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Semen

Semen is the fluid produced by the male which carries the sperm to the female, often resulting in pregnancy.

Semen is a whitish fluid containing water and small amounts of salt, protein, and fructose sugar, and is in itself harmless on the skin or when swallowed.

Sperm are produced in the testicles, and most of the remaining fluid is produced by the prostate. At the time of male orgasm, semen is ejected from the penis (this is called "ejaculation").

All sexual behaviors that result in the contact of semen with the vagina or vulva may result in pregnancy at any time unless adequate contraceptive (birth control) measures are in force. Sexual intercourse is generally the most effective cause of pregnancy, unless contraceptive measures are in force.

When a man is sexually excited, a small amount of a clear fluid (pre-ejaculate) may leak out of the penis before orgasm and ejaculation. One reason coitus interruptus ("withdrawal" of the penis from the vagina just before the man's orgasm) is not a very effective contraceptive method is that this pre-ejaculate fluid may also contain sperm.

In some traditional cultures, semen was attributed with special properties of masculinity. Some cultures in the South Seas termed it jerungdu and believed that ingestion by boys was necessary for their proper sexual maturation.

However, semen can transmit sexually transmitted diseases, most notably AIDS. Any kind of sexual or other contact with the semen of a person infected with HIV (AIDS virus) should be avoided.



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