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Ejaculation is the process of discharging semen from the penis, which typically occurs at the end of the male sexual cycle. When a male is sexually aroused, semen pools in ejaculatory ducts, which are located where the vas deferens meets the seminal vesicle, behind the prostate gland and inside the male’s pelvis. When sexual excitement reaches its peak, the muscles in the penis and prostate gland contract, forcing the semen through the urethra and out of the tip of the penis.
While sexual stimulation generally precedes the semen discharge, males can release semen at other times as well. This normally occurs during sleep, and is known as a nocturnal emission. These are most common during the adolescent and young adult years, but can happen at any time. Males who do not masturbate frequently or take testosterone-based drugs may be more likely to experience nocturnal emissions.
Most males experience ejaculation after they begin going through puberty. The amount of semen is generally very small the first time. As boys go through puberty, the amount of semen released during the process increases and the semen contains more live sperm. Men can release as little as 0.1 milliliters (mL) and as much as 10 mL of semen, depending on how long it has been since they last ejaculated, and the amount and duration of sexual stimulation prior to the discharge.
Some men experience either occasional or chronic problems with premature ejaculation. This condition is often the result of physical or emotional stress, or a lack of confidence. Physical factors, such as problems with the central nervous and brain may also be to blame. Many men can overcome the problem through stress reduction techniques, sexual therapy, or strong communication with their sexual partners.
Delayed ejaculation affects a small number of men, with even fewer being unable to ejaculate at all. This is often caused by prescription medications, particularly antidepressants. Some men have trouble getting and maintaining an erection as they age, which can also contribute to delayed ejaculation. Masturbation techniques that involve extreme pressure or speed are unlikely to be matched during sexual activity with a partner and can also contribute to the problem. Men who experience this can talk to their doctors about switching medications or practice different masturbation techniques to minimize unrealistic physical expectations during sexual activity.
Some women ejaculate clear fluid after stimulation of the G-Spot, an area inside the vagina, on its front wall. Female ejaculation may or may not occur simultaneously with an orgasm. Not all women are capable of doing this, however.