Imipramine for successful treatment of retrograde ejaculation caused by retroperitoneal surgery

Int J Androl. 1999 Jun;22(3):173-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2605.1999.00165.x.


Retrograde ejaculation is a known complication following retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. Without further therapy, achieving paternity may be impossible. We evaluated the use of the tricyclic antidepressant imipramine in a new ovarian cycle-dependent dose regime for reversal of retrograde ejaculation in 11 patients desiring fertility. Ten patients with retroperitoneal lymph node dissection performed because of testicular cancer, and one with aortic surgery (thromboendarterectomy) were treated in an open, uncontrolled study with imipramine given at a daily oral dose increasing from 25 to 50 mg for 7 days prior to the planned ejaculation or the expected ovulation of the female partner. In all 11 patients, antegrade ejaculation could be induced (sperm counts: 3.9-276.0 x 10(6)/mL). Major side-effects were not observed, but half of the patients complained of minor degrees of dizziness, weakness, nausea or sweating during medication. Under treatment, two patients with normal sperm concentrations induced a spontaneous pregnancy. One ICSI cycle each was performed in 2 patients, with successful fertilization, out no pregnancy. In conclusion, temporary oral intake of imipramine is an effective and safe treatment to re-establish antegrade ejaculation in patients with retrograde ejaculation following retroperitoneal surgery, thus providing possibilities for paternity either through intercourse or by assisted fertilization.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / adverse effects
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / therapeutic use*
  • Ejaculation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imipramine / adverse effects
  • Imipramine / therapeutic use*
  • Infertility, Male / drug therapy*
  • Infertility, Male / etiology
  • Infertility, Male / psychology
  • Lymph Node Excision / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Pregnancy
  • Teratoma / surgery
  • Testicular Neoplasms / surgery


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Imipramine