Semen Production

Semen is not produced until the male experiences puberty, which usually begins between 9 and 14 years of age (154). Semen consists of seminal fluid (produced by the prostate) and spermatozoa. The normal volume of a single ejaculate is between 2 and 7 mL, and it will contain approx 50-120 million spermatozoa/mL. There are numerous congenital and acquired causes for impaired spermatogenesis (155), resulting in either decreased numbers (oligozoospermia) or absence of (azoospermia) spermatozoa. Both conditions may be permanent or transitory depending on the underlying cause. Permanent azoospermia (e.g., after a successful vasectomy) would be of particular forensic significance because it could lead to the elimination of a suspect from an inquiry if spermatozoa had been identified that were known to relate to the offense. It is not possible to determine whether spermatozoa are present in the ejaculate without microscopic assessment. However, analysis of a defendant's semen is not a routine part of the forensic assessment.

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