Performing Rectal ElectroejaculationAn electroejaculation is a short procedure that is usually done in a hospital under general anesthetic. It involves a quick recovery time with most men able to return to work within a day.
Before the procedure, a man’s bladder will be emptied through an inserted catheter. Most men are also given a sodium bicarbonate bladder wash the day before in order to help neutralize the acid that is normally contained within urine, as this acid can often kill off sperm.
Additionally, by doing the bladder wash, men who suffer from retrograde ejaculation can still have their sperm retrieved during the course of the treatment.
The majority of men receive general anesthetic beforehand, although some men, like those with full spinal cord injuries, may not need it as their bodies are already desensitized to pain. Once the anesthetic has taken affect, the man is turned onto his right side and a plastic or metal tube (protocscope) that has been lubricated is inserted into the rectum. This device is used to examine the rectal lining in order to ensure that there are no lesions inside.
Once this is done, a probe is then inserted into the rectum. This probe is able to deliver electric currents to the rectal lining, increasing the volts at 4-second intervals. The volts help to stimulate the rectal wall, thereby producing an erection. Volts are slowly increased until a man ejaculates. The majority of men are able to ejaculate in under 20 volts.
In addition to the probe, an assistant also massages the prostate gland and urethra to induce ejaculation, which is collected in a sterilized container. The ejaculate can then be taken and prepared for IVF, ICSI or IUI. It can also be frozen and used in future treatments.
After the procedure, another protoscope will be inserted into the rectum in order to check for any trauma that may have occurred during the procedure.
Possible ComplicationsAs with any procedure that involves the use of general anesthetic, there is a risk of allergic reaction and possibly even death. However, this risk is very slight.
While the temperature of the probe is monitored throughout the procedure, there is the possibility of minor burns occurring if the probe becomes overheated. Generally, though, the probe is immediately removed or cooled down if its temperature exceeds 102ºF (39°C).
Men with spinal cord injuries are at particular risk for developing extremely high blood pressure (hyperflexia). In order to avoid this side effect, men consider to be at risk of this complication are given blood pressure medication beforehand.
SuccessChances of conception through this method are generally pretty good although they do vary according to the chosen method of insemination. Electrojaculation coupled with ICSI and IVF usually produce the best results, with a 44% to 88% conception rate.