When a man reaches orgasm during sexual intercourse, his penis will ejaculate a milk-like substance that contains millions of sperms. This fluid is known as semen. Semen is actually made up of two things namely the sperm cells coming from the vas deferens and the seminal fluid. The seminal fluid is composed of the fluid coming from the prostate gland and the seminal vesicles. In a single ejaculation, a man averagely releases 50 to 500 million sperm cells. Nevertheless, this sperm count makes up only 2 to 5 percent of the total volume of the semen. Most of it is composed of the seminal fluid. However, during sexual intercourse, a certain type of fluid will be released first by the penis prior to semen. This fluid is called the precum or the pre-ejaculatory fluid. So what are the functions of the precum and does precum contain sperm?
What is Precum?
Precum or otherwise known as the preseminal fluid or the es is a clear, colorless and viscous fluid that is ejected from the urethra of the man’s penis during sexual arousal. This type of fluid is similar to semen based on its composition; however, there are still some significant differences in their chemical make-up. Does precum contain sperm? The presence of these cells in precum is actually considered very rare. Nevertheless, there are still some cases wherein concentrations of sperm cells in precum are high.
Main Function of Precum
Precum or pre-ejaculatory fluid is basically released from the man’s genitalia in order to act as a lubricant or acid neutralizer. The exact amount of precum is still unknown since this varies widely between individual men, but some are capable of producing as much as 5 ml of this viscous fluid. However, there are also rare cases wherein men do not produce any preseminal fluid during sexual arousal.
Acidic environments are considered to be hostile to sperm activity. Because of this, the precum is being released in order to help neutralize the residual acidity found in the urethra that is caused by the urine. This creates a more suitable environment for the sperm cells to pass. In addition to this, the vagina is normally acidic in nature, which is why the precum is also useful in balancing the acidity of the environment in order to prolong the survival of the sperm cells inside the vagina. Aside from neutralizing the acidity, the pre-ejaculatory fluid is also capable of lubricating the environment in order to provide better sensation during sexual intercourse. This likewise plays a role in semen coagulation.
The Origin of the Precum
Precum is not necessarily released only during sexual intercourse. When a man is aroused or even simply masturbates, precum can also be released by the penis. Foreplays and early stages of sex before a man reaches orgasm usually produce the precum prior to the release of the semen. This precum is a product of the bulbourethral glands or the Cowper’s glands as well as the glands of Littre.
Composition of Precum
The pre-ejaculatory fluid also contains chemicals that are associated with semen such as the acid phosphatase. Nevertheless, some markers in the semen are also completely absent from the precum such as the gamma-glutamyltransferase.
Possible Risks of Precum
In some recent studies, it has been demonstrated that pre ejaculatory fluid can also be infected with HIV. This type of STD can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. Aside from the possible health problem that precum could cause, this fluid can also cause pregnancy despite the low count of sperm cells. This is the reason why some people reject the use of the coitus interruptus or the withdrawal as an effective contraceptive method. Clearly a suitable condom is more effective for the prevention of both pregnancy and transmission of STD.
Nevertheless, some studies have also shown a different result which proves that precum does not contain any sperm cells. Some experts say that the presence of sperm cells in some pre ejaculatory fluid is said to be a result from the previous ejaculation of semen which leaves sperm cells on the urethral tract. The remaining spermatozoa; however, is washed off through urinating. In other rare cases, some men also tend to produce an excessive amount of pre ejaculatory fluid that can cause not only embarrassment but as well as irritation to the site.
These are just some of the important facts and details with regards to the pre-ejaculatory fluid that is commonly known as precum. In summary, we can conclude that precum varies its amount and sperm count from one case to another. However, some facts about this fluid will be considered constant such as it function and its possibility of carrying a disease.