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Dry orgasm: Infertility issue or normal occurrence?

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Charles, in Salt Lake City, UT, writes with the following question:

“The other day when I masturbated, I had a dry orgasm. Should I be worried about this?”

The situation that Charles is describing is known as retrograde ejaculation. Essentially, what happens is at the time of orgasm, ejaculate flows up the urethra and is deposited in the bladder, rather than flowing down the urethra to be projected out of the penis. Now, there are some medical conditions that could be causing this. Men who have had urethral surgery or prostate surgery, who are diabetic, or who are on certain medications (including high blood pressure medication or mood-altering drugs), have a higher likelihood of retrograde ejaculation.

Now, while there are no immediate health risks of this condition, it can obviously cause issues with fertility; it’s quite difficult to get someone pregnant if little or no semen is leaving the penis at the time of orgasm. Men who encounter this issue are urged to get themselves checked out by a doctor, who can help figure out the cause. In some situations, particularly if a medicine is involved, it can be reversed; however, in other cases, the condition can be permanent. Now, this might just be a fluke thing for Charles, and it may never happen again. Some men actually experience this if they’re trying to prolong orgasms by using a cock ring or applying pressure at the base of the penis, but it also could be something that has gone unnoticed. Occasionally, men who don’t masturbate often, or who don’t use condoms during sex, can miss this for a long time.

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