What’s the difference between semen and sperm? Aren’t they the same thing? The short answer is no. Sperm are the tadpole looking cells produced in the testicles. Most importantly, they contain the DNA of the male. Semen, or seminal fluid, is the whitish-gray fluid that contains the sperm. This fluid carries the sperm, giving them the energy and ability to swim. The average male will ejaculate about 3.5 ml or between ½ to ¾ of a teaspoon. When you do a fertility test, you look for the sperm. When you do an infidelity semen detection test, you look for the semen. Or more specifically, proteins that are in the semen.
How Does a Semen Detection Test Work?
Semen detection tests look for various components of semen. Some semen detection tests look for the enzyme acid phosphatase, or AP. (It’s the test with the purple paper.) Unfortunately, women also produce AP in vaginal secretions and other fluids. And it breaks down very quickly making the test is generally unreliable. Then there’s the PSA, or prostate specific antigen test. PSA is also a component of semen. However, some studies have shown that show that PSA is affected by prostate cancer, and PSA can exist in the male rectum and has been found in breast milk. There’s an old test called a Christmas tree stain that is used to look for sperm as the indicator that semen is present. This works as long as the man hasn’t had a vasectomy. That’s why forensic labs that do definitive testing look for a protein called semenogelin. It’s the predominant protein in seminal fluid. Testing does not cross react with other body fluids, and it’s present even if a man has had a vasectomy. So if you are looking for infidelity semen detection, do your research. Make sure you understand what kind of test the lab is doing.