An examination of the sperm content of human pre-ejaculatory fluid.
Following 2 approaches, 23 volunteers with a mean age of 28 years provided a total of 58 smears of pre-ejaculatory fluid (PEF) which were examined for sperm content and other characteristics. All but 1 of the volunteers had normal semen analysis results. Small numbers of sperm cells were found: a mean of 1.7 cells/smear (SD=6.8) ranging from 0-35 cells. 40 smears (69%) had 0 cells, 15 (25.9%) had 1-5 cells, and 3 smears (5.2%) had from 10-35 cells. Of 28 fresh PEF smears examined within an average of 15 minutes from the time taken, no viable sperm cells were observed. The last prior ejaculation occurred on average of 41 hours before. A minimum of 2 urinations occurred between last ejaculation and the PEF smears. 1 cell was observed to have cilia movement but no forward progress. No measure of volume, weight, or density was obtained for any of the smears which severely restricts the interpretation of these data. In addition to this limitation, the methods used to count and to examine sperm cells for motility were fairly crude and cannot be viewed as very accurate. The information collected is consistent with the fact that there are no motile sperm in PEF when urination has occurred just after the most recent ejaculation. Furthermore, the few sperm cells observed in PEF are remnants of previous ejaculations rather than ones which have been secreted into the urethra prior to the emission stage of orgasm. (author's modified)