PEVR and How to Increase Semen Volume
Sex, it goes without saying, is complicated. For many people, it’s a source of worry as much as pleasure. Men in particular worry about penis size, getting hard, staying hard, lasting long enough to please their partner—and that’s just for starters.
For some men, the thorough enjoyment of sex also hinges on how much they ejaculate. Enter PEVR, or perceived ejaculate volume reduction.
PEVR, or the proof is in the pudding
The World Health Organization reports the average man’s ejaculate measures around 3.7 milliliters (ml), or about three-quarters of a teaspoonful. Any amount down to about 1.5 ml is considered normal.
Still, it’s important to remember that as men age, they often experience lower semen volume for several reasons:
- Declining testosterone production
- Weaker pelvic floor muscles
- Medication for prostate enlargement, high blood pressure or depression
- Prostate cancer treatment
- Nerve damage due to diabetes or multiple sclerosis
- Spinal cord injury
PEVR can also indicate a more serious problem with the testes that results in sharply lower testosterone production. And, if you orgasm with no or almost no ejaculate at all, it’s possible you have a bladder duct issue called retrograde ejaculation. Speak to your doctor if you suspect either of these.
How to increase semen volume
Lifestyle choices and a better diet are natural ways to enhance your semen volume. Supplements have seemingly helped some men, too. Keep in mind, however, that most supplements make claims without being subjected to rigorous testing and approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Here are some strategies you should consider:
Having the strong pelvic floor muscles of youth is a big reason teens and young men can ejaculate often and strongly. Like the rest of our muscles, as we age, our pelvic floor muscles weaken.
Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, is good for your overall health as well as testosterone levels, and thus, ejaculate volume. At the very least, make sure you get in at least 150 minutes per week of brisk walking.
Kegel exercises, designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, will not help with semen volume, but arguably may help with ejaculation in terms of getting the fluid out.
Start by locating the muscle you use to stop urinating midstream. Practice doing that a few times. Then, whether you’re sitting at your desk or standing in line at the grocery store, you can isolate and "flex" this muscle for five seconds at a time, then rest, and repeat this for five to 10 reps.
If you’re tired of hearing it, tough, because lifestyle choices impact pretty much every aspect of your health, including sexual health, which includes semen volume and quality. Try the following practices:
Quit smoking. Smoking is not only bad for blood flow to the penis, it’s also known to cause reductions in semen volume and quality.
Reduce alcohol. Studies show that men who drink heavily have significantly lower semen volume and lower-quality sperm than moderate drinkers.
Reduce stress. Good sexual function and stress don’t go together. Meditation, yoga, therapy and exercise all have positive benefits toward reducing stress.
Masturbate less. This might be a no-brainer, but if you save it up for a few days, you’re bound to see more production when you finally do experience a release.
Diet & supplements
OK, we have some more advice that might sound redundant, but the actions that are good for your overall health matter to your sex life. You can ignore this all you want, but it’s important:
Drink more water. Your body is 60 percent water, but your semen is 90 percent water. If you’re well-hydrated, you’re providing your body with one of the key ingredients it needs to produce more semen.
Supplements. Whether for memory, strength, better sleep or something else, some supplement somewhere claims to help. We encourage everyone who is considering adding a supplement to their daily routine to do their research—the FDA doesn’t test or approve most of the supplements out there and you should include your doctor on any decisions to add supplements to your daily regimen.
Each time you ejaculate, you expel approximately 2 milligrams (mg) of zinc. Supplementing zinc has shown promise with regard to enhancing semen volume. Along those same lines, amino acids—L-arginine, lysine and L-carnitine supplements—may contribute to healthier sperm and more semen volume. Found in tomatoes and watermelon, lycopene has also shown promise for increased sperm count and concentration. Selenium, a mineral found in nuts, may improve sperm motility.
You don’t have to turn to supplements to find many of the minerals and amino acids listed above. Check out a few great foods for increasing ejaculate volume, listed with their key component:
- Red meat, oysters and poultry contain zinc
- Dark chocolate (85 percent or higher) features L-arginine
- Fish such as salmon, mackerel and sea bass include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- Carrots boast carotenoids
- Bananas feature vitamins C, A and B1 under the peel
- Citrus fruits boost vitamin C
Semen volume naturally drops off as men age, but following these tips can lessen the impact and ensure you continue to produce normal amounts for years to come.