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DocSpot: Too little semen

Dear Dr Margaret
When I ejaculate I don’t seem to produce much? What is wrong?

You don’t say what your age is. Also, you don’t say whether you used to produce more semen in the past, or whether you have always had this problem.

Firstly, are you sure that you produce an abnormally small amount? The average amount is between 2 mL and 3 mL, but this depends very much on age. Young men produce more. A 50-year-old man would produce only about four-fifths of the amount he did when he was 30. There is nothing much you can do about this age-related decline – it is perfectly normal.
There seem to be two things you can do to increase the volume of ejaculate slightly. One is to have sex less often. A research study found that the volume of ejaculated fluid was 0.5 mL greater in men who had not had sex nor masturbated during the previous 5 days. The other is not to smoke. The link between smoking and infertility hit the headlines a couple of weeks ago, but smoking also seems to make a big difference to the actual volume of semen. In the research study, men who had never smoked produced over 1 mL more semen than the smokers.
If you have never produced a normal amount of semen, or you have the sensation of ejaculation but nothing comes out, you should see your doctor and obtain a referral to a urologist. You might have a blockage or you might have retrograde ejaculation. In this condition, the semen goes backwards into the bladder instead of squirting out and, if you pass urine after sex, it may be cloudy because of the semen. We will be publishing a new section on retrograde ejaculation, and updating all the other ejaculation sections next month (March 2004).

Information source

Eskenazi B, Wyrobek AJ, Sloter E et al. The association of age and semen quality in healthy men. Human Reproduction 2003;18:447–54.

Last updated; Sunday, August 30th 2020

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