Retrograde Ejaculation

This information will help you understand retrograde ejaculation and how it may affect you.

About Retrograde Ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen flows back into your bladder, instead of out through your penis.

When you’re sexually excited, sperm leave your testicles and travel up the vas deferens to the ejaculatory duct (see Figure 1). When they reach the ejaculatory duct, the sperm mix with semen from the seminal vesicles and the prostate.

Figure 1. Male reproductive system

Usually, the bladder neck closes during orgasm. This prevents semen from flowing back and entering the bladder, and the semen exits the body through the penis. If you have retrograde ejaculation, however, the bladder neck doesn’t close at orgasm. Semen then flows backward into the bladder rather than forward through the penis.

Back to top Arrow (up) icon.Icon pointing upwards. Usually means that the containing element can be opened and closed.

Causes of Retrograde Ejaculation

You may develop retrograde ejaculation after you have a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND). RPLND is surgery to remove some of the lymph nodes in your abdomen. This surgery is a treatment for testicular cancer. During this surgery, the nerves that control your bladder neck may be injured. Sometimes, these nerves can be spared. However, it can take a month to several years for them to begin to work again. Your doctor can tell you if nerve-sparing surgery is an option for you.

Back to top Arrow (up) icon.Icon pointing upwards. Usually means that the containing element can be opened and closed.

Last Updated