Post-Sex Question
February 4, 2005 8:23 AM   Subscribe

An intimate question mostly for the ladies.. (Question's inside so as not to offend anyone)

My question is: after intercourse, where a man, ahem, leaves his essence in you, about how long does it take before it completely exits your body? And how do you know when that is? Also, is there anything that you typically do to speed up the process?

I know it's a strange question, but I've always wanted to know, so thanks for any answers! And guys, if you have something to add, please feel free to do so.
posted by eas98 to Health & Fitness (34 answers total)


Wow. What a question. I feel compelled to answer.

I guess it depends on exactly _why_ you're leaving it in there. If you're trying to make a baby (assuming that's the area you've, er, made a deposit), you don't really want it to come out, do you?

Based on documented video evidence, it is possible for a girl to forcibly evict your ejaculate, should she wish.

Otherwise, I think it depends on factors like viscosity, volume, and the size of the area in which your manly juices have been left. Also, how quickly the lady in question stands up.

"I've heard" that it can take up to an hour to drip out, but that may have been subject to hyperbole.
posted by cheaily at 8:38 AM on February 4, 2005

Response by poster: Heh, I realize that most of it drips out rather quickly, but isn't there like a residue or something for days? That's more what I'm asking about.
posted by eas98 at 8:42 AM on February 4, 2005

Whatever you do if you want it out quickly, DO NOT DOUCHE. EVER. EVER.

It wreaks havoc on your vagina, and if there is infection present in the semen or in discharge from the penis, it can push it up into the reproductive tract, making it much more likely you'll beocme infected.

posted by tristeza at 8:50 AM on February 4, 2005

Is it that you're counting on the rhythm method as birth control, but you're worried that viable sperm might still be present when you enter a fertile period?

I ask because you just can't count on the rhythm method 100%. You can use it if you like, but you should be prepared to get pregnant, because there's a reasonable likelihood that eventually you will.
posted by Miko at 8:57 AM on February 4, 2005

Based on the fact that there is an entire industry in place to prevent the transfer of bodily fluids etc. I would guess that, yes, a certain amount of seminal fluid is left behind even after attempts to get as much out as possible.

As for how much, well.. as cheaily said, it really depends on a lot of factors and I doubt that there is any way that this can be quantified in any standard sense. "Speeding up the process" may be a bit difficult (also based on the same factors mentioned) but standard hygienic practices are probably your best bet.

On preview: tristeza is 100% correct, douching drastically alters the chemical balance in the vagina which can actually increase the likelihood of bacterial infections. So, this is definitely not a "standard hygienic practice".
posted by purephase at 8:58 AM on February 4, 2005

There are a few ways to answer this question depending on what exactly you're asking

- how long before there's no more dripping?
- how long before there's no more sperm?
- how long before you can't even tell a woman has had sex?

Depending on what a woman does afterwards, the dripping ends pretty soon. Advocates of the rhythm method know that sperm are pesty buggers and the rule of thumb is that sperm can last "up to five days" though this is in ideal circumstances.
posted by jessamyn at 9:17 AM on February 4, 2005

If you're seriously worried about semen being inside you, might I suggest condoms?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:40 AM on February 4, 2005

Response by poster: For those who have made honest attempts to answer, I thank you.

To the rest: please attempt to only answer the question at hand. I don't need advice about condoms or therapy or anything like that.

Jessamyn: Thank you, I'll go with the 3rd option -- how long before you can't even tell a woman has had sex?

Thanks again.
posted by eas98 at 9:57 AM on February 4, 2005

How long before you can't even tell a woman has had sex? I'd say a week or so. My OB has always known regardless if I had nookie a day before or a several days before. It would be embarrasing but she's very nice about it.
posted by dabitch at 10:09 AM on February 4, 2005

FYI: There has been a MeTa thread begun reference some of the reponses here.
posted by mlis at 10:16 AM on February 4, 2005

how long before you can't even tell a woman has had sex?

Once again, this depends on whether you are the police or her husband [i.e. how much scrutiny are you going to give the situation and what tools do you have at your disposal] and, most importantly, what sort of sex? Rough sex, either consensual or not, often leaves small tears and bruising in the genital area that could last longer than ejaculate. In most cases, taking a good shower/bath and washing up removes any traces that I would be likely to deal with or notice on a personal level.
posted by jessamyn at 10:21 AM on February 4, 2005

I'm in the same boat, so I know what you're getting at. With me, birth control + monogamous long-term relationship = no condoms for semen catching. So, usually I let as much as possible drip out immediately follwoing the act. Depending on how large the dose is, that can be all that's necessary, or usually it will take until the middle of the next day for me to be back to normal.

A week!?!? Maybe for an OB exam. To the layman, a day or so.
posted by scazza at 10:29 AM on February 4, 2005

Wouldn't a tampon absorb some of it, or (ewwww) drag some of it out upon removal?
posted by SashaPT at 11:12 AM on February 4, 2005

>Wouldn't a tampon absorb some of it, or (ewwww) drag some of it out upon removal?

Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch.

Putting tampons in directly after sex, (one) can hurt just because the muscles there a bit sore and (two) would seem to be EXTREMELY unpleasant unless there was a LOT of "essence" still there to lubricate the tampon. And even in that case, the thought of pulling OUT the probably-very-dry tampon leads me back to ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch.

Since women are often advised to urinate after sex to prevent urinary tract infections, I'm also guessing that closing oneself up with a tampon unnecessarily would probably also not be good for one's health, but that's a total guess.
posted by occhiblu at 11:17 AM on February 4, 2005

cheaily, as the proud owner of a vagina, I can tell you that there is no way to "forcibly evict" anything from it without, um, I'm guessing years of practice? Or a special physical quirk? I certainly couldn't do it - it doesn't work like a little pump, you know.

Anyway, since, like scazza, I've been in this situation, I found that it takes about 24 - 48 hours for it all to drip out, and I never bothered to do anything about speeding that up; never really occurred to me, to be honest. I guess you know it's gone because, well, it feels gone. I've always kind of found it interesting that women, or me anyway, still can feel the residue of sex a day or so later, and men can't, in fact I thought about doing an askme thread on that very subject once.
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:42 AM on February 4, 2005

I'm in the same boat, so I know what you're getting at.

Seriously? What the fuck? I've read this through and I've been sexually active for ten years; and I have no idea what you people are alluding to. If you come out with your real question, you might get much more valuable advice; advice that is much less likely to land you in trouble.

Is this an evidence issue or a pregnancy issue? Very few of us are scientists in this regard. What's your question?
posted by nthdegx at 11:49 AM on February 4, 2005

Women who practice "fertility awareness" as a method of pregnancy prevention (note: this is not the same as the rhythm method) are advised to do Kegels while peeing after sex as a way to get some of the semen out, because semen will obscure the cervical fluid that the woman will need to observe the next day to keep track of her fertility. (Good book for those interested in more: Taking Charge of Your Fertility, by Toni Weschler.)
posted by xo at 11:53 AM on February 4, 2005

Hey, if I sit on a towel immediately afterwards (well, after the cigarette and the canoodling,) then I'm dripped all out in less than 10 minutes. I suppose if somebody went microscope mining, they could find semen still wandering on the inside, but the juicy portion of the evening ends fairly quickly when gravity is allowed to work its magic.
posted by headspace at 12:19 PM on February 4, 2005

cheaily, as the proud owner of a vagina, I can tell you that there is no way to "forcibly evict" anything from it without, um, I'm guessing years of practice?

Not exactly true... as xo mentioned above, Kegels really do the trick. During my post-sex pee I repeatedly alternate squeezing my PC muscles with "bearing down" until the flow stops, after which things are pretty much back to normal.
posted by purplemonkie at 12:29 PM on February 4, 2005

After sex I always pee (prevents bladder infections, cleans the area a bit) and usually when I sit down on the toilet and relax, the majority of the semen drains out. If I take a shower after sex, I usually swirl a finger around in my vagina to coax out the remainder. I don't know if the discharge I have the day after sex contains much semen, or whether it's just my natural secretions.

As far as some sort of residue, it wouldn't really last for longer than a day or so: the vagina is a self-cleaning organ. (The sperm, however, can wriggle up into the reproductive tract much farther than the vagina, however, and can stay happily wriggly for up to five days.)

I have no idea what you people are alluding to.

nthdegx, I think eas98 is just curious about it, not having a vagina himself. I don't think he's interested in fertility or what the police may say, it's just a bodily function question.

posted by Specklet at 12:29 PM on February 4, 2005

Remember also that there is only about 1 tsp. of fluid in a typical ejaculation.
posted by Miko at 1:37 PM on February 4, 2005

Specklet's correct: up to five days.
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:57 PM on February 4, 2005

Off topic:

up to five days.

Which is a little unnerving, because if you have unprotected sex five days before you ovulate, you still can get knocked up...

But luckily, we can now test our spit and tell when we are fertile.

Isn't the body a wonderful thing?
posted by Specklet at 3:00 PM on February 4, 2005

Specklet's correct: up to five days.

True, but this is only in the presence of fertile cervical fluid. Without it (or some reasonable approximation thereof), sperm are highly unlikely to pass the cervix and will typically live only a few hours, as the vagina is normally a pretty inhospitable environment for the poor little fellas.
posted by purplemonkie at 3:00 PM on February 4, 2005

As the proud owner of a vagina, I can tell you that there is no way to "forcibly evict" anything from it without, um, I'm guessing years of practice?
Another disagreement here. Try bearing down with the lower abdominals. This is part of the process taught (or stumbled upon) when women are experimenting with female ejaculation, as well.
posted by jokeefe at 3:21 PM on February 4, 2005

(Still a little off-topic, sorry.)

What purplemonkie said, with the added factoid that the cervical fluid changes pre-ovulation just so's to be more hospitable to those little guys. How long before ovulation, you ask? Well, just by coincidence... about five days.

Also, I've heard that with a rather grand amount of practicing Kegels, a woman's vaginal muscles can become so strong that they can forcibly hold in a phallus. Can anyone confirm this?
posted by Specklet at 4:11 PM on February 4, 2005

Can anyone confirm this?

*cough* An, um, friend of mine says she can do this. *cough*

Heh. He'll never get away!

Oh, was this thing still on?
posted by jokeefe at 4:56 PM on February 4, 2005

I had an ex who could. Can't say it was the most enjoyable experience, either, particularly as it meant the act as a whole felt somewhat like trying to make love to a wall. Apparently, once those muscles are tight and toned, there's no relaxing.
posted by coriolisdave at 4:56 PM on February 4, 2005

An ex used to do a kind of squat that ejected most of my input. It'd be hard to describe without diagrams but she'd get on her haunches like a weightlifter doing a squat, lean forward to raise her butt, then bring it back down hard and fast. Our birth control method was essentially the rhythm method, with condoms/diaphragm while she was fertile; she did her sperm ejection manoeuvre as an extra precaution.
posted by TimeFactor at 5:10 PM on February 4, 2005

Why oh why do I read these threads that say [question inside to prevent offending everyone]? I'll never learn. Don't get up; I'll find my own way out, thanks.
posted by Doohickie at 8:51 PM on February 4, 2005

If you have oodles of vagina questions, might I suggest vagina pagina? It's got a lot of useful information and links in the archives.
posted by estelahe at 9:18 PM on February 4, 2005

Not an answer to the question, so maybe not appropriate. Still, it seems to be highly on topic. An article in New Scientist is claiming that exposure to semen makes women happier compared to women who use condoms with their partners or who don't have sex.
posted by willnot at 9:31 PM on February 4, 2005

That was from a group of male scientists. Another group of female scientists have found that in 90% of heterosexual relationships in which the male partner performs the bulk of the housework, the males are, on the average, 80% happier than males that never do housework, and 65% happier than males that sometimes do housework.
posted by taz at 12:26 AM on February 5, 2005

« Older Grad School Living   |   Help me assemble a memorial scrapbook for a woman... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.