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What Is in Semen, and How Is It Digested When Swallowed?

An Expert Explains What's in Sperm and How It's Digested (Because We're All Curious)

Splash of spilled white liquid on gray background top view

It all started in my group chat, as most questions involving semen do. "You guys, what does sperm come out as after being swallowed?" my friend asked one Sunday afternoon, presumably a few hours after her Saturday-night interest left her apartment. And honestly, we were stumped.

While we had previously discussed the pros and cons of swallowing versus spitting, talked at length about our best blowjob technique tips, and even shared our embarrassing oral-sex-position moments, never had we sat down to actually process how sperm is, well, processed.

This was our sticking point: a man's come is not quite the consistency of water, which would obviously come out in the form of pee. But it's also not as thick as food, so it's questionable whether sperm would be digested and excreted the way our meals are — as poop. So how is sperm processed? And if you swallow it, is there any nutritional benefit you'd get from it?

For all those wondering the same questions, we decided to launch a full-blown investigation into how semen is broken down in the body, even recruiting the help of a real medical expert. Here's what he has to say about sperm.

How Does Your Body Process Sperm?

In order to understand how semen is processed, it's important to understand what semen consists of. Daniel Boyer, MD, says that semen is a lot like food, in that it is made up of fluids and essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and glucose — "just like your daily food compositions," he confirms. This means that your body processes swallowed semen the same way it does solid food: "Once ingested, [semen will] pass through the normal digestion process that food usually undergoes."

In other words, to answer the big question of whether or not semen comes out as pee or poop, Dr. Boyer confirms it's both. "The body treats semen components just like those contained in normal food substances, and will come out of your body in the form of pee/stool as a byproduct of digestion."

Since Semen Is Digested Like Food, Are There Any Nutritional Benefits to Consuming It?

As we know by now, drinking semen won't exactly help with fertility issues — despite what Kourtney Kardashian says. But when asked if there are any nutritional benefits to swallowing your partner's sperm, Dr. Boyer confirms while there are some, "the nutritional composition of semen is not significant enough to rely on as a source of nutrients for the body."

However, if you're into consuming "a very high amount of semen," Dr. Boyer says semen is filled with essential nutrients and fluids necessary for someone's overall health, including "depressive-antagonizing hormones like serotonin and oxytocin that enhance moods." But this really shouldn't influence your decision to spit or swallow — we're talking about high amounts, here.

That's it — the final word for one of my group chat's more unhinged threads. It's always nice to be informed.

Image Source: Getty / Dmitriy Sidor
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