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Ejaculation backwards (retrograde ejaculation)

If your semen goes backwards into your bladder at orgasm, instead of shooting out of the hole at the end of the penis, you have ‘retrograde ejaculation’. Men with retrograde ejaculation still have orgasm and feel the sensation of having ejaculated, but little or no fluid emerges from the penis (dry orgasm). If they urinate after having sex, the urine is often cloudy because it contains semen. This is not a problem in most men, and does not affect the enjoyment of sex or the ability to reach orgasm by either the man or his partner.

Normally, the muscle around the exit hole of the bladder closes tightly at orgasm to prevent this happening. If the muscle or its nerves are damaged, retrograde ejaculation may occur.

Causes of retrograde (backwards) ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation often occurs after prostate surgery or surgery of the bladder itself. Your surgeon will have mentioned the possibility to you beforehand. If this is not the reason in your case, you need to see a urologist to find out the cause. 
A few people are born with a weakness of the muscle that closes the bladder. Retrograde ejaculation can also occur in people who have had diabetes for many years. 
Sometimes medications can be responsible, such as prazosin (for blood pressure) and terazosin (for blood pressure or enlarged prostate). Drugs used to treat schizophrenia alter the way the brain sends messages to different parts of the body, and retrograde ejaculation can be a side effect.
Retrograde ejaculation can occur for no obvious reason in a healthy man, and can cause infertility.


Retrograde ejaculation only becomes a problem if you want to father a child, as there may be too few sperm actually getting into the vagina to allow fertilization of the egg to occur. If this is the case, there are various treatments that might help. Some drugs, such as ephedrine, can reverse the flow of semen.
Alternatively, sperm can be collected from the urine immediately after masturbation and used to fertilize the eggs by IVF or simply inserting them into the woman’s vagina. Needless to say, anyone in this position should consult their GP or family physician for advice on how best to get help, or referral to a fertility clinic.

Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Thursday, November 23rd 2017


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Comments on this article

Posted by E on 09/12/2015 at 03:05

I've never has a satisfying ejaculation in my life. Once in a blue moon, without any rhyme or reason, I'll get a small cloudy amount the size of a green pea that will come out. It doesn't matter if I'm really horny or haven't had any kind of sexual stimulation in week, sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. Maybe 1 in 500. It's also not unusual for me to get some slight precum dripping 10-15 minutes after orgasm and after I peed. When I still had great medical benefits I saw a urologist one day who was perplexed by the whole situation. They did run a urine test after an ejaculation and did confirm my semen was in the urine. He did an ultrasound and immediately saw that my bladder neck muscle wasn't 100% closed, so my semen would flow in up into the bladder instead. I took 120mg pseudoephedrine twice a day for a few weeks (which works well for most that have surgery related retrograde issues), but made no real difference for me. I also had two MRI's to see if they could see any pinched nerves or anything that might be causing it - nothing out of the normal was seen. Basically I just have a rare congenital weakness in the bladder muscle and there's nothing that can be done about it. Any surgery would only make things worse or complicate other stuff. I was told it's unlikely I would pass the genes down to my kids (If I somehow managed to get them). If you want kids, you best change is to go a clinic, orgasm, pee in a cup, then they separate and wash the semen and basically take a turkey baster and shoot it up into the woman. It's actually very affordable, since it's very low tech. Everything else is pretty normal though. I can have multiple orgasms and I can perform up several hours if I want to. In theory I'd be perfect for porn if it wasn't for this, as i'm in good looking guy in good shape and have a nice sized member to go along with it. I've always felt a bit cheated and women never seen to fully believe me about the situation and think it's their fault. It's definitely the worst card in the deck in my life, but I suppose things could always be worse. Still, without real ejaculation, sex will always be somewhat unsatisfying, but at least I have a built in birth control I suppose.

Posted by KP on 31/08/2015 at 12:57

I have always had a very high sex drive with my partner ' but just out of the blue came a lack of libido no urge no erections just no interest in sexual activity at all ' i have had a blood test and all came back fine my testosterone levels were fine 'also i hardly produce any sperm and after sex my urine is slightly cloudy this is all new to me no stress no problems its come a bolt out of the blue, please can anyone help as to why i have gone from one extreme to another !

Posted by Optional on 01/06/2015 at 11:39

yes I do have that problem, and yes I am a diabetic type 2 with hight blood pressure, and prostate problems . Two years ago I had surgery on my bladder, This problem is new to me and I have it for a couple years and never before

Posted by Optional on 28/02/2015 at 05:42

I'm someone who has been born with both a urethral stricture, and who has had to have surgery on his bladder. I have never masturbated, so I can't physically see if I ejaculated, but when I have had sex with my girlfriend, I take the condom off and nothing is inside of it? we have tried unprotected oral and anal even (but never unprotcted vaginal because I'm not sure if I can ejaculate or not) and I am often left asking if I came or not because I get the feeling of orgasm, and then right when i climax I just don't feel like I cum, and my penis usually comes out dry (besides the lube or saliva). She says she can feel and tell I did (when i do) but im not sure. although this seems like a blessing now, and it is too soon to tell wether we will have children one day, we do enjoy planning for our future, and si would like to know if I'll be able to have kids, even if I have to try a little harder (which would be no problem ;). Thanks to anyone who helps.

Posted by bob on 25/07/2013 at 05:47

thanks this really helped me out now i know that i just have precum or i was born with a weak muscle i dont think i have nerve damage.

Posted by Optional on 04/07/2013 at 05:27

There once was a man from Kent Whose dick was so long that it bent; To avoid any trouble, he put it in double And instead of coming, he went.

Posted by Optional on 28/01/2013 at 04:14

i am 23 years old and recently had surgery to remove kidney stones, i developed a prostate infection after the surgery, i am on two medications cipro, and tamsulosin, the ladder causes retrograde ejaculation, my question is i dont think i see any semen come out after i masturbate, but also whenever i urinate i dont think i have seen any come out either, is it possible for it to stay in my bladder?

Posted by sunny on 15/01/2013 at 12:16

From four days I have severe cough fever and sneezes .doctor gave me some medicines after using it for two days I masturbated found that only tea spoon of sperm is ejecting out rest going back inside. this happened next day also I'm tensed can any one help me by telling why this is happening .methylprednisolone tablet 4mg and t-moutemac l are the tablets doctor prescribed for fever

Posted by Bs on 20/12/2012 at 01:15

Had hysterotomy @ 38, have no semen on ejaculation but urine instead even after emptying the bladder. This embaras me

Posted by lyn on 17/10/2012 at 09:08

finally i found this to be the nearest reason of why im having much less intense orgasm..i think its the result after i withold my ejaculation its been several months,i got curious what will happen if i resist.just like that no pain or anything,and theres suddenly strange feeling on the line where my pee or semen travels.there was like a light burning for a minute theres barely a pain,just irritating,i neglect it,the next few days i realized that im having much less sexual pleasure appreciation,,barely an urge to have sex or i decided to excite myself,or masturbate by force..theres still orgasm. But the intense pleasure was like,cut to less than half .so what i want to know can it be reverse,if dont have sex,masturbate for a particular time will it be healed?

Posted by Optional on 16/05/2012 at 12:12

i just found out about retrograde ejaculation, for about a year, about once a day i have masterbated and but my thumb over my penis hole as i ejaculated to avoid a mess... i have noticed myself having less intense orgasms from sex, if i stop doing that , will it get better? or is the damage permenant, some one please reply

Posted by Ricky on 12/04/2012 at 03:32

I had a prostrate resection. I now have the problem of my ejaculate going back in to my bladder. Is there any help for this. My physician told me this may happen but he did not say it would last for ever. I wish I had not had it done. As some one else has mentioned I would rather have gotten up more at night then this to happen. When I orgasm it does not feel any where close to the way it used to feel.

Posted by Optional on 12/04/2012 at 10:18

When I go to toilet to urine there seems to be some kind of blockage about 1.5" down from the head of the penis.The shaft seems to bend slightly to one side. Could it be a valve not opening as it should.This always seem to happen on a full bladder and can be quite discomforting.I've been to the doctors but got fobbed of.

Posted by Optional on 11/02/2012 at 03:17

i have this problem after prostate surgery and my dr did not tell me that this will happen till after my surgery and if he would have told me i would have never got it done so if you have this done you know that this will happen to or if you have surgery on your bladder it will happen so dont let it happen to you 5 years after my surgery i met my wife and im a lucky man she is 21 and she wont.s a baby and as you know we have problems we but there is hope you can see a fertility dr can help so dont give up thank

Posted by wife on 13/10/2011 at 07:36

I believe my husband has retrograde ejaculation, but I am not sure. He has clear fluid come out during foreplay, but his orgasms are dry. When I have inquired about this- he says that he has never had a "load" come out during climax. He hasn't had any surgeries. We are going to start try to get pregnant and fear that it won't be possible. What should we do? Is it retrograde ejaculation if he has never had a wet orgasm? What else could it be?

Posted by Optional on 28/08/2011 at 12:52

is it harmfull

Posted by Optional on 03/08/2011 at 12:41

I started taking flomax generic two day ago and it has helped me to pee more normal but I still cannot cum o during sex had some side effects right off heart racing burning when you pee weeknes I found taking at night after supper is much better its lotş better if you eat first less side effects still have dry mouth let you know In a few days if things change hope this helps

Posted by Optional on 07/12/2010 at 07:39

Over the years after reaching 40, Ive noticed a decline in my ejaculation volume, I can feel myself cumming normally, but very little is coming out, and the same thing happens afterwards, I want to urinate. I would really like to put this right if I can.

Posted by Deedar on 17/06/2010 at 12:11

I am a 56yo male (duh) had holimium laser vaporization turp 3 months ago (April 2010). The procedure was pretty quick, easy -and relatively non-traumatic - with no recovery problems. My issue now is retrograde ejaculation which I absolutely despise. If you want to ever ejaculate normally again, DO NOT have this procedure. I would rather never sleep more than 10 minutes a night than to ejaculate into myself. Think long and hard about this before you have the procedure - you might regret it - I do!

Posted by Optional on 18/04/2010 at 10:50

I leak for about an hour after ejaculation. It is embarrasing.

Posted by Anonymous on 10/01/2010 at 03:47

My wife and I are trying to start a family and will have to undergo IVF/ICSI due to the fact that I have Klinefelter's syndrome. In preparation for this procedure, I have been taken off my Androgel (testosterone)for 9 months and now am having dry orgasms. This was never a problem before stopping my hormones. Could this lack of testosterone be the reason for no ejaculate or is something else going on? I am supposed to have a semen analysis done before the procedure but I don't see how that will be possible with no ejaculate.

Posted by dequincy on 09/01/2010 at 07:46

i am haveing problems type 2 diabectic errection very infrequent also dry no sperm ejecting until penis shrinks then comes out ,what can be done about this please what advise can you offer diabetis well controlled

Posted by Tony on 01/12/2009 at 09:47

When I was in my teens and up to about my late 30`s, I was able to ejaculate normally. But as far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to urinate immediately after sex or masturbation, and in lots of cases, urinated several times within half an an hour. Over the years after reaching 40, Ive noticed a decline in my ejaculation volume, I can feel myself cumming normally, but very little is coming out, and the same thing happens afterwards, I want to urinate. I would really like to put this right if I can.

Posted by Anonymous on 22/08/2009 at 08:28

Hi, I am a 26 yr old male. My question is regarding ejaculation. 3 weeks before when I used to masturbate, the quantity of sperm that used to ejaculate was significantly higher than it has been for the last 3 weeks. Since the last 3 weeks, I am feeling the climax during ejaculation but I feel the entire sperm is not coming out or shooting out. Only half-teaspoon or less is coming out. I masturbate daily once. Also I am getting hard normally but this feeling of sperm not coming out is giving me quite sleepless nights. I had undergone colonoscopy 3 weeks back. Please let me know the possible cause for this.

Posted by James on 10/05/2009 at 01:27

Whenever I come I have to exert extreme pressure on my penis to be able to do so. Because of this I can't come by masterbating with my hand, and have to push my groin against something forcefully to be able to ejaculate. coming isn't a problem with regard to sex but i need to be on top and exerting a lot of pressure. i need to know if there is anyway to come without having to exert such massive pressure, such as when i'm underneath my girl-friend or conventional masterbation with my hand?

Posted by Alex on 20/04/2009 at 07:03

after Ejaculating i feel as if there is a blockage in the tubs in my penis and when i urinate it feels uncountable, ans isn't a easy steady flow and there seems to be seaman in the urine this always happened if i had been drinking before masturbating and Ejaculating but now i seems to happen with out drinking alcohol before, i have had this for about 10 years of so and have always had the same girlfriend and have always used condoms so i am happy nit to believe it is a STI but i have no idar what the problem is ? thanks for any help PS this only happens after masturbation, not sex

Posted by sameer on 12/04/2009 at 06:39

when i feel like sex liquid flow from my penies and reduces my sex desire. Help me out


Ejaculation backwards (retrograde ejaculation)

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