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Medical Conditions A-Z

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Health And Wellness > Medical Conditions A-Z > Retrograde Ejaculation

What is Retrograde Ejaculation?
Retrograde ejaculation refers to the entry of semen into the bladder instead of going out through the urethra during ejaculation. Retrograde ejaculation does not affect your ability to get an erection or have an orgasm. Retrograde ejaculation is not harmful, but it can cause fertility problems.

Signs
Retrograde ejaculation symptoms include: dry orgasms, orgasms in which you ejaculate very little or no semen out of your penis, urine that is cloudy after orgasm because it contains semen, male infertility.

When to See a Doctor
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you are having difficulty conceiving a child or you are concerned about retrograde ejaculation.

Tests
When you see the doctor, he or she will probably ask about your symptoms how long you have had them and do a physical examination which includes a full exam of your penis, testicles and rectum. A urinalysis performed on a urine specimen that is obtained shortly after ejaculation will reveal a large amount of sperm in the urine.

Management
Retrograde ejaculation can be managed by drugs called pseudoephedrine or imipramine. If retrograde ejaculation is caused by a medication, stopping the medication may be effective. If retrograde ejaculation is caused a health problem or surgery, medicine may restore normal ejaculation and fertility. If your doctor thinks drugs you are taking may be affecting your ability to ejaculate normally, he or she may have you stop taking them for a period of time. Drugs that can cause retrograde ejaculation include certain medications for mood disorders and alpha blockers — drugs used to treat high blood pressure and some prostate conditions.

Preventatives and Precautions
Maintaining good blood sugar control may help prevent this condition in men who have diabetes. Avoiding drugs that cause retrograde ejaculation will also prevent this condition.

Chances of Getting
Retrograde ejaculation may be caused by prior prostate or urethral surgery, diabetes, some medications -- including some drugs used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) -- and some mood-altering drugs. The main reason is that the bladder neck does not close off so semen goes backwards into the bladder rather than forward out of the penis. Men with diabetes and those who have had genitourinary tract surgery are at increased risk of developing the condition.

Day-to-Day Approach
Retrograde ejaculation can be a challenge if you and your partner want to conceive a child. Understanding all of your options and communicating with your doctor and partner can help. You'll need to meet with a urologist who specializes in male infertility. Make sure you and your partner both understand your options and potential risks of fertility procedures. You should both attend every consultation appointment.

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