13 Things You Need To Know About Semen

Photographed by Kate Anglestein.
There are almost as many things to know about semen as there are individual sperm inside of it.
Sure, we often talk about semen in the context of the reproductive process, but not everyone having sex is doing so with the goal of pregnancy. There's a whole world of semen beyond fertilization, and if you find yourself in frequent contact with it, you might have some questions. Where does it come from? What does it say about a person's health? Is it actually okay to swallow it?
To answer these questions, we spoke to Philip Werthman, MD, urologist and director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Vasectomy Reversal in Los Angeles, and Jen Caudle, DO, family physician and assistant professor at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, NJ. They helped break down all of the important facts about semen (like what exactly it even is), as well as dispel some common myths.
Ahead, 13 facts you need to know about semen.
The gap between what we learned in sex ed and what we're learning through sexual experience is big — way too big. So we're helping to connect those dots by talking about the realities of sex, from how it's done to how to make sure it's consensual, safe, healthy, and pleasurable all at once. Check out more, here.

More from Sex & Relationships

R29 Original Series