Retrograde Ejaculation after Radiation for Rectal Cancer

Last Modified: May 8, 2012

Share article


My doctor said that a side effect of radiation for rectal cancer is retrograde ejaculation. What does this mean? Will it hurt me? Will it go away?


Bruce Giantonio, MD, Medical Oncologist at Penn Medicine responds:

That is a good question. Retrograde ejaculation means that when you have an orgasm, instead of the sperm and other fluids being ejected outside of your body (thru the penis), it will go "backwards" or "retrograde" into the urinary bladder. This doesn't harm the bladder. But if you are not done having children, it can make it very hard to father a child. If that is a concern of yours, you should think about 'sperm-banking' before you start your therapy; your treatment team can advise you on that. I hope that helps.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from the Focus on GI Cancers webchat.

AACR: Biomarker Panel Beats CA 19-9 for ID'ing Pancreatic Cancer

May 21, 2014 - A panel of three biomarkers together with CA 19-9 is better than CA 19-9 alone for diagnosing early-stage pancreatic cancer. These findings were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's special conference on Pancreatic Cancer: Innovations in Research and Treatment, held from May 18 to 21 in New Orleans.

I Wish You Knew

Pancreatic Cancer & Family History

View More

Blogs and Web Chats

OncoLink Blogs give our readers a chance to react to and comment on key cancer news topics and provides a forum for OncoLink Experts and readers to share opinions and learn from each other.

OncoLink OncoPilot

Facing a new cancer diagnosis or changing the course of your current treatment? Let our cancer nurses help you through!

Learn More