Medical Q&As

Semen - small volume?

Iím a 28-year-old male and I produce a very small volume of semen when I ejaculate. Could circumcision improve my ejaculatory volumes or is there any link between a circumcised penis and volume of semen ejaculated.

Semen consists of sperm suspended in viscous secretions from the seminal vesicles. Most of the volume of the semen consists of the secretions and it is possible to have a normal sperm count even if the volume of ejaculate appears to be small. The average volume of ejaculate is 5 mls, which is approximately a teaspoonful. However, this volume is highly variable with some men producing significantly more and others producing less. The volume of ejaculate can also vary in an individual depending on his state of hydration and also the frequency of ejaculation. For example if a man were to ejaculate several times in the one day the volume of ejaculate would diminish with each subsequent act of ejaculation. The volume of the first ejaculate would be likely to be the largest. Not to put it too crudely a law of diminishing returns kicks in. Sometimes a low volume of ejaculate can happen because of medical reasons. There is a condition known as retrograde ejaculation, which means that at the point of orgasm some of the semen is ejected back into the bladder with a smaller volume being ejected out through the penis. In that scenario orgasm occurs normally but the volume of semen ejected through he penis is small. Also a blockage in the seminal vesicles can result in a reduced volume of semen but in that scenario orgasm is usually accompanied by sudden onset of pain. With regard to the second part of your question circumcision would not increase the volume of semen that you would produce. A low volume of semen does not affect general health. However, if you were concerned about your ability to father children you could have your semen analysed and your GP could organise such testing for you. But do remember my earlier comment that it is possible to have a normal sperm count despite the volume of semen appearing to be low.