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Keywords:

  • aspermia;
  • azoospermia;
  • retrograde ejaculation;
  • sexual dysfunction

Summary

Retrograde ejaculation (RE) and erectile dysfunction may be caused by diabetes mellitus (DM), but the prevalence of RE among DM patients is unknown. A prospective, blinded case–control study comparing men with DM with matched controls according to RE and erectile dysfunction was performed. Twenty-seven men with DM matched the inclusion criteria and agreed to participate in the study, and of these 26 delivered an ejaculate. We were able to recruit 18 matching controls, and of these 16 delivered an ejaculate.

Nine of 26 men with DM who delivered an ejaculate had RE, whereas none of 16 controls had RE (p < 0.01). The mean duration of DM was longer for DM patients with RE (20 years) compared with DM patients in whom RE could not be demonstrated (13 years), but the difference was not statistically significant. RE could not be associated with BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, Haemoglobin A1c (HgbA1c), high-density lipoprotein HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose, or s-testosterone. Diabetics suffering from RE more frequently exhibited erectile dysfunction compared with non-diabetics and diabetics without RE, and the last-mentioned group again more frequently than controls. These findings could not be explained by use of antihypertensive drugs.

Whereas none of the included control participants showed signs of abnormal ejaculation, every third man with DM exhibited retrograde ejaculation. It is important to be aware of this association, and that post-ejaculatory urine is routinely analysed from aspermic fertility clinic attendants and diabetics with low ejaculate volumes.