Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images
A series of ducts comprise the male reproductive system, including the vas deferens, the seminal vesicle duct and the ejaculatory duct. The term "seminal duct" usually refers to any of the ducts within the male genitals responsible for carrying semen. A seminal duct blockage can occur, resulting in a partial or total reduction in sperm count and is one of the possible causes of male infertility. Sexually transmitted diseases, prostatitis, cysts and other conditions induce seminal duct blockage.
Sexually Transmitted Disease
Certain sexually transmitted diseases can cause dysfunctions of the seminal ducts. Chlamydia, for example, provides one possible origin of seminal blockage. Though simple treatments exist for chlamydia, it infects more people than any other STD in the United States, possibly because it also exhibits the least obvious symptoms. The disease may go untreated for an extended time, giving it an opportunity to scar the ejaculatory ducts or leave calcium build-up called calcifications. Seminal blockage may also be indicative of gonorrhoea, among other STDs. Specialised antibiotics treat most of these conditions.
A cyst may develop along the prostate or the ejaculatory ducts, which can block semen from free flow. A cyst is a biological sac of fluid that can arise in any place throughout the body without notice or substantial causation. Reasons that cysts may arise include tumours, infections, embodied fluids, chronic inflammatory conditions or genetic influences. Thus, not only can cysts cause seminal blockage, but they also can potentially arise from an already existing blockage of the duct fluid. Treatments involve surgery or dehydrating the cyst, depending on its location and nature.
The seminal duct runs through the prostate, so if the prostate swells it can block the ducts. Prostatitis describes general inflammation of the prostate gland. Different types of prostatitis exist, but not all cause seminal duct blockage; for example, asymptomatic prostatitis exhibits no symptoms and is not considered a threatening or restrictive condition. However, prostatitis may develop from bacteria, both acute such as from STDs, or chronic infections which are also responsible for bladder infections. The most common cause of prostatitis-associated seminal blockage is chronic prostatitis without infection. The exact cause of this condition remains unknown and treatments typically include over-the-counter medications.
Cancer can cause a tumour to grow within the seminal duct, blocking the duct and inhibiting free passage of semen. This type of condition closely relates to the cyst in its mechanisms. However, cancer severely increases the health risk associated with a blocked seminal duct, posing an eminent threat to an individual's well being. Typically this situation necessitates surgery regardless of the tumour's location.
- The Free Dictionary: Seminal Duct
- El Camino Urology Medical Group Inc.: Ejaculatory Duct Obstruction and TURED
- Medscape: Ejaculatory and Sexual Dysfunction: Examining Male Infertility
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Sexually Transmitted Diseases -- Chlamydia
- MedicineNet.com: Prostititis
- MedicineNet.com: Cysts
- Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images