Many couples may not think too much about sperm until something goes wrong–like fertility struggles or sperm allergies (yup, those are real). But sperm is full of surprises and complicated things you should know about. Here are 15 little-known facts about his seed.
Sperm vs semen
The two are actually not interchangeable, but many believe they are. Everyday Health tells us that sperm cells exist inside of semen. Semen, meanwhile, is that fluid that comes out of a man and carries sperm along with enzymes like protein and Vitamin C.
Sperm has a gender
Everyday Health also tells us that there are male and female sperm, and female sperm is potentially stronger than male sperm. Translation: a female sperm may be more likely to impregnate a woman than a male one.
The nutrition of semen
Human semen contains fructose, water, ascorbic acid, citric acid, enzymes, protein, zinc, and more according to the Huffington Post.
People are cooking with it
The Huffington Post mentions a book called Semenology, which provides recipes for semen cocktails. Natural Harvest is another book that offers semen-based recipes.
Men can be allergic to their own sperm
Time reported on studies that found that men can be allergic to their own sperm. Those who are may display flu-like symptoms after climaxing, but these can be treated by a doctor.
Drugs can slow down sperm
Illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin can cause sperm to be misshapen and move slowly, reducing the woman’s chances of pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic.
It can fight depression
According to the Daily Mail, consuming semen can help fight depression. Semen contains chemicals that can elevate the mood and even contains three anti-depressants.
It helps you sleep
The Daily Mail also tells us that semen contains sleep-inducing components like melatonin and serotonin.
It might fight breast cancer
MIT reported that a study found women who swallow semen once or twice a week on a regular basis may have less risk (by 40%) of developing breast cancer than those who don’t.
It fights aging
Natural News reports that semen promotes collagen production, which helps skin keep its elasticity and look younger. Semen also contains wrinkle-fighting spermine, a compound that fights free radicals.
It can keep flies alive
According to the National Institute of Health, spermidine, which is found in sperm, can prolong the life of yeast and even flies, which is why you should wash up soon after sex.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the shape of sperm helps increase one’s chances of becoming pregnant. Healthy sperm has an oval head and long tails that help move them forward.
Sperm count and movement matters
Mayo Clinic also tells us that a woman is most likely to become pregnant if her partner’s semen contains over 15 million sperm per millimeter and at least 40 percent of those sperm are moving.
Heat isn’t good for sperm
Things like saunas, hot tubs, laptops on laps, hot baths, and tight underwear can reduce sperm count according to the Mayo Clinic. Increased temperature over the scrotum is bad for sperm production.
Lubricants can slow down sperm
Lubricants can hinder sperm’s mobility. The Mayo Clinic suggests that those trying to conceive should use vegetable, safflower, or peanut oil if they need a lubricant.