Retrograde ejaculation is an unusual condition, which is not as such a disease but an inability. The normal ejaculation releases semen outwards, but in retrograde ejaculation, it causes some semen to move backward. It reaches to the bladder and excretes its way out.
Normal semen is also called ejaculate which travels from urethra to the out of the penis. It comes out by force exerted by a small muscle called bladder sphincter. It closes the opening of the bladder, so the semen is directed to penis only and not the bladder.
Retrograde ejaculation is a malfunctioning or inactive role of bladder sphincter. It is when it does not work correctly, or the bladder is unable to close completely, leaving some way for semen to revert to the bladder.
An ordinary man ejaculates more than 1.5 ml of semen in one go. In retrograde ejaculation condition, this amount is reduced as some part of it ends in the bladder. However, in some cases, men with retrograde ejaculation do not ejaculate anything.
Is retrograde ejaculation a dangerous thing?
Retrograde ejaculation is not even a disease. There is no way that it can be regarded as a dangerous ailment. Retrograde ejaculation is also called a dry orgasm. Some men still able to ejaculate semen but the quantity is reduced.
Others don’t ejaculate at all. Retrograde ejaculation is only a problem when you are planning pregnancy with your partner. In some men, retrograde ejaculation leads to infertility.
When the sperm quantity is very less, the chances of fertilizing an egg for pregnancy are minimum and sometimes zero. However, retrograde ejaculation accounts for very fewer cases of infertility. As per Translational Andrology and Urology, retrograde ejaculation is responsible for only 0.3% to 2% of the infertility causes.
Retrograde ejaculation is not a painful condition, and it’s not risky. Sometimes the man suffering from it doesn’t even realize it unless there is a complete absence of semen. Men who ejaculate little amount of semen may not also notice if they have it.
Research tells that cloudy urine immediately after ejaculation is a prominent symptom of suffering from retrograde ejaculation. The cloudy urine indicates that the urine has mixed some amount of semen in it, which in reaction shows cloudiness. It is difficult to make your partner pregnant if you are suffering from retrograde ejaculation.
What causes a retrograde ejaculation?
There are some reasons, which can cause retrograde ejaculation to hit a man. Some of these reasons are as follows.
The diabetic patients can be a victim of retrograde ejaculation if their blood sugar is uncontrolled for a long time. As it affects all organs and nerves, it affects bladder too.
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- Damage to the nervous system
Any injury or disease of the nervous system can also cause it. The whole human body works on networking of brain and body through nerves. The brain controls even the working of muscles.
In case of injury, if the coordination is disturbed, it increases the risk of diseases like multiple sclerosis. In result of it, it damages the muscles of the bladder and causes retrograde ejaculation. Surgery of spine may also induce this problem.
Any surgery of prostate, testicles, rectum, bladder, colon or lower part of the spine may cause a person to suffer from retrograde ejaculation.
- Certain type of medication
There are some medicines, which increase the risk of bladder malfunctioning and causing retrograde ejaculation. A few examples of these drugs are prostate drugs, antidepressants, and antipsychotic medication.
Is there a treatment for the retrograde ejaculation?
Retrograde ejaculation can affect the sexual experience of a man. There are no complications if there is not a complete absence of semen. It doesn’t require a treatment unless the person suffering from it wants to make his partner pregnant.
Many men prefer to get treatment for it even when it doesn’t cause a problem. The treatment involves removing the sperms from the bladder. In this case, some medicines work which makes the bladder functional again. Some of these medicines are;
If the medicines fail, there are surgical procedures to help the sperm excretion from the bladder.
- Testicular sperm aspiration (TESA)
This is a minor surgery, which is completed with local anesthesia. It uses a thin needle to remove the semen from testicles.
- Percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA)
This is another type of surgery, which is performed under local anesthesia. It uses the same needle based operation to remove sperm from the epididymis which is a duct connecting to testicles.
- Testicular sperm extraction (TESE)
Like the above two surgical processes, it is a sperm extraction process, but it directly removes the sperm from testicles under anesthesia. It is not done with a needle but requires an incision in the testes.
After surgically removing the semen, the doctor helps to make the pregnancy possible for retrograde ejaculation.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF)– This process is an artificial method, which takes an egg from women and fertilizes it in the lamb, once it starts to grow, it is then implanted to the uterus of the women.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI)– This process is a method to impregnate the women with the semen collected from the man by injecting it into the uterus. It is performed when the woman is ovulating.
There is no other treatment or option for retrograde ejaculation. The choice of treatment depends on what is the cause of the problem. If it is due to the medicines, changing medicines is the right thing to treat retrograde ejaculation.
If retrograde ejaculation is caused by nerve damage, out of a brain or spinal injury, trauma or surgery, it is irreversible and cannot be treated. However, the person can try the IVF and IUI to impregnate the partner.
Intentional induction of retrograde ejaculation
There are a few branches of alternative medicines, which recommend the deliberate attempt to have retrograde ejaculation. They consider it as a part of retaining the body’s energy to you. These healing practices include the following.
Taoism also recommends conserving the body’s energy by retrograde ejaculation. There are specific ways to do that. One of these techniques is to put pressure on the perineum while orgasming. It was initially thought that it would make the sperm not to release instead make it to the brain and nourish it.
The current explanation is different which says that keeping it to yourself, inside your body. This technique has been disregarded by the modern medicinal research. As the retrograde ejaculation makes the sperms go to the bladder and are lost when a person urinates.
- Male contraception
Some cultures on purpose induce retrograde ejaculation by squeezing the urethra at the base or to put pressure at perineum to control the semen release. It is an old method of male contraception. One culture to exhibit such practice is Oneida Community.
The modern research proves that it is not a reliable method of birth control in comparison with the contemporary male contraceptive methods. Besides, avoiding pregnancy may end up at pre-ejaculation and attack of sexually transmitted diseases.
This technique is not easy to practice. And most of the men believing it to be useful fail to try it. No doctors recommend it due to the potential risk of putting pressure on the pudendal nerve. It may cause penis numbness.