Nashville Fertility

Retrograde Ejaculation

Learn how we help men overcome retrograde ejaculation to become fathers

Some male patients at our Tennessee fertility center experience retrograde ejaculation. This fertility issue consists of semen traveling backward into the bladder. Because this issue causes sperm to not exit the man’s body, it can make it difficult for the man to contribute to the conception of a baby. Our clinic works with men to develop an effective treatment plan that helps them bypass this challenge.

How retrograde ejaculation differs from typical ejaculation

Ideally, when a man ejaculates, the semen moves out of the penis, as sphincter muscles close off the bladder. When retrograde ejaculation occurs, the sphincter muscles of the bladder do not close. This allows semen to move backwards into the bladder. While some semen might still exit the body, most of it remains in the bladder.

There are several conditions that could cause a man to experience this male fertility challenge.

  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Surgery on the prostate or the urethra

In some situations, this male fertility challenge is reversible. When it is not, our Tennessee fertility center can recommend treatments to help a man become a father.

Diagnosing this male fertility challenge

A semen and urine analysis are the primary methods that we use at our Tennessee fertility center to diagnose retrograde ejaculation. Typically, this condition results in the semen analysis revealing a low sperm count. In addition, the urine sample commonly contains semen.

While this male fertility challenge does not make a natural pregnancy impossible, it does significantly lower the chance that it will occur. Because of this, our fertility specialists work with men to determine the potential cause of this issue.

In some situations, treating this condition can be as simple as the man stopping a certain medication. The doctor may also prescribe medications to help the sphincter muscles of the bladder close.

Fertility treatments that can help a man move past this issue

When stopping certain medications or taking others don’t help the man and his partner conceive, there are additional options our clinic can provide.

Preparing the sperm. Before the man and his partner move forward with any treatment, we first collect sperm from the man’s sperm or urine sample. We then wash the sperm with a special fluid to get it ready for use.

Microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA). If specialists are unable to collect sperm from a man’s semen or urine sample, they can utilize MESA. It consists of the doctor collecting semen from the coiled tube lying behind and above each testicle.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI). A man who has a female partner with a healthy uterus and good ovarian reserve can utilize IUI. This process involves the man’s partner monitoring her ovulation and coming to our clinic the day after ovulation likely occurs. The fertility doctor then places the man’s sperm into his partner’s uterus.

In vitro fertilization (IVF). If the man’s partner also has fertility difficulties, the doctor might recommend IVF. This process involves the doctor retrieving eggs from the man’s partner and an embryologist fertilizing the eggs with the man’s sperm. Next, the doctor transfers one of the resulting embryos into the uterus of the man’s partner or a gestational surrogate.

With the expert support of our clinic, men can move beyond this male fertility challenge and build a healthy family. Contact us for more information about our fertility services.

(615) 321-4740