CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
CLICK TO ENLARGE
During a male orgasm, sperm are released from each of the testicles. A tube called the vas deferens then transports sperm to the prostate, where they mix with other fluids to produce liquid semen (ejaculate). The muscle at the opening of the bladder (bladder neck) tightens to prevent ejaculate from entering the bladder as it passes into the tube inside the penis (urethra). This is the same muscle that holds urine in your bladder until you urinate. With retrograde ejaculation, the bladder neck muscles don't tighten properly. As a result, sperm can enter the bladder instead of being ejected out of your body through the penis.
Several conditions can cause problems with the muscle that closes the bladder during ejaculation. These include:
- Surgery, such as bladder neck surgery or prostate surgery
- Side effect of certain medications used to treat high blood pressure, prostate enlargement and mood disorders
- Nerve damage caused by a medical condition, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis or a spinal cord injury
A dry orgasm is the primary sign of retrograde ejaculation. But dry orgasm — the ejaculation of little or no semen — can also be caused by other conditions, including:
- Surgical removal of the prostate (prostatectomy)
- Surgical removal of the bladder (cystectomy)
- Radiation therapy to treat cancer in the pelvic area
- Mehta A, et al. Ejaculation disorders. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/120705265-3/804926975/1701/189.html#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-04134-8..50008-2--subchapter5_3989. Accessed Nov. 13, 2010.
- Sigman M, et al. Male infertility. In: Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: 2007; Saunders Elsevier. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/225940633-10/1080977255/1445/22.html#4-u1.0-B978-0-7216-0798-6..50021-2--cesec105_1623. Accessed Nov. 13, 2010.
- Ohl DA, et al. Anejaculation and retrograde ejaculation. Urologic Clinics of North America. 2008;35:211.
- Kaiser FE. Retrograde ejaculation. The Merck Manuals: Home Edition for Patients and Caregivers. http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec21/ch240/ch240f.html. Accessed Nov. 13, 2010.
- Male infertility. American Urological Association. http://www.urologyhealth.org/adult/index.cfm?cat=11&topic=38. Accessed Nov. 13, 2010.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 16, 2010.