What Is It?
Ejaculation is the ejection of semen out of the urethra (passageway inside the penis) when a man has an orgasm. Under normal circumstances, ejaculation propels semen forward through a man's urethra and out the tip of his penis. This is because a tiny sphincter (circular muscle) at the entrance to the bladder shuts the opening to the bladder and prevents semen from entering. Retrograde ejaculation is when the semen travels backwards into the bladder.
In retrograde ejaculation, the muscle that shuts the bladder does not function normally. This allows all or part of the semen to travel backward (retrograde) into the bladder at the time of ejaculation. When this happens, less semen comes out the tip of the penis.
Retrograde ejaculation has several possible causes, including:
Retrograde ejaculation does not interfere with a man's ability to have an erection or to achieve orgasm, but it can cause infertility because the sperm cannot reach the woman's uterus. Retrograde ejaculation is responsible for about 1% of all cases of male infertility in the United States.
Page 1 of 9 Next Page: Retrograde Ejaculation Symptoms
From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.
You can find more great health information on the Harvard Health Publications website.