Medically reviewed by Jill Johnson, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 12/2/2022
We need to talk about porn — specifically, the “money shot.” You should know that the amount of ejaculation displayed in those scenes is often enhanced and those male porn stars aren’t actually producing that much. To put it bluntly, it’s fake.
So, just like with penis size and sexual stamina, if you’re still comparing how much ejaculate you produce to what you see in porn, don’t.
The amount of semen you ejaculate has nothing to do with how fertile you are, how pleasurable sex is for your partner, or anything else related to sexual performance.
Still worried you may not be ejaculating enough semen? Feeling insecure about certain aspects of your sexual performance is far from uncommon, and although ejaculate volume isn’t the most common sexual concern for men, it can be a common worry.
While there isn’t any simple process that you can follow to increase your semen volume, there’s quite a lot that you can do to improve your sexual performance in general.
Below, we’ve explained how the process of ejaculation works, as well as the factors that all play a role in how much ejaculate you produce.
We’ve also shared some tips that cover how to increase ejaculation, maintain stronger erections and perform better in bed in general.
Before we go into detail about increasing ejaculation, it’s important to quickly cover the basics of how ejaculation works.
According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, the average volume of semen that’s ejaculated at orgasm in men ranges from 1.25 to 5 milliliters, or mL. That’s approximately one-quarter to one teaspoon or about one-sixth of a fluid ounce.
As you’ve probably noticed yourself, you’re more likely to ejaculate a large volume of semen if you haven’t had sex or masturbated in a while. This is because your body needs time to create the seminal fluid that gives your ejaculate its volume.
Seminal fluid is a form of fluid that’s created inside your prostate gland and seminal vesicles. It provides your ejaculate with the majority of its volume and allows sperm to travel out from your urethra when you reach orgasm and ejaculate.
When you read articles about “how to produce more cum” or “how to increase sperm volume,” what you’re actually reading about is how to increase the amount of seminal fluid produced in your prostate gland.
One important thing to understand is that seminal fluid and sperm aren’t the same things. Only part of your seminal fluid is made up of sperm — most consists of a mixture of fluids from your seminal vesicles, prostatic fluid and lubricating fluid.
These components of seminal fluid are all produced in the different parts of your reproductive system:
Your prostate gland produces prostatic fluid, which is a milky, alkaline fluid that allows your sperm to remain capable of movement.
Your seminal vesicles produce fluid, which accounts for around 50 to 80 percent of the semen you ejaculate. This fluid contains sugar, alkaline fluid and clotting factors, which allow your sperm to survive inside the vagina.
Your testes produce sperm, which are pushed out from your penis in seminal fluid when you ejaculate. Each drop of semen contains millions of sperm, although sperm make up only a tiny percentage of your ejaculate volume.
After you reach orgasm and ejaculate, your prostate gland, seminal vesicles and testes continue to work, allowing you to ejaculate again the next time you have sex or masturbate.
It’s completely normal for your ejaculation volume to vary from one day to the next, especially if you have sex on a frequent basis.
However, if you notice that you’re ejaculating less than normal, it could be caused by a range of different factors. We’ve listed these below and covered how each issue could affect your semen volume and ability to ejaculate normally.
Normally, when you ejaculate, semen is ejected through your urethra and outwards from the tip of your penis.
In men with a medical condition called retrograde ejaculation, semen travels backward into the bladder rather than out from the tip of the penis. The result is that less semen comes out as you reach orgasm and ejaculate.
If you have retrograde ejaculation, you’ll still experience an orgasm and all of the sensation that typically occurs as a result. However, your semen volume will likely be significantly lower than it usually is. When severe, you may have no ejaculate at all.
In addition to causing your ejaculation volume to decline, retrograde ejaculation may cause you to have cloudy urine after you ejaculate.
A variety of issues can cause or contribute to retrograde ejaculation. Common causes include:
Medical conditions, such as diabetes
Complications from prostate gland or bladder surgery
Medications for prostate and/or urethra problems
Medications for certain mental health issues
High blood pressure medications
Another common cause of low ejaculation volume and weak ejaculation is masturbation and/or having sex frequently.
This one is easy to understand. When you have a busy sex life and ejaculate often, whether as a result of sex or masturbation, the amount of seminal fluid that’s available the next time you’re ready to ejaculate may be lower than normal.
It’s common and normal for your semen production to decline as you age, meaning you might have a lower ejaculatory volume as you grow older.
Most men reach the highest semen volume production in their 30s, after which the volume of semen produced on a daily basis gradually declines.
Getting older may also weaken your pelvic floor muscles, which are involved in the ejaculation process.
In addition to retrograde ejaculation, how recently you’ve last ejaculated and your age, a variety of other factors can also affect your volume of ejaculation.
Other potential causes of low ejaculatory volume include:
Your eating habits and nutrient intake
Smoking cigarettes or other products that contain nicotine
Your overall health and wellbeing
If you’re concerned that your ejaculation volume is getting too low, or if you have other sexual health worries, the best thing to do is to talk to a healthcare provider.
Unlike with other ejaculation issues, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment that can produce an increase in semen volume.
However, there are a few things that you can do that may improve your ejaculate volume, all while assisting with other sexual health conditions.
As we mentioned above, your pelvic muscles play a major role in helping to expel semen from your penis. If these muscles are weak, you might find it more difficult to ejaculate or expel less semen when you reach orgasm.
Luckily, there are exercises, commonly referred to as kegel exercises, that you can perform at home to strengthen your pelvic muscles.
Our guide to pelvic floor exercises explains how you can train your pelvic muscles, usually in a few minutes every day.
Smoking has several negative effects on your health, including when it comes to many sexual health concerns. In addition to causing erectile dysfunction, research suggests that smoking is linked to a reduction in average semen volume in men.
For example, one study published in the journal BJU International in 2006 found a possible link between smoking and semen volume.
A different study published in the journal Environmental Epidemiology found that smoking was associated with lower semen volume and a reduced sperm count in otherwise healthy men.
If you smoke, try to quit. Resources like Smokefree.gov offer detailed guides and resources that you can use to make a quit plan and get support while you take steps to give up smoking.
While the link between diet and semen volume isn’t crystal clear, eating a healthy diet can offer numerous benefits for your sexual performance.
Try to eat a balanced diet that’s built around fresh vegetables, fruits and lean sources of protein, all while limiting foods that are high in salt or saturated fat. This may help improve blood flow to your penis, improving sexual stimulation and preventing issues such as ED.
Although masturbation doesn’t affect your sperm quality or contribute to sexual dysfunction, it’s generally not a good idea to masturbate on days you plan to have sex if you’re concerned about your semen volume.
Instead, try to skip masturbation so that you’ve got a full tank, so to speak, when the time comes for a sexual encounter with your partner.
Currently, there are no medications that are approved by the FDA for increasing your ejaculatory volume. Put simply, there’s no evidence-based “how to cum more” drug, or at least not yet.
However, there are numerous evidence-based ED medications that have been approved by the FDA to treat sexual function issues. Research has found that these medications also work well for ejaculatory problems, such as premature ejaculation.
In addition to treating ED, these medications may help to improve your sexual confidence, which might make worries about your ejaculatory volume less of a concern during sex.
Your ejaculatory volume isn’t the same thing as your sperm count. In fact, even a small volume of ejaculate likely contains millions of sperm, meaning your partner may still potentially become pregnant from unprotected sex even if you’re only ejaculating a small amount of fluid.
When it comes to sperm, what is normal? For most men, a single milliliter of ejaculate contains 20 to 150 million sperm. This is considered normal if at least 60 percent of the sperm display a normal shape and show motility (forward movement).
If you’re worried about your sperm count, you can get your semen tested to find out how many your ejaculate contains.
There’s no easy, one-size-fits-all tip to increasing your seminal fluid production and ejaculating more when you reach orgasm.
However, simple things such as practicing pelvic floor exercises, quitting smoking, sticking to a balanced diet and avoiding masturbation before sex can all potentially have a positive effect on your ejaculatory health, including your ejaculation volume.
If you still have weak ejaculation or little ejaculatory fluid after making changes to your lifestyle, consider talking to your healthcare provider.
They’ll be able to perform a physical exam and find out if you have any health issues that could affect your ability to ejaculate properly or maintain optimal sexual performance.
Interested in learning more about improving your sexual function? Our guide to having a healthy sex life covers everything you need to know, from successfully communicating with your partner to using medication to treat common sexual performance issues.