying to conceive and medicines do not help, visit a fertility doctor. It is possible to conceive through IVF or IUI (artificial insemination).

What can I expect?

If you are having orgasms without ejaculate, it is better to check it out with your specialist to examine the reason and determine the underlying disease.

There are no severe risks to your health, nor does it necessarily interrupt your sex life.

Treatment is not usually required unless you are trying to father a child. If that is the case, you learn about the various options with a fertility doctor. 

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