Instructions for Your Retrograde Semen Analysis

About Retrograde Ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation is a condition where your semen flows back into your bladder instead of out through your penis during ejaculation. This can happen if the nerves and muscles that control ejaculation are damaged or removed.

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About Your Retrograde Semen Analysis

If you have retrograde ejaculation, you may not be able to have a child through sexual intercourse. However, it may be possible for you to still have a child using your own sperm. This is done by removing sperm from your urine.

To see if you’re producing sperm in your urine, you need to have a retrograde semen analysis. This is when a sample of your semen and urine is analyzed by a sperm bank.

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Preparing for Your Retrograde Semen Analysis

  • Select a sperm bank and make an appointment for your analysis. Ask your Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) healthcare provider for the resource Sperm Banking or search for it on This resource provides a list of sperm banks in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
  • Tell the sperm bank that you have retrograde ejaculation. They may give you special instructions to follow before your appointment.
  • Don’t engage in any sexual activity for 2 to 5 days before your appointment. This includes activity with a partner or self-stimulation (masturbation).
  • For 12 hours before your appointment, don’t drink more liquids than you normally would. If your urine is very watery, it’s harder to remove the sperm.
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Instructions for Your Retrograde Semen Analysis

You will collect your semen and urine at the sperm bank. If the sperm bank doesn’t give you special instructions on how to do this, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the bathroom and urinate in the toilet to empty your bladder.
  2. You will get 2 cups for collection. The cups are labeled #1 and #2.
  3. You will be brought to a private room. You will need to bring yourself to orgasm in order to ejaculate.
    • You can do this yourself or your partner can help you.
    • Make sure your (or your partner’s) hands are clean and dry.
    • Don’t use saliva or lubricants. These will destroy the sperm.
  4. While you’re ejaculating, hold collection cup #1 at the tip of your penis and collect the semen. Give this cup to the staff.
  5. Return to the waiting area for 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t drink any liquids during this time.
  6. Go to the bathroom with collection cup #2. Urinate into the cup. Give this cup to the staff.
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Getting Your Results

Call your MSK healthcare provider 2 days after the collection to get the result of your retrograde semen analysis.

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