Sexual problems are a plenty and can be devastating to discover, especially when one has been trying to conceive. While there are several treatments and measures available for someone to conceive in spite of having a sexual problem, the idea of naturally conceiving i.e. without medical intervention is a sweet toast in itself. One of the many sexual problems is retrograde ejaculation. Learn about its symptoms, causes and treatment.
Ejaculation refers to the ejection of semen from the urethra i.e. the passageway present inside the penis. This usually happens in a male when he has had an orgasm. Normal ejaculation happens with the propelling of semen forward via the man’s urethra and out of the penis. When the man has an orgasm, the entrance to the bladder shuts temporarily to avoid the semen from entering. When the semen travels backwards into the bladder, the condition is called retrograde ejaculation. To put in simple terms, in retrograde ejaculation the muscle that shuts the opening of the bladder doesn’t function as it should.
As with any sexual problem, the reasons why retrograde ejaculation happens are many. From damage from a previous surgery to nerve damage, any activity that concerns the particular area of the reproductive system can cause retrograde ejaculation. Let us understand each of these causes in detail.
It has been estimate through several studies that those men who have had a transurethral prostatectomy or removal of prostrate tissue through the urethra have at least 10—15 percent possibility of developing retrograde ejaculation. If a man has been through prostatectomy i.e. complete removal of the prostate gland either as a treatment for cancer or benign enlargement, he runs several times higher risk of retrograde ejaculation once the treatment is over.
Damage to the muscles of the bladder or to the particular nerves that control the muscles can lead to retrograde ejaculation. This damage to the muscles or nerves can occur as a result of surgical procedures done for any part of the area. These include surgery on particular parts of the bladder, an extensive pelvic surgery done to treat cancer of the testicles, prostate, rectum or colon, certain surgeries on the vertebrae and discs of the lower spine and surgeries done for cancer in the lower abdomen or pelvis.
Men who have had multiple sclerosis or have long-term, poorly managed diabetes are at a high risk of developing nerve damage in the reproductive area, thus, being affected by retrograde ejaculation. Long-term and poorly controlled diabetes is said to be a major cause for several sexual problems in both men and women.
One of the prominent symptoms of retrograde ejaculation is the very difference in how the man ejaculates. Normally, a healthy man ejaculates one-half to one teaspoonful of semen when he has an orgasm, but this amount varies widely from one person to another. Those men who have retrograde ejaculation tend to experience a dramatic decrease of ejaculation when they have an orgasm. The man may also have a dry climax i.e. orgasm without semen.
A lot of men with retrograde ejaculation do not really need any specific treatment. If the condition is a side-effect of any medication, the doctor would be able to prescribe another medicine. If the condition is because of mild to severe nerve damage or muscle issue involving the bladder, the doctor will most probably use a drug to treat the condition.
On diagnosing retrograde ejaculation, the fertility specialist would collect sperms from the urine and use the washed sperm for a special, assisted-fertilisation procedure. These procedures include intrauterine insemination, in-vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
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