Diabetes’ Lesser Known Problem: Retrograde Ejaculation

Dec 24, 2009 • Fertility and Babbys, News

Retrograde ejaculation happens when sperm, instead of being released from the body, go back down the urethra and into the bladder. The condition is a result of nerves in the area becoming damaged, and though it doesn’t affect a man’s ability to experience orgasm, retrograde ejaculation can leave a man permanently infertile.

“In terms of public health problems related to diabetes, it is way down the list–cardiovascular and eye disease are much more significant problems,” Dr. David Price, a diabetes expert at the Morriston Hospital in Swansea told the UK’s Daily Mail. “However, if you’re a young person with and want to have children, or are the consultant treating it, it’s a real problem and the fact that it’s not the most serious side-effect of diabetes is no comfort.”

According to Price, some five percent of men with erectile dysfunction problems, caused by diabetes of either type, have retrograde ejaculation.

“Diabetes is a common cause of sexual problems because the disease affects the blood supply and nerves,” he told the Mail. “Around 35 per cent of diabetic men–around 440,000–suffer from erectile dysfunction and this increases to more 50 percent in diabetic men of 60 or older. Retrograde ejaculation is less common, but still affects a few per cent of diabetic men with sexual dysfunction problems, probably a few tens of thousands of men.”

How does it happen?

“Initially a man can get an erection, but it doesn’t last because of blood supply problems and then, as nerve damage develops, it can lead to ejaculation problems,” Price explained.

Information from The Daily Mail.