What Is in Semen?

Semen is the bodily fluid in the urethra of the penis which is released during ejaculation. This cloudy, white substance is created by secretions from the male reproductive organs. During ejaculation sperm will move through the ejaculatory ducts to mix with fluid from the prostate, seminal vesicles and bulbourethral glands, forming semen. What is in semen? How can you improve semen quantity and quality?

What Is in Semen?

The average semen volume in an ejaculation is 2-5ml. Semen from one ejaculation contain around 40-600 million sperm depending on the length of time the ejaculation lasts and the volume of the ejaculation.

Most of the fluids in semen are made from secretions of male reproductive organs. The contributions and components of semen are:


Approximate %




Around 200-500 million spermatozoa (sperm) are produced in the testes and released during ejaculation. Men that have undergone a vasectomy will not have sperm in their ejaculation.

Seminal vesicle


Citrate, amino acids, flavins, enzymes, fructose (2-5mg per mL of semen). This is the main energy source for sperm which rely on sugar from seminal plasma for energy. This also contains prostaglandins to suppress the female immune response against semen. Other contents are phosphorylcholine, vitamin C and proteins.



Citric acid, acid phosphatase, prostate specific antigen, zinc (the health level of zinc is around 135-140 micrograms per mL in healthy men), and proteolytic enzymes. Zinc helps to stabilize chromatin that contains DNA in sperm. Zinc deficiencies can lower fertility because sperm will become more fragile.

bulbourethral glands

Less than 1

Mucus which increases sperm mobility in the cervix and vagina by making the channel more viscous so the sperm can swim. Mucus also causes semen to have a jelly-like consistency. Other contents are sialic acid and pre-ejaculate.

Semen composition includes many items as shown in the above table, but largely relies on the following contents:

1. Protein

Semen contains free amino acids and albumin protein structures. Protein comes from the prostate but amino acids are stored in the seminal vesicles. Reviews have found that there is around 5040mg for every 100 mL of semen and albumin is around 1550mg. The overall percentage of these proteins in sperm is impossible to calculate because of different gravities in semen, but is appears as though it is around 50 percent by weight.

2. Fructose

Seminal fluid contains around 2-5mg of fructose which is higher in those that are more fertile. Fructose is used as fuel for sperm cells, so lower fructose levels can cause infertility. Fructolysis that breaks down fructose for energy consumption can increase the production of lactic acid.

3. Catecholamines

Three main catecholamines, noradrenaline, adrenaline and dopamine can be found in semen. The levels of these catechalomines correlate with beneficial semen parameters including sperm mobility, sperm count and overall fertility. This can also apply to the D-aspartic acid neurotransmitter that can be found in semen.

Can I Be Allergic to Semen?

1. Condition Description

Some people have been known to have a negative reaction to seminal fluid, a condition that is known as seminal plasma hypersensitivity. This can cause symptoms such as systemic or localized redness, swelling, blisters or vaginal itching within 30 minutes of contact. Generalized hives, itching or difficulty breathing may also occur.

2. How to Test

You can test for this condition by using a condom during intercourse to see if this stops symptoms from occurring. Mild allergic reactions can be overcome by repeat exposure to seminal fluid. You may need to speak to your doctor in severe cases, especially if you are trying to conceive. Artificial insemination may be necessary in this case.

What Are the Foods to Improve Semen Quality and Quantity?




Asparagus contains very high amounts of vitamin C that can prevent sperm oxidization and provides protection to testicle cells. Vitamin C can also prevent damage from free radicals that can cause disease.


Avocado is high in vitamin B6, vitamin E and folic acid that can increase sperm mobility and add strength that can make it easier to penetrate an egg.


Bananas contain an enzyme called bromelain that can help to regulate sex hormones. It also contains Vitamin A, vitamin B1 and Vitamin C which can increase stamina and boost the body’s ability to produce sperm.


Lean beef contains high amounts of zinc that can help to protect sperm from free radicals and prevent testosterone from converting to estrogen.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate has L-arginine HCL amino acids that can double semen volume and sperm count. Some report that this can also generate stronger, more intense orgasms.


Garlic increases blood flow because it contains allicin that prevents plaque from building up in the arteries. It can also boost the endurance and strength of sperm. Garlic contains vitamin B6 and selenium that can regulate hormones and prevent sperm damage.


Ginseng increases sexual performance and libido as well as improving blood flow to the testicles, helping to eliminate erectile dysfunction.


Oysters are very high in zinc which is essential for healthy sperm. This can help to improve sperm production and repair sperm that have been damaged.


Pomegranates contains ingredients that lower malondialidehyde, a chemical that can destroy sperm. It also contains antioxidants that destroy free radicals.


Walnuts are high in arginine which increase semen volume and sperm production. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids that can increase blood flow to the penis.

Should I Worry about Blood in Semen?

Blood in semen is known as hematospermia which can be undetectable with the human eye or may be visible in the fluid. This can be the result of an infection, inflammation, injury or a blockage in the male reproductive tract. This could also signal a problem with the testicles, urethra, prostate or epididymis. Hematospermia should clear up without treatment or with a mild course of antibiotics. If this condition persists further analysis of the semen or urogenital system may be necessary.

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