Is semen good for her mood???

March 19, 2011

in Links to good stuff, Sexuality, YOU4HER

Condom problem © PeJo29 | Dreamstime.com

Over the last few years, there have been a number of stories about supposed benefits women get from semen. Many of these stories, like the ever recurring “Swallowing semen makes breasts larger” are completely bogus. However, there are scientific reasons to think there should be benefits, and studies have shown some of these benefits.

The basis for all this is two interesting facts. First, semen contains a very large number of chemicals, including endorphins (which resemble opiates and reduce pain and change how we feel emotionally), hormones, and neurotransmitters (which work in the brain). Second, the vagina easily absorbs many chemicals, and what’s absorbed moves into the blood stream and becomes available to the entire body.

Researchers Gallup, Burch, and Platek hypothesised that exposure to semen would result in women being less depressed. When they tested this theory, they found that women who had intercourse and never used condoms showed significantly fewer symptoms of depression than both women who were abstinent and women who had intercourse but always used condoms. Even after controlling for a number of things, including frequency of sex and use of oral contraceptives, those who were exposed to semen were less depressed, and had less history of attempted suicide. Women who used condoms sometimes were between those who never and those who always used them. Other studies have shown that semen exposure results in women doing better on tests of concentration and cognitive skills, and that woman who have regular sex with one man view other men as less attractive than women not having regular sex.

Possible effects of semen exposure are:

  • Increased affection and feelings of closeness
  • Reduction in pain
  • Less depression and better mood
  • Increased sex drive (semen contains testosterone, and it’s been shown that the majority it is absorbed by the vagina)
  • Stronger orgasm (if he climaxes first)
  • Better sleep
  • Less sever PMS
  • It’s also very likely that semen has pregnancy protecting qualities, meaning sex during pregnancy could reduce miscarriages and pre-term labour.

Yes, that’s a snake oil sounding list of supposed benefits. However, many have study-based support, and the rest have solid scientific reasons to be possible. There’s some theory in this whole thing, but from what I’ve read I am convinced that regular vaginal exposure to semen is mentally and physically beneficial for women.

If you use condoms, your bride is not getting those benefits. Of course having a dozen kids might not be good for her mood, or sleep, or other things. Just passing on the information here, do what you like with it. (Fertility awareness method allows for condom free sex during non-fertile times.)

BTW, this fits with my long-standing belief that vaginal intercourse is important, and that it does things to our minds, bodies, and marriages that no other sex act can do. If intercourse is a rare occurrence in your sex lives, maybe you need to rethink that.

A couple of resources:

Lori Lowe has a great post on this issue as well. See The Surprising Natural Antidepressant You Might Receive from Your Husband

Semen acts as an anti-depressant (New Scientist)

Does Semen Have Antidepressant Properties?
Gordon G. Jr. Gallup, Rebecca L. Burch and Steven M. Platek ARCHIVES OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR Volume 31, Number 3, 289-293,

Image Credit: © PeJo29 | Dreamstime.com

19 comments
The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

Posting this for someone: We never use condoms....just birth control pills. My pills have worked for us for a decade now - plus, they have NOT lowered my sex drive AT ALL (my drive has always been very high), and they have improved my hormonal cycle so that I'm completely pleasant and normal when I'm about to have my period - no mood swings whatsoever. Without my pills, I experience PMDD. (I realize that for some women birth control pills aren't the answer, and those women and their husbands rant against the pill, but for others they help greatly - all medication will affect different people in different ways. Just because it doesn't work for some people, doesn't mean it won't work for others.) I find it interesting that you said, "women who have regular sex with a man view other men as less attractive than women not having regular sex." I do not find any man other than my husband appealing in any way. I simply do not find other men attractive at all! But I can't keep my hands or eyes off of my husband! I wonder if that would explain it. Thanks for this article!

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

hsextant - I've seen research on semen and preeclampsia going back a couple of decades. I'm not sure anyone has "proven" it yet, but the preponderance of studies makes it seem like there is something there. More recently I've seen similar claims for morning sickness, but there is far less to go on with that at this point. What you suggest about exposure to vaginal secretions is interesting - I am not aware of any research on that. Passage of chemicals into the blood stream via the penis is far less than with the vagina, but there could be some. I would think pheromones would be a far more likely avenue for beneficial effects from the woman to the man. There is some evidence of men being effected by their partner's cycle, and that would likely be a pheromone thing. I would agree with you that we were designed to exchange sexual fluids, and that any limiting of that is likely to cause problems.

Kay
Kay

We are vegan, and I can definitely tell you that the taste is WAY better than any meat eaters' semen. (Unfortunately I have in my past tried many, and the veg men win hand's down.) Yes, the "bloom" fades after a while, good to know. I always wondered why the heck I smell fishy for a few hours, I thought I was quite abnormal! (I do take probiotics, and don't get infections.)

hsextant
hsextant

Good write up on this phenomenon. In response to the concern regarding the use of condoms, a cervical cap or diaphragm should afford similar birth control and allow the woman the biochemical benefits of her husband's semen. There will of course be some differences from sex with no barriers in that the sperm is blocked from the upper reproductive tract and both devices require a spermicide. However, I would think that most of the beneficial properties would remain un- altered. In response to Eric's question there is one area to consider. There is some thought that regular exposure to a husbands semen, reduces the chances of pre eclampsia during pregnancy. The theory is that the baby throw off some proteins from the husband's DNA causing pre eclampsia. The theory also believes that exposure to the sperm increases a woman's immunity to these proteins, when the sperm breaks down. If one saved a semen sample at a sperm bank for a later pregnancy, and had a vasectomy, there may be a higher chance of pre eclampsia, if the protection is indeed from the sperm verses the biochemistry of the semen. Incidentally this is one case where the oral ingestion and swallowing of semen may actually be beneficial. The stomach digests the sperm and releases the protein far more efficiently than just vaginal contact. Again theory (probably by male doctors and scientists). In reply to Kay's comment about semen making her smell bad, the vagina is naturally acetic with a pH I believe around 4.0 (don't hold me to the pH). This acetic environment is created by beneficial lactobacillus (yes of yogurt fame) which keeps dangerous bacteria at bay. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on ones desire for pregnancy, the acetic environment of the vagina kills sperm. As a result, semen is highly alkaline. The alkalinity cancels the acid which allows the sperm to survive, but also allows a small bacterial bloom to occur. The normal acetic environment should quickly return and the smell should revert to normal. If the smell persists, bacterial vaginosis may be suspect. I am not sure that I believe it, but I have read that eating yogurt with active lactobacillus will improve the health of the vagina. Maybe have one's husband eat it too! I also have read that the quality of semen is affected by diet. Apparently red meat makes for less desirable semen. As to whether that would have an affect, I don't know. Pineapple is supposed to make a pleasant tasting semen. I could not address that myself, just passing on what I have read. Oh yes avoid douching, it creates more problems than it solves. One final comment, I personally believe that the vaginal biochemistry is beneficial to the male in a similar fashion that semen is to the female. The male tendency to orgasm and roll over and go to sleep may be self destructive. I highly recommend post coital penetration in the scissors position. Have a little pillow talk, and drift off while still connected. I believe the male absorbs vaginal biochemistry through the glans. The only problem with my theory is I have no proof! But I believe the use of a condom is destructive to a loving couple. The ancient areas in our brains may require a biochemical kick from the sexual fluids of the opposite gender. So when you make love with a condom, your cerebral cortex is well aware of the fact that you had sex, but those ancient emotional beings down in the primordial swamp, operate on some lovely chemistry washing over them. They don't experience sex when the condom blocks the communication. Well thats my theory, if only I owned a giant corporation, I would fund research. Nice blog BTW. I am a believer in marriage as well. Oh and I agree with you on the need for vaginal sex for health and a good marriage. I will however also state that I believe cunnilingus, especially if the woman has difficulty with orgasm, is highly beneficial to both parties. It should be treated as an act unto itself with orgasm, not just foreplay. It is in my opinion an art.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

Kaye - Also be aware that Depo-Provera is know to reduce sex drive and cause difficulty reaching orgasm. See Side Effects.

Kaye
Kaye

What a fab article. This 'theory' explains perfectly why I used to enjoy sex and now I don't... It still won't change my husbands mind though - despite me being on the depo injuection, he still uses condoms and withdrawal. I guess he really doesn't want a 4th child...

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@richard kihumba - I've not seen good science on that, but given the biology involved we can make some educated guesses. The mouth and esophagus are not nearly as absorbent as the vagina, so less would be absorbed. Much of what makes it to the stomach will be destroyed by stomach acid. So while I would expect to see some of what is gained from vaginal exposure to occur from mouth exposure, I would think some things would not happen, and others would happen to a lesser degree.

richard kihumba
richard kihumba

informative article,so how about the women who practically drink semen by mouth,does it work the same?

Christopher ouellette
Christopher ouellette

Our Napro instructor had told us about many of these studies a couple of years ago. If you are using condoms you might want to look into Napro for family planning. It's research was all paid for by the catholic church but you don't have to be catholic to learn it and I only found one instance of their teaching influencing the instruction (they tell you not to use other forms of stimulation if you are not going to have intercourse)

Eric
Eric

Sooo... Does any of that chemically change in those of us who've had a vasectomy?

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@ Eric - Short answer - no. Longer answer - One chemical I did not mention is found in the outer covering of the sperm. It is thought to protect the sperm from being attacked or injured by female hormones, and does not seem to be absorbed by the woman's body. Beyond this all the chemicals are produced by glands and organs that are unchanged by vasectomy, so there should be no change.

Eric
Eric

:-D Thanks for the response.

Kay
Kay

Interesting article! I hope my hubby reads it and gets really inspired to finally get that vasectomy he said he would do! Though I do wonder about why it seems to make me smell so bad after a couple hours! In my neck of the woods, it was common for families to be between 10 to 16 kids back before birth control was used in Catholic families. We had a small family of 4 kids! ;)

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@Evan - I knew someone would comment on that! I did not mean to say it was a bad thing, although I know those who would say that. I also know some folks don't want (and don't feel God wants) them to have that many children.

Evan Brammer
Evan Brammer

A good article for sure, until the 12 children comment. Statistically, those that do not use birth control in their marriage have on average 5 children, a far cry from the 12 some people fear... Or think is a bad thing.

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