Electro-Ejaculation: What You Should Know

Andrew Siegel MD    4/9/2022

Electro-ejaculation is commonly used in veterinary medicine, a quick and reliable method of collecting semen from bulls, rams, and bucks. It involves the insertion of a probe into the animal’s rectum and the application of electrical pulses to stimulate the pelvic nerves and induce ejaculation. Aside from its utility in facilitating reproduction in cattle and other animals, electro-ejaculation has proven to be extremely useful in human males who desire to reproduce but cannot ejaculate.

There are almost 20,000 cases of spinal cord injury annually in the USA, often occurring from athletic pursuits. Most men with spinal cord injuries are in their prime of life in their child-bearing years.  Depending upon the level and extent of spinal cord injury, it is likely that the ability to ejaculate is compromised. Inability to ejaculate occurs in 90% or so of the spinal cord injured male population.  Special techniques are thus required to enable producing a semen specimen to enable fathering children.  The two main options are penile vibratory stimulation and electro-ejaculation.

VIberect Picture

Viberect penile vibration device

When a vibrator is applied to the head of the penis of a spinal cord injury patient, it initiates a reflex erection and subsequently ejaculation and has thus become an accepted means of collecting semen to use to perform insemination. (It will also do the same for men without spinal cord injuries.)

Electro-ejaculation is an effective technique used to trigger ejaculation in men with spinal cord injuries who are not capable of doing so with penile vibratory stimulation.  A special electric probe that delivers DC current is placed in the rectum in contact with the prostate gland.  Electrical impulses are generated and cycled by leaving the current on for a few seconds and then turning it off for a few seconds.  The voltage is gradually increased and as the current is applied the pelvic floor tightens and the probe is pulled inwards.  As the current is further increased, thigh abduction, back arching, and ultimately ejaculation occurs. Ejaculation usually happens at a point in the cycle when the current is off.  Ejaculation is most often a dribbling quality, and the urethra needs to be milked to obtain the semen.  Electro-ejaculation often results in retrograde ejaculation (“in-jaculation”) with the semen ejaculated into the urinary bladder.  Under this circumstance, the bladder needs to be drained via a catheter and irrigated and this fluid is centrifuged down to a sperm pellet that can be used for assisted reproduction. 

Seager-Model-11-Electroejaculator-and-rectal-probe-Dalzall-USA-Medical-Systems-The

Seager Electro-Ejaculator System

The success rate of electro-ejaculation is 95% without anesthesia and 100% when general anesthesia is used.  IVF (in vitro fertilization) or ICSI (intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) after electro-ejaculation results in a 50% pregnancy rate and a 44% live birth rate per couple. 

In this video, two masters of the technique, Drs. Nancy Brackett and Dr. Charles Lynne, demonstrate the technique of electroejaculation.

Wishing you the best of health,

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Dr. Andrew Siegel is a physician and urological surgeon who is board-certified in urology as well as in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.  He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School and is a Castle Connolly Top Doctor New York Metro AreaInside Jersey Top Doctor and Inside Jersey Top Doctor for Women’s Health. His mission is to “bridge the gap” between the public and the medical community. He is a urologist at New Jersey Urology, the largest urology practice in the United States.  He is the co-founder of PelvicRx and Private Gym.  His latest book is Prostate Cancer 20/20: A Practical Guide to Understanding Management Options for Patients and Their Families. 

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Video trailer for Prostate Cancer 20/20

Preview of Prostate Cancer 20/20

Andrew Siegel MD Amazon author page

PROSTATE CANCER 20/20 is now available at Audible, iTunes and Amazon as an audiobook read by the author (just over 6 hours). 

Dr. Siegel’s other books:

THE KEGEL FIX: Recharging Female Pelvic, Sexual, and Urinary Health

Video on THE KEGEL FIX

MALE PELVIC FITNESS: Optimizing Sexual and Urinary Health

PROMISCUOUS EATING— Understanding and Ending Our Self-Destructive Relationship with Food

FINDING YOUR OWN FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Health, Wellness, Fitness and Longevity

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