Incontinence

Updated 07 December 2016

When your penis is leaking 'semen'

What happens when you experience incontinence of a different kind: Excessive amounts of seminal fluid?

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Many people suffer from urinary incontinence (the loss of bladder control) and this often causes great embarrassment. But what happens when men experience a different kind of incontinence – seminal leakage?

The term “pre-ejaculation” refers the fluid discharged during arousal, masturbation, foreplay or during an early stage of sexual intercourse. For most men this means only a few millilitres, but in some rare cases the amount and timing of the fluid might cause problems.

Read: I am suffering from excessive pre-cum

Excessive amounts

According to research from Princeton University "pre-ejaculatory fluid is released from the male urethra in amounts of up to 4 ml during sexual arousal, prior to ejaculation". It originates from the Cowper’s glands and the Glands of Littre, which open at different sites along the length of the urethra.

An article published in The Journal of Andrology, explains men can have soaked pants during kissing or other mild erotic stimulation.

“The majority of reports describing excessive pre-ejaculate include anecdotal evidence, personal communications, and speculation based on knowledge of the physiology of the reproductive system,” the study stated. “Yet excessive pre-ejaculate is a documented fact, and several experts in the field recently discussed this problem.”

Read: Semen leakage through testicles

Treatment

Treatment for excessive pre-ejaculation fluids is still elementary and experimental, but a few case reports have indicated satisfactory results witch men being treated with 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors – drugs with antiandrogen effects, used primarily in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and androgenic alopecia.

A contraceptive and STI risk

Nearly 60% of women in the USA who have ever had intercourse have used coitus interruptus (withdrawal) as a form of contraception at some time. In the UK, 5% of women at risk for unintended pregnancy use withdrawal, according to the Office for National Statistics in the UK.

“Investigators have long debated the presence of sperm in pre-ejaculatory fluid. Researchers have observed the presence of spermatozoa in pre-ejaculatory fluid and have advocated against the use of coitus interruptus as a safe means of contraception,” the study from The Journal of Andrology explains. The same risk is applicable to sexually transmitted infections such as HIV.

Read more:

Zika virus isolated from semen of infected man

Semen and other bizarre allergies

Semen analysis

 

Ask the Expert

Incontinence Expert

Prenevin Govender completed his MBChB at the University of Cape Town in 2001. He obtained his Fellowship of the College of Urologists in 2009 and graduated with distinction for a Masters in Medicine from the University of Cape Town in 2010. His special interests include laparoscopic, pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence surgery. He consults full-time at Life Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont.

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