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Conditions: Retrograde Ejaculation

Overview - Retrograde Ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen goes into the bladder instead of leaving the penis during ejaculation. Retrograde ejaculation isn't harmful but it can impair fertility since it affects the delivery of sperm to the vagina during intercourse. The condition is relatively uncommon, accounting for only 0.3% - 2% of male fertility problems.

During normal ejaculation, internal muscles, called sphincters, close off the opening of the bladder to prevent semen from entering as it passes through the urethra. In retrograde ejaculation, the bladder opening doesn't close properly and some or all of the semen is allowed to enter the bladder instead of being ejected out the tip of the penis. As a result, semen mixes with urine in the bladder and leaves the body during normal urination without harming the bladder.

Retrograde ejaculation does not interfere with a man’s ability to have an erection or an orgasm. Men often first become aware that they have retrograde ejaculation when fertility problems arise. A common sign indicating retrograde ejaculation is if a man's urine appears cloudy after sexual climax.

Retrograde ejaculation may occur either partially or completely. Men with incomplete retrograde ejaculation may notice a decrease in semen that comes out during ejaculation. Complete retrograde ejaculation can also be called dry orgasm or dry ejaculation since there is orgasm without the discharge of semen. Dry orgasm is not exclusive to retrograde ejaculation, though, since dry orgasm can also be caused by other ejaculatory problems. For example, dry orgasms can be caused from a lack of semen production resulting from physical damage and therefore dry ejaculation alone is not a clear indication of retrograde ejaculation.

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