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12 facts about sperm everyone should know

Class is in session.

NO SNIGGERING DOWN the back, here are some need-to-know facts about sperm:

1. The average ejaculation comes to a teaspoon of sperm

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Of course, it varies between men naturally and because of certain circumstances – but science has prevailed and tested the average amount.

This Oakland University study gets into the nitty gritty of it:

A fertile male human ejaculates between 2 and 5 millilitres (ml) of semen (on average about a teaspoon).

2. But sperm only makes up 5% of what comes out

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Yes, 95% of what comes out isn’t sperm. The rest of the semen contains all sorts from amino acids, proteins, sugars and vitamin C.

Given that only 5% of what comes out is from a man’s testes – the rest comes from elsewhere in the body.

So now.

3. That’s still 280 million sperm per ejaculate

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Not bad going for the little guys.

How much sperm is produced is directly related to how long it’s been since the last evacuation. More sperm – sometimes up to 400 million – come out “following periods of abstinence.”

4. A tablespoon of semen contains around 20 calories

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So, given everything in these studies seems to be measured in spoons, that’s how calories were done. A tablespoon is three times bigger that a teaspoon, so this means the average avalanche contains just 7 calories.


5. Sperm dies as it dries out and is also killed by fresh water

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The quicker the sperm dries on a surface, the quicker it dries. It also gets killed by water from something called osmotic shock. Interesting.

6. But inside someone, it can stay alive for up to five days

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It’s usually closer to two days, but the truest swimmers will stick around for up to five.

7. The more you exercise, the more sperm you produce

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Those little guys respond well to exercise – and those people that exercise a lot have the highest sperm counts.

8. And the older you get, the less fertile the sperm is

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A collection of 90 separate studies, conducted with 94,000 men, showed that the rate of decline in fertility usually kicks in after the age of 35 for some, and after the age of 40 for others.

9. Sperm stays cooler than the rest of the body

shutterstock_223574527 Shutterstock / Tymonko Galyna Shutterstock / Tymonko Galyna / Tymonko Galyna

The very reason the testes are located outside the body is to keep sperm at a cooler temperature to the rest. It’s a well established fact that a man’s testicular region is outside the body to allow the sperm to remain cool – meaning it’s at the optimum temperature for fertility.

10. There are no health benefits to sperm whatsoever

shutterstock_288800156 Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov / Andrey_Popov

Whether applying it to your skin or indeed swallowing it – there are no purely scientific studies out there that prove it does you any good:

While some people advocate applying semen to the skin, the justifications provided for this practice are often questionable and may result in more harm than good for individuals

11. What you eat affects your sperm’s speed

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Firstly, and most importantly, diets that are high in saturated fats will lead to a lower sperm count and lower fertility.

12. And what you eat affects what the sperm tastes like too

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The BBC braved the scientific landscape to prove what we all kind of know to be true – that what you eat can have a serious impact on how that sperm tastes.

The Kinsey Institute identified the most common foods that are cited to improve the taste. They include:

Fruit, especially citrus like oranges and grapefruit and pineapple. Parsley, wheatgrass, and celery.

The most commonly referenced substances that will make your semen taste rotten are:

Caffeine, cigarettes, preservatives, onions, garlic and red meat.

*all men swiftly change diets*

More 10 myths about sex that are absolutely not true>

More 10 facts about periods everyone should know>

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