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Rectal electroejaculation (REE)

Details the procedure for rectal electroejaculation.

How is electroejaculation performed?

The procedure is performed as a day case surgery usually under a general anesthetic. However, in men with spinal cord injury (SCI) it may be performed without anesthetics (although about 5% of these men may require a general anesthetic). The procedure takes about 15 minutes.

The man usually lies in his right side. A metal or plastic tube (proctoscope) is lubricated and inserted into his rectum to inspect the lining of the rectum. A special probe is inserted into the rectum, the probe is attached to an electric stimulation power unit through which electric stimulation is delivered. The power is increased gradually until ejaculation occurs. At the same time an assistant will apply massage to the prostate gland and milk the urethra to obtain the ejaculate. At the end of the procedure, another proctoscope is inserted to check for any burn injury in the rectum caused by the hot rectal probe.

Like any surgical procedure there are a few potential problems. Autonomic hypereflexia (very high blood pressure) is a potentially severe complication to any spinal cord injured man. Because the normal defenses which protect against a sustained high blood pressure during orgasm are lost. This can have serious consequences such as brain hemorrhage. For this reason, SCI men are usually given pills to lower their blood pressure before they undergo rectal electroejaculation (REE). Other problems that may occur include burn injury and complications associated with the general anesthesia.

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