We've all heard the stories about sperm—pineapple, hot springs, and allergic females. But what really is the truth? For the facts, we turned to the experts.
The biology of sex may seem even easier in one statement than the "birds and bees" metaphor.
Sperm is discharged from the penis, enters the vagina, and swims up the reproductive system, fertilizing the egg.
But it's not quite that easy. It was considered a huge scientific advance just 300 years ago when scientists proposed that a fully developed, little person inhabited the head of each sperm – completely discredited and incorrect.
Fortunately, as the human body has developed to enhance fertility potential over thousands of years, so has our scientific knowledge of sperm.
However, many of us continue to believe in several rather unscientific, long-standing sperm myths.
The male body is riddled with secrets. Why do males have to scratch their balls all the time? What precisely is the purpose of a foreskin? Why are flaccid penises so unattractive?
But the most important questions we have involve semen, which is also known as ejaculate, spunk, and a variety of other less printable titles.
Sure, we know it has sperm in it, but what else is in there? Why does it sometimes appear and smell different, and is it simply fiction that it's good for your skin?
We spoke with a men's health professional who revealed some very amazing information to help us address these and other concerns.
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Here are 10 of the most common facts:
1. From the start, it's fast and furious
Here's an example: According to board-certified urologist Harry Fisch, M.D., clinical professor of reproductive medicine at Cornell University's Weill Medical College, the initial instant of ejaculation includes the maximum concentration of sperm.
2. It lasts longer than you think
Sperm normally remains in your body for 48 hours after intercourse, but "it may stick around for as long as five days to a week," according to Fisch, depending on how "friendly" your cervical mucus is. Cervical mucus, it turns out, shields sperm and helps it remain in the body longer around ovulation, when you're most fertile.
3. Excessive sex or masturbation will not reduce a man's sperm count
Don't worry, he doesn't have a finite number of swimmers that he'll exhaust, according to reproductive endocrinologist Carrie Wambach, M.D., of the Southern California Reproductive Center in Los Angeles. However, she believes that frequent ejaculation may reduce the volume, but if he has a normal sperm count, this shouldn't have much of an effect.
4. His sperm count may be decreased if their temperature is too high
His sperm seems to change with the seasons. "Sperm count tends to be lowest in summer and greatest in winter," adds Fisch, since heat reduces sperm count. Overheating may be as subtle as your boyfriend having a hot Macbook on his lap or as evident as the two of you reclining in a hot Jacuzzi. "Sperm count may drop drastically in a Jacuzzi at 104 degrees or above," cautions Fisch. In fact, with significant overexposure to high temperatures, this decline may linger for months. "I warn my patients that if they're trying to have children, they shouldn't get into hot tubs." Of course, don't think you're completely immune from becoming pregnant after taking a plunge. “It’s not birth control,” he says with a giggle.
5. Pineapple Hasn't Been Proven to Improve His Taste
Unfortunately, scientists have not yet tested this one (can someone get on that?). Semen does include fructose (naturally occurring sugar), which gives it a little sweet flavour, but according to Fisch, there has never been true research on the relationship between items a man consumes and the taste of his swimmers. However, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to back up this claim, so if it appears to work for your spouse, we say go ahead and grab the pineapple.
6. Both male and female sperm are produced equally
Sperm may carry either the X or Y chromosome, but their chances of survival are the same, according to Fisch. It is a fallacy that one kind is hardier or swims faster than the other.
7. It is quite rare to be allergic to sperm.
We've all heard that women may be sensitive to sperm, producing irritation or redness, but Fisch and Wambach both stress that it's quite unusual. "I'd investigate for other causes first, such as a vaginal infection," Fisch explains. There was also one investigation on a sexually transmitted allergy to Brazil nuts (in which a woman became allergic to her partner's sperm after he ate the nuts). But, then again, such occurrences are quite uncommon. If you are allergic to anything, using a condom might help you avoid irritation.
8. Sperm Travels Through a Difficult Pathway Before the Grand Finale
Preparing all of the sperm ejected in a typical ejaculation takes around two and a half months. It begins in the testicles and progresses to the epididymis. The completely produced sperm then travels via the vas deferens and swings past the seminal vesicles, where it combines with a fluid to make sperm. Finally, just before ejaculation, the prostate supplies the final amount of fluid.
9. Your guy's health has an impact on his sperm
"Sperm may be healthier for guys under the age of 40," Wambach explains. “And they will surely be healthier in guys who avoid smoking, eating a high-fat diet, and being exposed to environmental toxins.” Keep that in mind if you’re planning to start or expand your family.
10. It has genuine nutrients
Sperm includes vitamin C, B12, ascorbic acid, calcium, citric acid, fructose, lactic acid, magnesium, zinc, potassium, salt, fat, and hundreds of different proteins. But don't stop taking your vitamins just yet.
The amount of genuine nutritious components is minimal, the majority of it is essentially water. What about caloric intake? If all of the lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates are taken into account, 34 teaspoons of sperm may only provide a few calories of nutrition.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Sperm
Is it true that sperm makes women happy?
You are joyful because of sperm. That's the startling finding of research that compared women whose partners use condoms to those whose partners don't. The research, which is certain to spark debate, found that women who were directly exposed to sperm were less sad.
How many times a week should a guy discharge sperm?
Every guy has a varied healthy ejaculation frequency. However, it is widely thought to be more than twice a week. This is the frequency that is regarded as typical and healthy, however, it is far from definitive. In truth, this is a figure that varies from person to person.
Is it possible for sperm to make you seem younger?
Although semen contains nutrients that may be helpful to the skin, there is no scientific evidence to support the assumption that applying semen to the skin or consuming it will enhance skin health and appearance.
How many times should sperm be released?
Researchers discovered that males between the ages of 40 and 49 who ejaculated more regularly had a decreased risk of prostate cancer. The men who were the least at risk ejaculated at least 21 times each month.
What effect does sperm have on a woman's body?
Studies have shown that seminal fluid stimulates the expression of a variety of genes in the cervix, including those affecting the immune system, ovulation, the receptivity of the uterine lining to an embryo, and even the development of the embryo itself.
What are the advantages of taking sperm?
Semen is a natural antidepressant. It increases memory and energy. Eating sperm is nutritional since it includes protein, calcium, lactic acid, potassium, and magnesium, resulting in better hair and skin. Taking sperm may also be beneficial to your relationship.
Does sperm help to gain weight?
Enzymes, sugar, water, protein, zinc, and sperm are all components of sperm. It contains relatively few calories and minimal nutritious value, and if consumed, will not cause weight gain.
It is critical to keep science ahead of myths. Some of these misconceptions stem from (wrong) beliefs of sperm superiority, but many of them also hide the truth that conception, like sex, is a far more engaged collaboration.
Believing these fallacies may potentially lead to a slew of false or harmful assumptions.
As an example:
- Misleading depictions of women as passive receptacles of sperm rather than equal partners in sexual intercourse.
- Emotions of inadequacy as a result of a low sperm count
- Criticizing one or both partners for not "pulling their weight" while attempting to conceive a child when so many other considerations must be addressed.
So all of these worthless sperm ideologies and myths should be abandoned, and science should be what we believe in since it has been established and tested.