( By Dr. Vithal Prabhu )

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Semen (Dhaat)

When the male receives sexual stimulation, the penis becomes long, erect and rigid. A colourless, sticky secretion from the pea-sized Cowper’s glands comes out of urethral opening. This serves as a lubricant. If the stimulation continues, it culminates into an “Orgasm”, the summit of the sexual pleasure. Ogasm is explosive and is associated with expulsion of “semen” through the urethra. This process of expulsion of semen is called “Ejaculation.” All the organs come back to normal after ejaculation. There are several myths and misconceptions about the semen. This fluid is considered to be very precious and vital. Every drop of semen is supposed to be formed out of 50 drops of blood. Therefore, loosing it in sleep (nocturnal emission) or during a waking state by masturbation is supposed to be devitalising and harmful. Loss of semen is also supposed to cause weakness, backache, pimples, insomnia and madness. Boys get carried away by this misinformation given by their friends or received through unscientific books. Nothing of the above is true. Semen, like tears, saliva, perspiration is made for throwing out of the body. Its loss does not cause any harm. There is no fixed stock of semen in the body.

The sex glands, like a spring of water, continue to secrete their secretions, which mix up to form semen. If the semen is not thrown out periodically, during the waking state, the nature thorws it out during the sleep. This is called - “Nocturnal Emission” or “Wet dreams.” This is not harmful. This is the way the nature tries to maintain the functioning of the sex glands. “Use it, or loose it” is the rule of nature.

Semen is the mixture of the secretions from the seminal vesicles and prostate gland along with the sperms. The sperms remain in a dormant state till they get mixed up with these secretions. These secretions provide nutrition to the sperms and activate them. The mixing of these three constituents take place just prior to ejaculation. Soon after ejaculation the semen clots and later liquifies due to a chemical reaction. The colour of the semen changes from milky white to colourless. The semen becomes watery and starts flowing.

During the intercouse the semen is dropped in the vagina. At the mouth of the uterus the liquified semen enters the uterus through the Os (mouth of uterus). The sperms in the semen run forward wagging their tails and swimming through the semen. They pass through the uterus and through the Fallopian tubes to meet the ovum. Out of millions of sperms only one sperm enters and fuses with the ovum, if present, and a child is born. This fusion is called “fertilization.” If the constitutents of the semen are not thrown out through the ejaculation, they disintigrate. Preserving the semen by “Brahmacharya” (celibacy) does not help to improve physical or mental health. Similarly loosing it through masturbaion, in sleep, or during the intercourse does not harm or deteriorate the health.

Semen is a vehicle for the sperms and therefore it has got to be watery thin. “Thicker the better” is not a rule, instead, “thinner the better” should be a rule. The muscles at the root of the penis squeeze the semen out when formed. However, it is not necessary for the semen to come out forcefully and in sperts. Even if the semen dribbles out, or even if the semen is poured in the vagina by a syringe, its capacity to fertilize the ovum remains unaltered. The volume of the semen thrown out per ejaculation is half to one teaspoonful (2 to 4 ml). Though only one sperm is required for the birth of a baby, 400 to 600 millions of sperms are thrown out in a single ejaculation. Millions of them die on the way to their destination. A minimum count of 20 million per ml. is rquired for fertility.

At least 50% of the sperms should be actively motile after one hour of ejaculation if fertility is desired. The production of sperms in the testes begin from the age of 13 years and continues till the end of life in males (unlike in females where the production of ovum stops by the age of 45 years). There is no stock of semen in the body and therefore, there is no question of exhausting the same. Passing the semen through the urine is supposed to be disastrous. This is far from the truth.

In reality, the semen and the urine do not mix, since there is a valve mechanism to prevent this mixing. What is seen at the bottom of the bottle containing the urine is a layer of phosphates, the unwanted mineral salts thrown out by kidneys through the urine. At times, while straining for passing a stool, the bolus of the stool causes pressure on the seminal vesicles and prostate gland which in turn expel their contents through the urinary passage. This is normal and harmless.

The colourless lubricant secretion from Cowper’s glands is sometimes mistaken for the semen. It is the anxiety and fear about the loss of semen that causes harm, rather than the actual “loss” of it through nocturnal emission, masturbation, or intercouse. Palpitation, tremours, backache, weakness, disturbed sleep, sunken eyes, diminished concentration, etc. are the symptoms due to anxiety over the loss of the semen and not due to the loss of semen itself. This condition is called “Dhaat syndrome.” The only treatment is reassurance.

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