What Are the Common Causes of Semen Leakage?

Semen leakage typically happens in response to sexual arousal, whether conscious or not. Leaks that happen in the night during sleep are some of the most common, and are usually harmless. In some cases emissions happen as a result of nerve problems or issues with the prostate, an organ that sits just behind the testes. Injury and simple old age are sometimes to blame, as well as certain prescription medications. In more serious cases prostate growths or cancer might be the explanation. Men who are worried about semen leakage should normally talk to a healthcare expert to rule out these conditions and get advice on how to minimize spills.

Nocturnal Emissions

Nocturnal emissions, sometimes called “wet dreams,” are basically ejaculations that happen during sleep. These most often happen in response to a sexually arousing dream, but not always; particularly in boys going through puberty, the penis sometimes ejects semen involuntarily in the night as something of a “practice” or “warm-up,” and this is generally considered a normal part of young adult development.

Most of the time men grow out of these sorts of emissions by their mid-20s, but not always. Rare or infrequent leaks are not usually anything to be concerned about, but if a man finds himself waking each day to semen-soaked sheets, he may want to talk to his doctor about ways to control the issue.

Sexual Arousal

Some men find that they leak a bit of seminal fluid during they day, usually while having sexual thoughts or talking with or about someone they find to be sexually attractive. Like nocturnal emissions, these leaks tend to be most common in young men, but they can happen at any age. While potentially embarrassing, this isn’t usually a medical problem.

Unless a man is leaking a lot during sexual thoughts, his emissions may not actually be semen at all. The male body typically releases a clear, tacky fluid from the tip of the penis just before sexual intercourse that can serve to lubricate the shaft and make penetration easier. This is often known as a “natural lubricant,” and doesn’t usually contain sperm. Sexual thoughts often trigger its release, which is normally harmless.

Prescription Drugs

Some medications cause semen leakage as a side effect, though the intensity and frequency can vary from man to man. Antidepressants are some of the most common, but other mood stabilizers and certain hormone therapies can also have this result. Most of the time this is simply a factor of the way the drugs interact with the pleasure and sexual activity centers of the brain. This effect may wear off on its own, but if not getting another prescription or switching medications may be the best course for men troubled by the occasional leak.

Parasympathetic Nerve Problems

A weak parasympathetic nerve may also be a cause. The parasympathetic nervous system is quite extensive and controls many different sensations in the body, but sexual feelings and reproductive functions are included. When nerve endings in the penis, testicles, or prostate are weak leaks can sometimes result. Men with this problem often drip seminal fluid after urination, during bowel movements, or shortly after sexual intercourse.

Understanding a bit about male anatomy can sometimes make the nervous system’s role in leakage a little bit easier to understand. The urethra, which transports urine from the bladder through the penis, is a passageway that both sperm and semen flow through, too. The parasympathetic nerve acts a control to the valve that closes this passageway and retains all fluids. When the nerve becomes weak, the valve can also become weak, and semen may escape prematurely and involuntarily.

A weak parasympathetic nerve can be caused by a number of different things. Sometimes it’s genetic, but it can also be caused by injury to the groin or old age. Excessive masturbation or sex can also be to blame. Medical professionals can sometimes repair serious nerve damage with surgery, and often recommend specialized exercises and stretches to improve strength and control.

Prostate Issues

Men who have swollen, enlarged, or infected prostate glands may also leak from time to time. The prostate is a small organ that helps nourish and protect sperm by secreting a number of different fluids; when it functions properly these fluids stay put until ejaculation, but when there are problems they can be released early.

Prostatitis, or unnatural swelling and inflammation of the prostate, is one of the most common causes of this sort of leaking. Some men are predisposed to this condition genetically, but many experts also think it’s most common in men who have frequent ejaculations, which can lead to an overactive prostate.

Prostate congestion can also contribute. This usually happens when a man goes from frequent ejaculations to few or none, which can lead to clogs and swelling. Congested semen is sometimes involuntarily released when the man is in certain positions, particularly squatting or sitting.

Prostate cancer, a very serious condition, might also be to blame. Growths or cysts anywhere on the gland or along the urinary tract could be a cause as well. Cancers and benign growths often require surgery or other invasive treatments to cure, and leaks are usually just one of many symptoms.

When to Get Help

Occasional leaks aren’t usually any cause for great concern, but men who are worried about the amount or frequency of their discharges should usually get medical help. Leaking that is accompanied by pain, blood, or foul-smelling liquid or puss is often a sign of infection or other serious condition, and discharges accompanied by erections that last an unusually long time should also be evaluated in most cases. Most doctors recommend that men keep track of their leaks and get examined if the frequency or timing changes dramatically.

Discuss this Article

Post 35

I'm going on 2 weeks leaking on arousal. Please help.

Post 33

I'm 19 years old. I started it from the age of 12 i guess. I'm not physically fit as of my age. What should I do for this?

Post 31

I get leakage when I am passing excretion. What should I do?

Post 30

I am 21 years old and I have a problem of releasing of semen at night when I am sleeping, usually while having sexual thoughts or talking with or about someone I find to be sexually attractive. What can I do to cure it? Does it affect the growth of my body as a male?

Post 29

I am 50 and I drop a load on occasion during a bowel movement -- not lubricant, but a normal load with no sensation. It's also not the same as prostate stimulation ( I have tried that -- awesome!) I asked my doctor and she thought it might be normal.

I am concerned because 20-plus years ago I asked my doctor about a lump on my neck and problems breathing through one nostril and occasional blood in my stool. He said all was good. He was a jerk!

I have had digital exam, colonoscopy ( removed precancerous polyps),

I had a neck dissection to remove a cancerous thyroid and am on the waiting list for deviated septum surgery. What to do?

Post 28

My boyfriend leaks constantly, all day, every day. Why?

Post 27

My boyfriend leaks when we chat naughtily on the phone. Will this create any problem for our sex in the future? He is 20 years old.

Post 26

I am a 55 year old man. I had never had any erection problems in the past. About six months ago I started having weak erections. When my girlfriend and I had sex, I noticed that I was leaking semen before ejaculation. So when I did have an orgasm there wasn't much semen left for ejaculation.

I can get an erection, but it seems to take a lot of work, and I am still leaking semen during intercourse. How can I strengthen that nerve ?

Post 25

I don't know about anyone else, but during arousal, when the clear stuff comes out, it definitely kills my erection and I'm not able to perform normally. My leaking started about two months ago. Never had this issue before. It's totally freaking me out and hurting my sex life.

Post 24

Right now I am dealing with seamen leakage during my sleep periods. Usually twice or three times a week. My doctor said it is because of my degenerated S1-L5 disc, and nerve issues. The chronic pain is bad enough, but now this?

Mine is at the point where I have to clean up and change every time. But at least I know what it is now. -- Walter C.

Post 23

I am 32. I have been suffering from nocturnal emissions from last seventeen years. I have nocturnal emission three or four times in a night every day. Every single night, I have these emissions without dreams. As soon as the erection comes in my sleep, semen comes out like orgasm.

I have been taking medicines for the last fifteen years to stop these emissions, but these emissions never stopped. I feel extremely sick and weak. I lost too much weight and have really big, dark circles around my eyes as if no blood remains in my body.

These emissions started from me masturbating. When I was fifteen, I masturbated like continuously for two months, and then I stopped. Then these

emissions started to happen daily.

I have taken so many homeopathic and Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines, but these emissions never stopped. The only single time when these emissions stopped when I took the antibiotic ofloxacin, which is used to treat prostate infections. These emissions stopped only for two weeks, and then they started again.

I never ever feel any pain or anything in my prostate area. My urine flow is good, and I never feel any kind of discomfort or anything in my body, but as soon as the erection comes in my sleep, semen comes out each time with every single erection. If I have five erections in my sleep, I have five emissions in a single night. Please help me.

Post 21

Semen leakage of a moderate amount is normal in men, as this article mentions. When the volume is excessive, a doctor may need to be consulted to determine the cause and if any steps need to be taken. (This is not counting, of course, wet dreams in teen-agers and young adult men, which are a natural part of the body’s development.) Keeping the penis in good overall health is important: men should utilize a top quality penis nutrient cream (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) daily. A cream with a wide range of vitamins, such as B5, D and E, is recommended.

Post 19

I got up twice in the same night due to leaks. After I cleaned up after the second one and had changed, suddenly I had a third leak. I had a leak the night before, too. Most of the time when I wake up, my private part feels slimy. I'm only a 15 year old boy. Is this normal or should I consult a doctor?

Post 18

I am 15 years old and I have a problem of releasing of semen at night when I am sleeping. What can I do to cure it? Does it affect the growth of my body as a teenager?

Post 17

I have a discharge that comes when passing stool. I took it to the lab and they found sperm and a parasite. After medication it still persists. What should I do?

Post 16

My husband leaks only when he's sleeping. Why?

Post 15

I leak seminal fluid as well when I'm talking to my wife on the phone. Not complaining, just have to change underwear more often.

Post 14

I had a problem of semen leakage while I was talking on the phone to my girl friend, but the released semen is not so sticky. Is this normal or should I consult any urologist? Please give me your valuable suggestion.

Post 12

I am suffering from nocturnal emissions. In the past, I had a hernia and had surgery at a young age. The nocturnal emission occurred after 7-10 days. Is this a disease or just a teenage or maturity symbol?

Post 11

Can many years of masturbation cause one to have watery sperm?

Post 9

How do I strengthen the parasympathetic nerve?

Post 5
@ddljohn-- A small amount of semen leakage during bowel movements can also be normal. There might be something going on with the prostate if it happens with every bowel movement. But once in a while, especially when you have a difficult bowel movement, it's normal for the pressure to release some semen.

My son came to me with this problem recently and since I've had it happen to be before, I told him it's fine. But I also told him to keep track of it and if it happens more often, we'll go to the doctor.

Post 4

@ddljohn-- Oh yea, that's normal. It's called "pre-cum" and just like you said, it's a natural lubricant. I think some people have more of it and that's normal too.

I had an actual semen leakage problem several years ago when I got married. I had too much intercourse during my honeymoon and when I came back home, I started leaking semen. It didn't happen constantly, but during physical activity. Squatting was the worst thing ever. I would completely wet my pants, I felt so ashamed.

I was told by my doctor to rest and stay away from intercourse for a while so that my parasympathetic nerve could heal itself. I did and the leakage did stop after a few weeks thankfully. I don't want to go through that ever again.

Post 3

I thought I was experiencing semen leakage a couple of months ago. I noticed that when I got aroused, I would leak a clear liquid which I assumed to be semen.

I went to see a urologist and after describing to him what this liquid looked like, he told me that it's nothing to worry about. It turns out, it's not semen but a lubricant that our body produces when we're aroused. It's absolutely normal. I was worried for no reason thinking that it's semen.

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