Science Questions

What happens to sperm that isn't ejaculated?

Sun, 8th Nov 2009

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Natasha asked:

What happens to all the sperm that isnít ejaculated, where does it go and is it still healthy?


Chris -   Yes.  Itís a very good question; the testes make sperm at about 5000 sperm a second at peak. They put these sperm into what are called the seminal vesicles, " alt="Micrograph by scanning electron microscope of human sperm cells magnified 3140 times" />which are structures up inside the body, for storage until it is needed.

This is because sperm are best made at a slightly lower temperature than body tempearture, which is why the testes are outside the body, because the temperature there is about one degree lower.

But sperm are best stored and kept viable inside the body at "body temperature" - 37 degrees C. So this is why theyíre moved to the seminal vesicles. There theyíre nourished and have various components of semen added, which has got fructose, minerals and other sugars which keep the sperm healthy.

The sperm can survive there for quite a long period of time inside the body; but eventually they will senesce and they will age. And of course all the things that you take into your body, cigarette smoke, other toxins and things will damage the sperm potentially. 

So they have a sort of recycle time. And sperm that have reached their sell-by-date get broken down in the same way that, letís say, blood cells get broken down. And basically any of the nutrients and goodies in the sperm just get recycled back inside the body, and new sperm are produced to make up for the shortage.

Helen: -   So itís a kind of continual, sort of, replacement, really. 

Chris: -   Exactly.  Those that donít leave the body eventually break down, and their components are recycled.


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Doesn't it come out in wee wee ?..I'm sure I read that somewhere. neilep, Tue, 11th Aug 2009

I was told that it is reabsorbed back into the body but I do not remember who told me so it may not be accurate... Karen W., Tue, 11th Aug 2009

You're quite right Karen, it's broken down and reabsorbed.  I'm sure a biochemist will be along soon enough to tell us more... BRValsler, Tue, 11th Aug 2009

I'm a biochemist and I say it comes out with wee wee !!  neilep, Tue, 11th Aug 2009

If memory serves me right they are reabsorbed into the epididymis after approx months. However there is still some confusion over what happens tot he mature sperm that are in the vas deferens, some studies have said they degrade slowly, others have said they come out in the urine, but nothing conclusive to my knowledge.
As for healthy, there is some speculation that regular ejaculation can reduce the chance of prostate cancer. Variola, Tue, 11th Aug 2009

I always thought that wet dreams serve the purpose of clearing out the old sperm if they weren't ejaculated for too long and giving way to fresh new ones. (As wet dreams I mean the "spontaneous" ejaculation/orgasm during the sleep).
I searched it up on Wikipedia and it sais that it is not clear yet, what's the role of this phenomenon.
Pwee, Wed, 12th Aug 2009

Yep they do perform that function, but sometimes they don't always happen in men with a suppressed libido either from medicines or psychological reasons. Women have 'wet' dreams too so its not just for that reason, but it is one of them. Variola, Wed, 12th Aug 2009

WE DO???? LOL...LOL..

I have heard the same thing about chances of prostate cancer

Being reduced... I believe we have a thread here in the forum on that subject in a round about way! Karen W., Wed, 12th Aug 2009

I think they wander around all dispondant, with their hands in their pockets, kicking empty cans.  time-cop, Fri, 14th Aug 2009

No that's what happens to the men who can't get laid... Variola, Fri, 14th Aug 2009

Hi there, I like drinking the sperm of my boyfriend and I think all women must do the same as your hubby/boyfriend will remain healthy and happy as always! vandana mishap, Mon, 19th Nov 2012

Cut the craft guys, they stay in the body to make ur body healthy. Only ur mind wants to released it. jacob tolentino, Thu, 28th Feb 2013

I agree with jacob. dunesh, Fri, 17th Jan 2014

Is semen also recycled by the body? Bhush, Sun, 9th Feb 2014

To the baby cannibal Vandana mishap....keep your feeling to yourself, you are definitely not a girl. Totally Appalled, Sun, 9th Mar 2014

Quite right Variola; frequent ejaculation through intercourse or masturbation seems to confer a benefit of reduced risk of prostate cancer. See this article: Guest, Fri, 7th Nov 2014

After my bowel cancer op zero sperm or seamen from 16 years ago.  I guess the surgeon just connected up wrong.  I think it's re absorbed allan marsh, Fri, 7th Nov 2014

I wonder how the American anti abortion fanatics feel about all these poor sperm that don't get to perform the task that god intended for them syhprum, Sat, 8th Nov 2014

There is a technique in meditation training where you can reduced the urge of sex and control ejaculation before you get the wet dreams. The semen can also be reabsorbed back into the body and in turns become energy. Join this group if you are interested. jay, Mon, 9th Feb 2015

I know that this will jar you, but your sperm is always recycled and this is why you must put it out on the verge ready for collection. Interlineal P.E.Ruser_ P.robable E.rror., Fri, 13th Feb 2015

Um...actually, the epidymis is the structure for storage and maturation of sperm; not the seminal vesicles. It's the epidymis. The seminal vesicle only provides seminal fluid and non-cellular components of semen (prostaglandins, fructose sugar, seminal fluid, local regulators). So, it's not the seminal vesicle that stores semen or just sperm. There. Said it. AP Biology. Jake Kumar, Sat, 28th Mar 2015

so if sperms get reabsorbed into the body, dose it mean that additional nutrients are provided for the body? this idea of sperm recycling surely sounds like a positive thing for health, does it actually? henry, Thu, 10th Sep 2015

what about this? henry, Sun, 14th Aug 2016

I noticed that my sperms used to be lots more when ejaculated, now only little amount is ejaculated although I don't feel any weakness, any reason? Nate, Fri, 26th Aug 2016

What are the side effects of semen remaining in your body? Pfar, Tue, 8th Nov 2016

Yes do my body absorbs this nutrients? Mepoy, Mon, 14th Nov 2016

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