Most men would be happy with a bigger dick, but their obsession with size doesn’t end there. According to a recent study, men who are unsatisfied with the volume of their ejaculate experience high levels of relationship distress, fear of failure, sexual dissatisfaction and anxiety regarding their sexual performance.
But alas, the ordinary load is anything but big: The average volume of ejaculate is between three and five milliliters (or about a teaspoon), according to a World Health Organization study. Furthermore, the amount of semen a person ejaculates decreases as they age, with peak production occurring between the ages 30 and 35.
So for those that really worry about this stuff, what can be done to, uh, “pump up the volume?” Funnily enough, the people who study male reproductive health aren’t incredibly interested in the actual size of your load (being scientists, not bukkake auteurs). But they are interested in the overall health of your load, and according to urologist and infertility specialist Jamin Brahmbhatt — and stop us if you’ve heard this one before — living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to keep things running smoothly in your pants.
Here’s what he suggests:
- Lose Weight: “Thirty-three percent of obese men have a low sperm count, and seven percent have no sperm count,” Brahmbhatt says. “As you lose weight, your count will naturally improve.”
- Eat Antioxidants: “Increase your consumption of greens, fruits and veggies,” Brahmbhatt suggests. “Healthier foods full of antioxidants help improve your sperm count and quality.”
- Exercise (But Don’t Overdo It): “Mild to moderate activity is okay, but severe, high-intensity training may hurt your sperm quality,” Brahmbhatt explains. “Generally speaking, what most people do at the gym shouldn’t hurt your sperm count.”
Brahmbhatt also suggests avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption (which both reduce sperm quality and quantity), as well as lengthy soaks in the hot tub, since prolonged heat exposure damages the sperm.
Still, while doing all of this might help you produce somewhat larger loads, at the end of the day, there’s only one surefire way to significantly improve semen volume: Allowing your body enough time to recover between orgasms. That’s because repeated ejaculation over a short period of time results, naturally, in lower semen volume (as anyone who’s reached the end of a day alone to find they’re down to a puff of dust and a shrill, piercing whistle will know).
“The body can only recover so quickly — it wasn’t designed to have sex like a rabbit,” explains Jason Barritt, chief scientific officer and laboratory director at the Southern California Reproductive Center. “When we see gentlemen who are experiencing variation, we put them on a regimen: Every two to three days, ejaculate. Once you do that for a period of time, your body becomes used to the pattern — it knows you just ejaculated, and that it needs to produce more semen. It’s like training for basketball — if you go out and practice a lot, you’ll get very good at it. But you don’t want to practice for 20 hours in one day; you want to practice for one hour each day — you’ll be just as good, but not as tired.”
In other words, allowing yourself a one-or-two-day break between ejaculations can help maximize semen volume.
This might all sound like a lot of work (or not a lot of ejaculating), but still, you shouldn’t be tempted to try online semen supplements, as there’s no clinical research to suggest that products promising to increase semen volume actually work.
“There’s nothing currently on the market (that isn’t prescribed) that can increase semen volume,” Barritt explains. “There are a lot of folk remedies and supplements out there that people think increases semen volume, but oftentimes, these are just a placebo.”
There is one other option, though: As a last resort, if you’re not optimally producing (and you’re hoping to make babies), a fertility expert can prescribe steroids or stimulating hormones. “Sometimes men have hormone levels that are outside of the norm,” Barritt explains. “Therefore, a urologist or endocrinologist can potentially prescribe them medications that would allow them to return to mostly normal hormone levels.”
But if you’re simply seeking larger loads for your own gratification, your only option is to give your balls a break. And if that is you, let’s be honest, they’ve probably earned it.