Is the seed-of-life good for anything else but baby-making or just a bit inconvenient?
We all know it, few talk about it. The moment where we are meant to be basking in the afterglow of a sexy session but instead are shuffling and shifting, trying to avoid the wet spot on the sheets. Or maybe we were smart enough to carefully drape a towel/other piece of rag underneath us – screams romance doesn’t it? Yes, semen is inconvenient, sticky, even a little bit gross sometimes.
But obviously humanity wouldn’t exist without it so we kind of just have to suck it up (pardon the pun, please, I know it’s a lame one!). But conception isn’t the only thing that sperm is good for. If you are already pregnant, impatiently awaiting your baby’s birth (as one of us experienced first-hand very recently) it can also support the induction of labour. It contains prostaglandin, which helps prepare the cervix for childbirth. Prostaglandin is a hormone like substance which can be absorbed into your vagina (intercourse) as well as your stomach (oral sex).
But there are also other theories and studies, suggesting further benefits.
A survey, carried out on 293 women by the State University of New York to understand their sex lives and general mental health claims that women who have regular unprotected sex are less depressed and perform better on cognitive tests. The researchers established that seminal fluid has a very complex chemical profile, each with a unique function. The most relevant of these are the group of mood-enhancing chemicals, which include the following:
- Estrone, which elevates mood
- Prolactin, a natural antidepressant
- Cortisol which is known to increase affection
- Thyrotropin-releasing hormone, another antidepressant
- Melatonin, a sleep-inducing agent
- Serotonin, a mood-booster
- Oxytocin, which can elevate mood and increase affection (Oxytocin is known as the ‘love hormone’ due to its role in sexual reproduction along with other behaviours, including orgasm, social recognition and bonding)
So is semen a mind altering drug? We know it sounds a bit ridiculous, but the research does suggest obvious benefits and who are we to deny science!
Another study, from the University of Saskatchewan, has found that protein in semen plays a part on the female brain to prompt ovulation. This is the same molecule that regulates the growth, maintenance and survival of nerve cells so it’s very possible that semen can act as a hormonal signal. This triggers the release of other hormones which signal the ovaries to release an egg.
The list of benefits could be extended and to be fair, there are some fairly adventurous sounding theories out there (Semen to cure morning sickness, new breakfast habit anyone?). But if anything, reading about the magic ingredients of sperm should make you feel at least a little kindly towards that wet patch you’ll be trying to avoid again tonight, hopefully.