Ejaculation is a natural and integral part of human sexuality, whether for making babies or simply for pleasure. However, ejaculation is often shrouded in myths and misconceptions that are rarely discussed. This leaves lots of people scratching their heads over unanswered ejaculation-related queries.
That’s why we’re here - to break down the taboos and answer your questions! In this article, prepare to be surprised by five fascinating facts about ejaculation, from the recommended ejaculation frequency to sperm survival time and female ejaculation.
1. Ejaculating every other day could improve prostate health
The frequency of ejaculation is a topic that has intrigued men (and researchers) for some time. While there is no set frequency for how often a man should ejaculate, a recent study found that men who ejaculated more than 21 times per month had a 19% lower risk of prostate cancer than those who ejaculated 4 to 7 times per month.
On the other hand, ejaculating too frequently (e.g. multiple times a day) may lead to discomfort and lower semen volume. However, this usually does not cause any long-term damage to overall health.
Ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how often a man needs to ejaculate. Instead, it's important for men to find a balance that works for them, considering their physical and emotional needs. Open communication with a partner can also help determine the right frequency for a satisfying and healthy sex life.
2. Women can also ejaculate
While ejaculation is often associated with male sexual pleasure, women can also experience a form of ejaculation. This phenomenon, which involves the release of fluid from the female genital tract during sexual arousal and orgasm, has caused controversy and confusion among scientists for many years. To this day, why female ejaculation happens is still a bit of a mystery. According to one study, the fluid may have antibacterial properties to help protect the urethra from infections.
So, is female ejaculation the same as squirting?
Research suggests that female ejaculation and squirting are different things. Squirting involves expelling a larger amount of transparent fluid, similar to urine, which originates from the bladder. Female ejaculation involves expelling a lower volume secretion of thicker fluid from the paraurethral glands, which contains a high concentration of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). So, while they both involve fluids during sexual excitement, they are thought to be different phenomena.
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Regardless of why it exists, ejaculation is a real and natural part of some women's sexual experiences. Like male ejaculation, it can be a source of great pleasure.
3. You can still get pregnant if no ejaculation occurs
One of the most common misconceptions about ejaculation is that it's required for pregnancy to occur. But pay attention, folks, because this is not true and catches many people out!
During sexual intercourse, sperm can be released from the penis before ejaculation, in pre-ejaculatory fluid, or "pre-cum". Pre-ejaculate is a clear, lubricating fluid that can contain sperm.
This means that even if a man withdraws before ejaculating (also known as the pull-out method), there's still a risk of pregnancy.
To avoid unintended pregnancies, it's important to use reliable methods of contraception. Condoms, birth control pills, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and other forms of contraception can help prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation, fertilisation or implantation.
4. Sperm can survive for days after ejaculation
Sperm cells are delicate, requiring specific conditions to remain viable for fertilisation. Depending on the environment, sperm can survive for varying lengths of time, though they are generally quite sensitive to factors like temperature, pH, and exposure to air.
In a woman's reproductive tract, sperm may survive for up to seven days! This means that if you have unprotected sex around ovulation, there’s a chance you could get pregnant. Understanding and tracking the menstrual cycle and the timing of ovulation can be helpful for couples trying to conceive or avoid pregnancy.
Outside of the body, on hard surfaces or in open air, sperm's survival time is much shorter. Exposure to air and temperature fluctuations can quickly reduce sperm viability. This is why sperm must be carefully preserved for use in assisted reproductive therapies, like in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
5. There are millions of sperm in one ejaculation
The number of sperm present in one ejaculation can vary widely from person to person and depends on factors such as a man's age, overall health, lifestyle, and even recent sexual activity. According to the Family Planning Association, a single ejaculation is approximately 5 mL of fluid, the equivalent of a teaspoon, and contains roughly 100 million sperm!
This may seem like a lot, but many sperm are necessary due to the challenging journey they face to fertilise an egg. Their first hurdle is the vagina’s natural acidity, which makes an inhospitable environment for sperm, meaning many of the troops don’t make it. Those that do must then navigate to the correct fallopian tube at the right time and in good enough condition to fertilise the egg. These challenges can explain why it can sometimes take a while to conceive.
The subject of ejaculation is intriguing, to say the least! Hopefully, we have clarified certain misconceptions and given you some interesting facts you never thought you needed to know.
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