Our BS radar went berserk when studies about the health benefits of semen landed on our desks. But to our amazement, they seem to be legitimate. The findings aren't so drastic that pharmaceutical companies will be making semen supplements anytime soon, yet they're positive enough to give you yet another reason to look forward to sex.
Take one and call us in the morning The most newsworthy perk to pop up is that semen, when absorbed through the walls of the vagina, may help prevent depression. In a series of studies, researchers recruited more than 1,000 young women and asked them about condom use. Roughly half the sexually active women said they regularly use condoms, and half said they usually go bare. The researchers then tested the women's emotional status and found that those who didn't use condoms-and had therefore been exposed to semen-were less depressed than those who used protection.
The finding was not a fluke, insists study co-author Gordon G. Gallup, PH.D., professor of evolutionary psychology at the State University of New York at Albany. "We eliminated other possible causes for this outcome and determined it was because they were exposed to semen," Gallup claims. "Semen is a rich, complicated concoction of chemicals, and there is evidence some of those are absorbed through the vaginal walls into your bloodstream and have an effect." Without getting all scientific on you, there are multiple mood-altering hormones in semen-like testosterone and oestrogen-that could contribute to this feeling. Not only do researchers suspect that semen could up your odds of being happy, but evidence hints that it could lead to a longer life too. A team of scientists added spermidine, a chemical compound abundant in semen, to the diet of fruit flies and worms and found that it increased their lifespan. So they exposed human immune cells to spermidine and found that those cells lived longer too. But don't make a sex slave of your boyfriend just yet -it's a major leap from a few cells to a whole human being.
As if our eyebrows weren't already raised, a few spas are now touting spermidine facials. Don't worry, the treatments-and face creams currently on the market- use synthetic spermidine. "Lab studies suggest that it functions as an antioxidant," says Melissa Lazarus, a dermatologist in Miami, US. "It's possible that it might work as a free-radical scavenger on your skin."
The benefits in no way outweigh the risk of unprotected sex, so don't toss your condoms. But if you're on the Pill and in a monogamous relationship, it's nice to know that semen is good for more than just signaling that your guy has reached his happy place.