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Retrograde Ejaculation

Understanding Retrograde Ejaculation Including Causes and Treatment


Updated June 19, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Retrograde ejaculation is a condition in men where semen enters the bladder instead of leaving the body through the penis. Normally, when a man ejaculates, semen is propelled down through the urethra and out of the body. Retrograde ejaculation means that semen is propelled up the urethra.

Causes of retrograde ejaculation include surgery that involves the prostate, urethra or bladder, medication and some health conditions. Damage to the prostate tissue by radiation therapy or other types of nerve damage in the pelvic area can also cause retrograde ejaculation.

Retrograde ejaculation is typically not painful and is only noted by a decrease in the amount of semen that is produced during orgasm. Urine may also be cloudy after an orgasm. Many men elect not to seek treatment unless they are concerned about their fertility. Surgery is not an treatment option in the vast majority of cases.

If the cause of retrograde ejaculation is surgery, or a problem with anatomy, medication will not help the condition. However, if it is caused by an issue with the nerves of that area, it can often be treated by medication. Certain medications, such as high blood pressure or benign prostatic hypertrophy drugs, can cause the problem. In that instance, changing or discontinuing medication can correct the issue.


Retrograde Ejaculation. Medline Plus. The National Institutes of Health. Accessed May 2010. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001282.htm

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