Researchers find no sperm in pre-ejaculate fluid

Contracept Technol Update. 1993 Oct;14(10):154-6.


PIP: A study in Boston, Massachusetts, and another study in New York City examined samples of pre ejaculate fluid from HIV seropositive and HIV seronegative men to determine whether HIV was or was not present in pre ejaculate fluid. The researchers found macrophages and CD4 lymphocytes in most samples, indicating that HIV was present. The more significant finding, however, was that most pre ejaculate samples did not contain any sperm and those that did had only small clumps of a very small amount of sperm which seemed to be immobile. A larger study is needed to verify these results. If these results are confirmed, they may dispel the myth that pre ejaculate fluid contains sperm. An ongoing WHO/USAID study shows that the pregnancy rate caused by men with 3 million sperm/ml/ejaculation is very low; fertility clinics consider men with a sperm count of no more than 5 million/ml to be infertile, particularly if is there is low motility. The average ejaculation has about 100 million sperm/ml, but about 10 million sperm pass through the cervical mucus, about 1 million make it to the top of the uterine tract, and just about 100,000 sperm reach the fallopian tubes. Thus, only a couple of sperm, assuming motility, would reach the fallopian tubes in the case of the pre ejaculate samples with some sperm, which tended to be immobile (sperm levels only in the 1000s). Thus, the probability of pregnancy is very low if pre-ejaculate fluid enters the vagina. Pre-ejaculate fluid of 6 of the 9 HIV seropositive donors in Boston and 6 of the 14 HIV seropositive donors in New York contained HIV, regardless of symptom status or antiretroviral therapy status. Thus, the risk of HIV transmission may be higher than unplanned pregnancy, so people should use condoms before the penis enters the vagina, mouth, or anus.

MeSH terms

  • Americas
  • Biology
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques
  • Developed Countries
  • Diagnosis
  • Disease
  • Genitalia
  • Germ Cells
  • HIV Infections*
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • North America
  • Physiology
  • Research*
  • Sperm Count*
  • Spermatozoa*
  • United States
  • Urogenital System
  • Virus Diseases