Most of the fluid in semen consists of secretions from the male reproductive organs, including millions of sperm cells.
how much protein is in semen

Have you ever wondered what the make up of semen is?

As many of us already know, there are millions of little sperm cells, but did you know that actual nutrients are packed inside a single ejaculation, too?

Protein is one of them!

Today, we are finding out how much protein is in a load of semen. Follow along to find out!

In this article:

Note: Read the whole article or scroll down to the KEY TAKEAWAYS section at the end of this article for a short summary.

What's Semen and What's It Made Of?

Semen, or seminal fluid, is a sticky white-ish fluid produced and expelled by the male reproductive system.

As a man becomes sexually aroused, ejaculation occurs, which propels semen, and all its many components, out through the penis shaft.

So, what exactly are all these components?

Physical and Chemical Properties of Semen

The prostate gland, located under the bladder, makes about 25% of semen. Prostatic fluid comprises citric acid, calcium, phosphate, zinc, and magnesium.

Semen comprises a mixture of physical and chemical components from various organs.

Testes

First, we have the testicles, which produce sperm cells that makeup roughly 2-5% of all semen. Though it doesn't seem like a lot, there are anywhere between 20-100 million sperm cells per ml of ejaculate.

Seminal Vesicles

Next, we have the seminal vesicles, two coiled glands below the bladder beside the vas deferens. These small but mighty vesicles produce 70% of the semen, making up most of the essential nutrients.

Seminal fluid contains protein, amino acids, fructose, prostaglandins, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), phosphorus, potassium, and enzymes.

 

Prostate Gland

The prostate gland, located under the bladder, makes about 25% of semen. Prostatic fluid comprises citric acid, calcium, phosphate, zinc, and magnesium.

 

Bulbourethral Glands

Lastly, the bulbourethral glands (Cowper's gland), which sit neatly at the base of the penis, create less than 1% of semen. These glands produce a mucus layer which serves to lubricate the penis during sexual intercourse and is commonly referred to as pre-ejaculate fluid.

Component Percentage of Semen Volume
Testes 2-5%
Seminal Vesicles 70%
Prostate Gland 25%
Bulbourethral Glands <1%

How Much Protein Is in Human Semen?

On average, men ejaculate a volume of 1.5 - 5.0 ml of semen per ejaculation.

According to a 2013 study, researchers have found that the protein concentration of semen is 5,040 mg per 100 ml.

Milliliters of Semen Ejaculated Milligrams of Protein
1.0-1.5 ml 50.4 - 75.6 mg
2.0 ml 100.8 mg
3.0 ml 151.2 mg
4.0 ml 201.6 mg
5.0 ml 252 mg

 

Based on this information, there is anywhere between 75.6 - 252 mg of protein in an average volume of semen per ejaculation.

Interestingly, protein content between 20 - 60 mg per ml of semen is unrelated to sperm count.

ALSO READ: Semen Retention: Here's What To Know

Why Semen Quality Changes

What you do every day matters to your semen! Maintaining a healthy lifestyle involves regular exercise (i.e. weightlifting and cardio), low or moderate alcohol intake, and no smoking!

For those wondering what causes the quantity of semen to vary so widely, here are a few reasons that can explain this.

Age

It's natural for men to have less semen (therefore less protein in their semen) when they ejaculate as they get older.

There are several reasons for this:

  • Hormonal changes: with age, there is a gradual decline in testosterone production, which is a hormone that plays a role in sperm production
  • Seminal vesicle function: age can alter the functioning of men's seminal vesicles, which, in turn, leads to a significant drop in semen volume
  • Prostate health: The prostate is another contributor to semen composition, which can also be affected by age
  • Medical conditions: Some age-related medical conditions, such as chronic illness, obesity, and high blood pressure (along with their medications) can impact semen production

Diet

What you eat daily is another important factor that plays a role in the amount of semen you ejaculate.

According to research, eating a well-balanced diet mixed with plenty of protein is essential for sperm protein synthesis and the maintenance of healthy sperm cells.

Some of the best protein sources include lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy, seafood, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and quinoa.

Lifestyle

What you do every day matters to your semen! Maintaining a healthy lifestyle involves regular exercise (i.e. weightlifting and cardio), low or moderate alcohol intake, and no smoking!

It's also helpful to limit stress, as this is shown to cause testosterone imbalances in the body, which contributes to poor semen (and protein) quantities.

ALSO READ: Premature Ejaculation: A Man's Ultimate Guide

FAQs

What is in semen?

Semen is a unique body fluid that contains ingredients including amino acids, fructose, enzymes, citric acid, ascorbic acid (AKA vitamin C), phosphorylcholine, prostaglandins, potassium, calcium, and zinc.

How much protein is in semen?

There is roughly 50 mg of protein in every 1 ml of semen.

Is semen healthy to swallow?

Yes. Semen is made from organic material that is generally safe for everyone. On rare occasions, some people may experience an allergic reaction.

The most significant risk when performing oral sex and swallowing semen is getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as herpes, syphilis, or gonorrhea.

Does ejaculation cause protein deficiency?

No. Since the amount of protein in semen is relatively tiny, ejaculation will not change the protein content.

ALSO READ: What's your best sex position? Let's find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Semen is a unique bodily fluid that combines a blend of ingredients, including proteins, enzymes, and various other nutrients
  • The average amount of protein in semen can vary from one male to another
  • Many men experience changes in their semen composition due to factors like age, diet, and lifestyle choices
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Medical Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to give medical advice or substitute for the medical advice of a physician.

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