Where is Semen Produced in the Body?
The Ingredients Of Male Ejaculate
Contrary to popular belief, male ejaculate is not produced exclusively in the testicles. Your testicles are responsible for producing sperm cells that swim in the seminal fluid that is produced in multiple different glands in the male reproductive system. In fact, sperm cells make up only about 1% to 5% of male ejaculate by volume. The remaining 95%+ of ejaculated seminal fluid is there to help propel, feed, and protect those precious sperm cells while they seek an egg to fertilize.
“In fact, sperm cells make up only about 1% to 5% of male ejaculate by volume.”
Seminal fluid (semen) is actually produced in a variety of different locations including the testes (1-5%), prostate gland (25-30%), seminal vesicle (65-70%), and the bulbourethral glands (less than 1%).
If we were to use an analogy comparing the male reproductive system to a river system, the testicles would be the headwaters, the epididymus would be a small holding pond for the sperm, the seminal vesicles would be the first tributary stream, the prostate gland would be the second tributary stream, the bulbourethral glands would be the final tributary stream, and the tip of the penis would be the outflow. Strange analogy, but it works.
Testicles: Sperm Cells – Spermatogenesis
Starting with the production of sperm cells in the testicles, the process of making semen has begun.
Sperm cells are produced in the seminiferous tubules of the testicles (which make up the bulk of each testicle) and then stored in a structure on the testes called the epididymus. From there they travel up the vas deferens – the long skinny tube that is the target of ‘the snip’ when a man has a vasectomy procedure performed.
The male reproductive system is constantly making sperm from the time that a man enters puberty until the day he dies. For much of his life, a man’s testes are producing an astounding 200-300 million sperm cells every day. That’s close to 3000 sperm cells every second!
It takes almost 3 months for a sperm cell to mature from a germline stem cell to functional sperm cells that are capable of fertilizing a female’s egg.
Seminal Vesicles: The Biggest Contributor at 50-80%(!)
These specialized glands are responsible for over half of the fluid that you ejaculate as semen. The identical pair of seminal vesicles are located deep inside the male body – tucked behind the urinary bladder and just above the prostate gland – each one is 5-10cm in length and they secrete a clear or slightly yellow sticky fluid that serves a number of different purposes.
Because sperm cells thrive in an alkaline environment, the secretions from seminal vesicles are typically in the pH range of 7.0-8.0. Sperm cells need fuel, and the seminal vesicles provide it in the form of plenty of fructose (sugar). Also found in seminal vesicle fluid is proteins, enzymes, vitamin C, potassium, prostaglandins, and other sperm-helping compounds.
A small amount of fluid is constantly stored in the seminal vesicles, and as a man gets aroused they will start producing more in anticipation of ejaculation. It has been suggested that if you increase the length of time you’re erect and aroused, you will increase the amount of fluid that is produced. That’s why some of the biggest ejaculations come from abstaining (to build stores) as well as prolonged sexual arousal (edging).
Unlike the prostate gland, the seminal vesicles can not be stimulated manually.
Prostate Gland: More Fluid & Orgasmic Contractions
The prostate gland is the size of a large walnut or golf ball. It secretes a whitish milky fluid that gives semen it’s characteristic white color and makes up about a quarter to a third of the total volume of an ejaculation.
Prostatic fluid is rich in nutrients such as zinc and calcium, as well as enzymes such as PSA (Prostatic Specific Antigen), proteins, hormones, citric acid, prostaglandins, lipids, and many more compounds aimed at ensuring optimal heath of the sperm cells. It is slightly alkaline, having an optimal pH range of 7.0-8.0.
The prostate is made up of almost 30% muscle mass and it is also partly responsible for the “feel good” orgasm contractions that propel spurts of semen out of the penis during ejaculation. Some men report increased orgasm intensity by stimulating their prostate either through the anus or by putting pressure on the perinium (the area between the scrotum and anus).
The prostate gland unfortunately has a bad reputation for causing health problems in men as we get older. Approximately 50% of men aged 50 and above have an enlarged prostate caused by a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Cancer of the prostate is second only to lung cancer in terms of cancer deaths, and is in the top ten among causes of male death.
Bulbourethreal Glands: Pre-Ejaculate Lubricant
Also known as the Cowper’s glands, these two glands are the last to contribute to ejaculation. Each roughly the size of a pea, they are located below the prostate gland near the base of the penis. They do not contribute much if anything to the volume of ejaculate released, instead they play a special role in preparing the urethra for ejaculation.
The bulbourethreal glands are responsible for pre-ejaculate (or pre-cum). This clear slippery substance lubricates the urethra for ejaculation and neutralizes any remaining traces of acidic urine. It is slippery enough to be used as lubrication for sex, but often there isn’t a significant enough amount of pre-ejaculate available.
Finding a way to increase pre-ejaculate is a common desire among men of all ages. Since these glands can’t be stimulated manually, we can only try to provide optimal conditions for them to produce maximum pre-ejaculate during sex or masturbation. Remaining well hydrated is important. Edging, or staying as close to orgasm as possible without ejaculating, for as long as possible is generally the best way to produce lots of pre-cum.
What Are The Ingredients Of Semen?
Very simply put, seminal fluid is primarily comprised of water, proteins, fructose, and . There are of course many other components, such as minerals, vitamins, and various other micronutrients.
If you’re looking to increase your semen production, often it’s easiest to find any limiting factors that might be hindering healthy semen production. Constant dehydration could be a restricting factor for healthy semen production. A lack of nutrients such as Zinc or a vitamin deficiency might hinder proper sperm development.