Facts About Ejaculation

Understanding Sperm, Semen, and Male Fertility

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Ejaculation is the typical culmination for the male during self-stimulation or partner play. How it occurs, what makes up semen, and how it is produced are common questions. Learn the facts about ejaculate.

Composition

Ejaculation occurs when semen is released from the penis, usually during orgasm. Before this occurs, however, a small amount of pre-ejaculate is typically released. This pre-ejaculate also referred to as pre-cum, drips from the head of your penis when you are aroused.

It is made up of one to two drops of alkaline fluid from the Cowper's glands (the two small glands beneath the prostate). Its alkalinity neutralizes the acidity that remains in the urethra from recent urination.

After the emergence of pre-ejaculate, that final, orgasmic explosion marks the final stage of male sexual arousal. While not every erection necessarily leads to ejaculation, when it does, semen flows from the urethra, first in a gush and then, eventually, diminishing in volume.

Ejaculate, also known as semen, is made up of 90 percent water. Its milky opalescent is created by the sperm contained in the seminal fluid. The opacity tends to increase with higher sperm concentrations (as measured by the sperm count).

Sixty-five percent of the semen present in an ejaculation comes from the seminal vesicles. Thirty-five percent comes from the prostate, giving the semen its characteristic smell. Five percent of your ejaculate is made up of other fluids in the body.

Ejaculation

While ejaculate can be used as a noun, it is also a verb by which you ejaculate semen (expel the semen through the urethra in powerful muscular contractions.

When you orgasm, you will ejaculate an average of 2 milliliters (mL) to 3 mL of semen, roughly a small teaspoon. Other mammals ejaculate far more, including the wild boar male which produces a half-liter (around 2 cups) per ejaculation.

Putting quantity aside for a moment, some men can ejaculation up to three feet or more. Don't worry, however, if you feel your own ejaculate isn't going the distance. The average distance that ejaculate can travel is about 7 to 10 inches (17 to 25 centimeters).

Multiple Orgasms

Multiple orgasms are rarer for men than they are for women. The ability to have repeated ejaculation varies considerably from man to man and begins to decline almost immediately once puberty is complete. Within a period of one to two hours, most men can have only one ejaculation.

There are some who can have a second ejaculation within those two hours and, on rare occasions, there are those who can have three or four. Alfred Kinsey, a well-known sex researcher, recorded one man who was able to ejaculate six to eight times in a single session, but this is very rare.

Fertility

The volume and distance of ejaculation don't have any bearing on your ability to impregnate your partner. In fact, you can achieve conception with just a tiny bit of semen. This is why coitus interruptus (withdrawing before orgasm) may still lead to pregnancy.

Generally speaking, a sperm count of under 39 million per ejaculation or 15 million per milliliter lowers your odds of a successful conception. It doesn't mean you won't get pregnant or that there aren't assisted means to improve your odds.

If you are struggling with fertility, a semen analysis will reveal if any aspect of your semen may be a contributing factor.

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