Is Retrograde Ejaculation Cause for Concern?
Most adults know the outcome of a man’s orgasm: ejaculation. We recognize ejaculation as the exit of semen from the penis. If no semen is seen, we call the orgasm “dry.” A dry orgasm is otherwise known as retrograde ejaculation. Men who have this condition do not typically have any difficulty with sexual performance. They can get and maintain an erection and can reach sexual climax. However, conception may be a challenge due to the lack of semen and sperm.
What is happening in retrograde ejaculation?
Normally, semen exits the penis. In retrograde ejaculation, semen is instead directed into the bladder. The redirect is a matter of anatomy. Upon orgasm, sperm is transported to the prostate via the vas deferens. In the prostate, sperm joins other fluids that make up liquid semen. The prostate is sandwiched between the penis and the bladder. Therefore, semen leaving the prostate can go in one of two directions. Typically, semen is directed toward the penis by the tightening of the smooth muscle in the bladder. If this muscle does not properly contract, semen can enter the bladder.
Symptoms of Retrograde Ejaculation
There is no pain associated with retrograde ejaculation nor any sexual performance symptoms. The way a man may realize there is a problem is by noticing:
- There is little to no semen produced during orgasm
- Urine looks cloudy shortly after orgasm due to the presence of semen
- He and his partner are struggling to conceive.
Does Retrograde Ejaculation Have to be Treated?
A man’s body will flush semen from the bladder during urination so there is little concern related to this issue itself. Whether or not a man decides to obtain treatment for retrograde ejaculation, it is recommended that he undergo a urological examination to ensure the primary problem is not associated with an underlying health condition. Some of the common factors that may contribute to retrograde ejaculation include medication for depression or high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or spinal cord injury. Men who have undergone prostatectomy may also have a higher risk of developing retrograde ejaculation.
Treatment for retrograde ejaculation revolves around the contributing cause. Often, medication that assists the bladder muscle is prescribed for men who want to improve fertility without more invasive assistance. If necessary, sperm can be retrieved from the bladder for fertility purposes.
Your Chattanooga urologist can help you make sense of ejaculation symptoms. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Shridharani at (423) 778-4MEN (4636).