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Spermarche—also known as semenarche—is the beginning of development of sperm in boys' testicles at puberty.[1] It is the counterpart of menarche in girls.[2][3] Depending on their upbringing, cultural differences, and prior sexual knowledge, boys may have different reactions to spermarche, ranging from fear to excitement.[1] Spermarche is one of the first events in the life of a male leading to sexual maturity. It occurs at the time when the secondary sex characteristics are just beginning to develop.[4] The age when spermarche occurs is not easy to determine. However, researchers have tried to determine the age in various populations by taking urine samples of boys and determining the presence of spermatozoa. The presence of sperm in urine is referred to as spermaturia.[3]

Age of occurrence[edit]

1986 Year Book of Pediatrics stated "Fish [Hirsch - n.n.] et al. (J. Adolesc. Health Care 6:35, 1985) have suggested that spermarche is present in 38% of boys at age 12 and 70% of boys at age 13."[5]

Caroline Sahuc gives the range 10-16 years old for spermarche.[6]

Average age for
genital Tanner 3 stage[7]
Ethnicity Age
White 12.6
Black 12.0
Hispanic 13.0

According to Moshang, genital Tanner 3 stage implies spermarche.[7]

Planned Parenthood says that the age of spermarche is between 10 and 12 years old, "though some start a little sooner and others a little later".[8]


In one study, boys were asked the circumstances in which their first ejaculation occurred. Most commonly this occurred via a nocturnal emission, with a significant number experiencing semenarche via masturbation, which is very common at that age. Less commonly, the first ejaculation occurred during sexual intercourse with a partner.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood: A Cultural Approach, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 3rd edition, 2006. ISBN 978-0-13-195071-9
  2. ^ Adolescence, E. Atwater, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 3rd edition, 1992. ISBN 978-0-13-007469-0
  3. ^ a b Kuhn, Howard E. (1989). "The Onset of Sperm Production in Pubertal Boys". American Journal of Diseases of Children. 143 (2): 190. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150140080024.
  4. ^ Nielsen, C. Thøger; Skakkebæk, Niels E.; Richardson, David W.; Darling, Janet A. B.; Hunter, William M.; Jørgensen, Merete; Nielsen, Aage; Ingerslev, Olaf; Keiding, Niels; Müller, Jørn (1986). "Onset of the Release of Spermatozoa (Spermarche) in Boys in Relation to Age, Testicular Growth, Pubic Hair, and Height". The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 62 (3): 532–535. doi:10.1210/jcem-62-3-532. PMID 3944237.
  5. ^ Oski, Frank A.; Stockman, James A. (1986). 1986 Year Book of Pediatrics. Mosby Year Book. p. 270. ISBN 978-0-8151-6570-5. Actually citing Hirsch, Michael; Lunenfeld, Bruno; Modan, Michaela; Ovadia, Jardena; Shemesh, Joseph (1985). "Spermarche—The age of onset of sperm emission". Journal of Adolescent Health Care. Elsevier BV. 6 (1): 35–39. doi:10.1016/s0197-0070(85)80103-0. ISSN 0197-0070.
  6. ^ Sahuc, Caroline (2006). Comprendre son enfant: 11-17 ans. Studyrama. p. 39. ISBN 978-2-84472-889-0.
  7. ^ a b Moshang, Thomas (2005). Pediatric Endocrinology: The Requisites in Pediatrics. Mosby. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-323-01825-8. Cites Sun, S. S.; Schubert, C. M.; Chumlea, W. C.; Roche, A. F.; Kulin, H. E.; Lee, P. A.; Himes, J. H.; Ryan, A. S. (1 November 2002). "National Estimates of the Timing of Sexual Maturation and Racial Differences Among US Children". Pediatrics. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). 110 (5): 911–919. doi:10.1542/peds.110.5.911. ISSN 0031-4005. PMID 12415029.
  8. ^ Pisacreta, Emily (5 October 2010). "When do boys start producing sperm?". Planned Parenthood. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  9. ^ Stein, James H.; Whisnant Reiser, Lynn (1994). "A study of white middle-class adolescent boys' responses to ?semenarche? (The first ejaculation)". Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 23 (3): 373–384. doi:10.1007/BF01536725.