Spermarche—also known as semenarche—refers to the beginning of development of sperm in boys' testicles at puberty.[1] It contrasts with 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 sexual 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. This process of determining the sperm content in urine is referred to as spermaturia.[3] From various sources, it appears that spermarche occurs between 11–15 years of age.[4]


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. Less commonly, the first ejaculation occurred during sexual intercourse with a partner.[5]

See also


  1. 1 2 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. 1 2 The onset of sperm production in pubertal boys. Relationship to gonadotropin excretion, H. E. Kulin, M. A. Frontera, L. M. Demers, M. J. Bartholomew, and T. A. Lloyd, American Journal of Diseases of Children 143 (1989), pp. 190–193. PubMed 2492750 doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150140080024
  4. 1 2 Onset of the release of spermatozoa (spermarche) in boys in relation to age, testicular growth, pubic hair, and height, C. T. Nielsen et al., Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 62 (#3, March 1986), pp. 532–535.PubMed 3944237 doi:10.1210/jcem-62-3-532
  5. A Study of White Middle-Class Adolescent Boys' Responses to "Semenarche" (The First Ejaculation), James H. Stein and Lynn Whisnant Reiser, Journal of Youth and Adolescence 23 (#3, 1994), pp. 373–384.
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