What your semen says about your health

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Semen is a cloudy white body fluid that is secreted from the urethra and penis during ejaculation . It is made up of motile sperm (called sperm) and a nutrient-rich fluid called semen. Semen is designed to carry sperm and increase your fertility.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about sperm.

How is sperm produced?

Sperm are produced in the testes, stored in the epididymis, and make up less than 10% of sperm, a fact that might surprise you. During ejaculation, a thick-walled tube called the vas deferens carries sperm from the epididymis to the urethra and then out of the body or into the vagina through the penis.

When sperm pass through the vas deferens, three different glands secrete mucus (called semen) that combines with sperm to form sperm. These three glands, often called accessory gonads, are the bulbourethral glands (also called Cooper's glands), the prostate gland, and the seminal vesicles.

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Cowper's glands

The first portion of semen (about 5%) consists of the secretions of Cooper's glands. These pea-sized glands produce what is called pre-ejaculation fluid, which is a small amount of fluid that is released before ejaculation. This fluid lubricates the urethra and neutralizes acidity, allowing sperm to move easily.

Prostate

About 15% to 30% of sperm are produced by the prostate gland, a walnut-sized gland located at the base of the bladder that surrounds the man's urethra . The prostate gland is the main source of acid phosphatase, citric acid, inositol, calcium, zinc, and magnesium.

All of these unique ingredients come into play. For example, zinc is considered an antibacterial agent. Interestingly, some experts believe that this may be one of the reasons that urinary tract infections are not as common in men compared to women .

The prostate gland also secretes enzymes that dilute semen between 15 and 30 minutes after ejaculation. This liquefaction process allows the sperm to be released slowly.

The sperm can then enter the cervix and move up the female reproductive system in an orderly fashion with the ultimate goal of finding an egg to fertilize.

Seminal vesicles (seminal glands)

Approximately 65% to 75% of semen is produced by the seminal vesicles, which are located above the prostate gland at the base of the bladder and contain components such as fructose (sugar) and prostaglandins.

Fructose nourishes the sperm and provides them with energy. Prostaglandins help induce vaginal muscle contraction to propel sperm through the vaginal canal and through the cervix.

Clotting factors are also present in the fluid secreted by the seminal vesicles. This causes the semen to clump together, forming a jelly-like consistency immediately after ejaculation.

The purpose of the blood clotting process is to hold the sperm in place until they can be slowly released during the liquefaction process (controlled by enzymes secreted by the prostate gland).

What is the smell and taste of semen?

Semen often has a chlorine smell and a slightly sweet taste due to its high fructose content. That said, the taste of semen tends to vary slightly from person to person.

If your semen smells bad, see your doctor, as this is usually a sign of infection.

How much ejaculation?

The volume of semen released during ejaculation varies from study to study, although a review study in the Journal of Andrology suggests an average volume of approximately 3.4 ml. Also , two factors that can affect the volume of semen during ejaculation include the last time. you have ejaculation and a state of hydration.

What does the color of semen indicate?

Normal semen can be whitish or slightly yellowish in color.

Red or brown semen

If your semen is red or brown, it could be a sign of blood. While this may sound concerning to you, in most cases, the blood in your semen (called hematospermia) is usually benign.

The most common cause of this is a prostate biopsy, but it can also be due to a variety of other conditions that affect the organs of the male reproductive system, such as infection. In rare cases, blood in semen is a sign of cancer.

The good news is that hematospermia usually goes away on its own. However, it is important to have it checked by your healthcare professional. They will most likely ask you questions, perform an exam (especially the scrotum and prostate), and perform an exam.

Yellow or green semen

Sperm with a pronounced yellow or green color may indicate an infection, such as sexually transmitted gonorrhea (STI). If your semen becomes discolored due to a gonorrhea infection (it may also have a foul odor), you will need a course of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.

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Your semen is not as easy as you might think. It has many components, each of which plays a role in enhancing reproduction: Your sperm reaches the ovulated egg.

However, it is important to note that the liquid portion is not absolutely critical for fertilization, as evidenced by intracytoplasmic sperm injection, in which a sperm is injected into the egg.

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about your semen, ask your doctor, and don't be embarrassed, this is what they are trained to do.

Frequently asked questions

  • In fact, diet can affect sperm quality and therefore fertility. Studies have shown that a diet rich in processed meats, trans fats, soybeans, fatty dairy products, and foods that contain pesticides reduces the quality of sperm, including its shape, quantity, and motility. The good news is that a diet rich in fish, fruits and vegetables, and nuts improves sperm quality.

  • The average life cycle of sperm is 74 days. After the testes produce sperm, it takes time for them to fully mature. This process takes 2.5 to 3 months.

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