Recent Blog Articles
Masks save lives: Here’s what you need to know
Why are women more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease?
Seeing red? 4 steps to try before responding
Tics and TikTok: Can social media trigger illness?
Pandemic challenges may affect babies — possibly in long-lasting ways
4 immune-boosting strategies that count right now
If you have knee pain, telehealth may help
How to address opposition in young children
New study investigates treatment-associated regrets in prostate cancer
Minimizing successes and magnifying failures? Change your distorted thinking
On call: Back surgery and retrograde ejaculation
Back surgery and retrograde ejaculation
Q. I am a 42-year-old former basketball player. Six months ago, I had a spinal fusion with the keyhole operation. My back pain is nearly gone and I feel great, but I've had dry ejaculations ever since the operation. Why does this happen?
A. The "keyhole" operation is the newest and least invasive way for doctors to stabilize the spine by fusing adjacent vertebrae. The operation requires only very small incisions. The surgeon inserts a fiber-optic laparoscope, which allows him to view the spine on a video monitor. Next, he inserts special instruments that enable him to correct the tissue damage. The operation requires special training as well as special equipment, but it allows a rapid recovery with few complications. Unfortunately, retrograde ejaculation is one of those complications. Men with the problem experience normal arousal, erections, and orgasm, but their semen travels back into the bladder instead of shooting out through the penis.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!