Fun_People Archive
15 Mar
Well, Tommy...

Date: Tue, 15 Mar 94 23:11:15 PST
To: Fun_People
Subject: Well, Tommy...

Forwarded-by: vangogh.CS.Berkeley.EDU!bostic (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: JR Oldroyd <>

Why is it that about 5 minutes after ejaculating, the sperm turns from a
glob of white into a runny transparent liquid??  Quite weird...

From: (Ms. Margo)

This one of my favorite biological phenonoma!  It's called liquification. 
What happens is that the semen remains cloudy and clumpy until the
prostatic profibrinolysin is formed into fibrinolysin and lysis of the
fibrinogen from the seminal vesicle fluids occurs.  This puts sperm in a
"trapped" state while the normally acidic pH of the vagina (3.5-4.0) is
lowered to 6.0-6.5 due to the alkalinity of the prostetic fluid.  At the
same time prostaglandins from the seminal fluid thin the cervical mucous,
making it easier for sperm to find their way through the sticky mucous.
After liquification, the sperm become highly motile - i.e. they swim like
crazy.  The whole process protects the sperm until they have an optimal
environment to do their work. 

Thanks for asking!

[=] © 1994 Peter Langston []