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Retrograde semen analysis

Retrograde ejaculation is a condition where semen is ejaculated backwards into the bladder.  Some patients may be able to produce semen if masturbation takes place whilst the bladder is full.  However, if this is not possible, it is necessary to make the urine alkaline (neutralise the acidity), and then to extract the sperm from urine passed after masturbation.

Sodium bicarbonate (bicarbonate of soda) is prescribed to try to achieve an alkaline pH of approximately 7.5 in the urine.  If you are undergoing investigation for retrograde ejaculation your clinician will provide you with instructions on how to prepare for the test.

Factors that may affect Retrograde semen analysis results

If the pH of the urine was not within the range of 7.5-8.5.

If the sample is not produced 45 minutes after the patient has taken the Sodium bicarbonate.

If the urine is not examined within 5 minutes of being produced.

Updated Sept 2014.