Throughout their lives and their sexual experiences, men can experience different types of ejaculation. If you’ve heard the term retrograde ejaculation, you may be wondering what it is and what causes it.
In this quick guide, we’ll cover the potential signs and causes of dry orgasms.
What is Retrograde Ejaculation?
Before we discuss the causes and symptoms, let’s answer the question—exactly what is retrograde ejaculation?
When a man has an orgasm and ejaculation occurs, semen makes its way out of the urethra, which is the passageway inside the penis, and through the tip of the penis. Typically, the circular muscle at the bladder’s entrance shuts the opening to the bladder so that the semen cannot enter.
In retrograde ejaculation, however, the muscle that shuts the urinary bladder does not work as it normally does, causing the semen to travel backward (or retrograde) into the bladder. This is sometimes called a dry orgasm and although it’s not harmful, it can lead to male infertility. Currently, retrograde ejaculation is responsible for roughly 1% of all cases of male infertility in the United States.
The Symptoms of Retrograde Ejaculation
When discussing what is retrograde ejaculation, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of the ejaculation problem. Keep in mind, retrograde ejaculation won’t affect your ability to get an erection or have an orgasm. Instead, the semen will go into your bladder as opposed to coming out of your penis. In typical sexual encounters, men will produce one-half to one teaspoonful of semen during orgasm, although this amount varies.
In men who experience retrograde ejaculation, the amount of semen will dramatically decrease or there will be a dry orgasm.
- Dry orgasm
- But what is a dry orgasm? It’s where minimal amounts of semen or no semen at all come out of the penis
- Cloudy urine after orgasm, as the urine contains semen
- Male infertility and inability to get a female partner pregnant
The Causes of Retrograde Ejaculation
During normal ejaculation, the vas deferens transports sperm to the prostate. Here, they mix with other fluids and produce semen, which is what comes out of the penis during ejaculation.
The bladder neck muscle, which is the muscle at the opening of the bladder, typically tightens so that ejaculation fluids do not enter into the bladder while they pass from the prostate into the urethra. During retrograde ejaculation this muscle does not tighten correctly, leading to sperm that enters the bladder. Several underlying causes can lead to retrograde ejaculation.
Surgery such as bladder neck surgery or retroperitoneal lymph node dissection surgery for testicular cancer or prostate surgery can lead to retrograde ejaculation. Additionally, men who have had a transurethral prostatectomy, which is the removal of prostate tissue through the urethra, have a 10-15 % chance of retrograde ejaculation.
Certain medications, such as those used to treat high blood pressure, depression, or prostate enlargement can also cause retrograde ejaculation. Psychosis medications, such as chlorpromazine, thioridazine, and risperidone may also cause retrograde ejaculation.
3. Nerve Damage
Nerve damage can be caused by various medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or spinal cord injuries, and is one possible cause of retrograde ejaculation.
Dry Ejaculation Causes
Dry ejaculations are one sign of retrograde ejaculation, though these can also be caused by other conditions. These include:
Prostatectomy: surgical removal of the prostate
Cystectomy: surgical removal of the bladder
Pelvic area radiation therapy: to treat cancer
Risk Factors of Retrograde Ejaculation
Certain factors put men at an increased risk of retrograde ejaculation. Although these can also be causes of ejaculatory dysfunction, risk factors include:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Prostate or bladder surgery
- Certain drugs for high blood pressure or a mood disorder
- Spinal cord injury
Retrograde ejaculation causes can vary. And whether you’re experiencing retrograde ejaculation or dry orgasms due to medical conditions, surgery, or nerve damage, it’s always a good idea to stay proactive and communicate with your healthcare provider.
Remember that although retrograde ejaculation isn’t harmful, it can lead to male infertility. Familiarizing yourself with the signs and symptoms is important and can be beneficial if you’re trying to have children.
At Giddy, we’ve made it our purpose to help males and their partners lead fulfilling lives—and we think a big part of that is a meaningful sexual relationship. Our product, Eddie, is one of the leading ED devices to treat men’s sexual dysfunction and is a proven ED product. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our team. If you are wondering about other conditions like what is premature ejaculation, check out our sources for answers.
Whether it’s retrograde ejaculation or anything else like delayed ejaculation, our information on our website is just a click away. Make sure to try our product, Eddie by Giddy, a comfortable, wearable device designed to treat erectile dysfunction and improve male sexual performance.
1. Retrograde Ejaculation. Mayo Clinic. URL. Accessed December 6th, 2020.
2. Retrograde Ejaculation. Harvard Health Publishing. URL. Accessed December 6th, 2020.
3. Everything You Should Know About Retrograde Ejaculation. URL. Accessed December 6th, 2020.