July 6th, 2017
Semen is a thick whitish fluid that is discharged from the penis during the process of ejaculation. The semen comprises of spermatozoa, mobile sperm cells and seminal fluid (a thin fluid that is rich in essential nutrients for sperm survival and is secreted by seminal vesicles). The seminal fluid enhances the fertility of spermatozoa and helps in the transportation of sperm cells.
Sperm cells production occurs within the testicles. Epididymis stores these cells along with very small amounts of this fluid i.e. below 10% of the total volume. A duct called Vas deferens transfers the sperm cells from urethra to the penis, and through penis, these cells are transported into the vagina during the act of sexual intercourse.
The transportation of sperm cells from the vas deferens is facilitated by mucous that is secreted from 3 primary glands (and collectively referred to as seminal fluid).
These glands are listed below:
Semen smells like chlorine and has a mild sweet taste because of the presence of high fructose content in the semen.
During ejaculation, the volume this fluid released with the ejaculate may vary. On an average, the semen volume varies between 2.5 to 4.5 ml (or 3.4 ml.) The volume of this fluid is affected by the hydration status of the body as well as time elapsed between the previous ejaculations.
Semen is usually whitish in color however if it is brown or red, it may indicate the presence of blood, a condition referred to as hematospermia. Usually it is not a serious condition as in most cases, the origin of blood in this fluid is usually benign. The contributing factors may be:
Fortunately, hematospermia requires no special treatment but consulting the doctor nevertheless may help in ruling out other serious ailments.
Semen with a definite green or yellow color may be a red flag for infection such as STI (Sexually transmitted infection) like gonorrhea. If upon diagnosis the doctor reveals that the cause of discoloration is gonorrheal infection, then he may prescribe necessary antibiotics for the treatment. Having foul smelling semen also indicates any presence of infection.
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