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TURP Prostate Surgery and Retrograde Ejaculation | Did You Know?


scalpelMany men experience retrograde ejaculation after having transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), a procedure that alleviates enlarged prostate symptoms.

With retrograde ejaculation, semen flows backward into the bladder instead of forward out of the penis. Typically, internal muscles close the bladder opening to keep semen out during ejaculation. But during some surgeries, like TURP, these muscles, or the nerves that control them, can be damaged.

Here are some quick facts about TURP and retrograde ejaculation:

  • About 75% of men who have TURP develop retrograde ejaculation, according to the Mayo Clinic.
  • When caused by surgery, retrograde ejaculation is usually permanent. However, certain medications may help.
  • Retrograde ejaculation shouldn’t interfere with erections or sexual pleasure.
  • Retrograde ejaculation isn’t harmful. Semen leaves the body through urination. However, the condition can be a problem for couples trying to conceive.
  • Some men find that ejaculating with a full bladder helps semen exit through the penis, as a full bladder helps keep the opening closed.
  •  It’s possible to have partial retrograde ejaculation, in which some semen flows into the bladder and some leaves the body through the penis.
  • Men who want to father a child do have options. A urologist may remove sperm from the urine and use it for artificial insemination. Or, if a man knows he’s having a procedure that could cause retrograde ejaculation, he may have his semen frozen beforehand, for artificial insemination later.

If you have concerns about retrograde ejaculation, be sure to see a urologist. 


Mayo Clinic
“Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)”
(May 10, 2011)


Sexual Medicine Society of North America
“Overview – Retrograde Ejaculation”

“Treating Retrograde Ejaculation”


Surgeon holding scalpel
by Flickr user bethd821