Seminal vesicles are also called seminal glands or vesicular glands. They are sacs about 2 inches long that are located behind your bladder but in front of your rectum. The seminal vesicles are involved in fertility.
A seminal vesicle is a part of the anatomy that’s typically considered male. The two seminal vesicles are glands that produce the fluids that will turn into semen. The vesicles may also be called seminal glands or vesicular glands.
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The seminal vesicle is part of the reproductive system. The vesicles have both glandular tissue and muscular tissue. The muscular tissue contracts to move seminal fluid and sperm into the urethra and out through the penis.
The seminal vesicles work together with other parts of your reproductive system. For instance, the vesicles and the vas deferens and its ampulla (sperm repository) are all involved in pushing out ejaculate into and from the penis.
The fluids that develop in your seminal vesicles make up an estimated 50% to 80% of your semen’s volume. The substances in these fluids are designed to help sperm stay alive once they enter the vagina. The fluids carry:
The seminal vesicles are located behind your bladder but in front of your rectum. The tip of the vas deferens is near the vesicles.
Seminal glands, which are like bags or pouches, have blood vessels and nerves within them. There are also lymph nodes nearby. The seminal glands combine glandular and muscular tissue.
A typical seminal gland (seminal vesicle) is about 5 centimeters long or not quite 2 inches long. However, it’s in a tight coil that would be twice as long if stretched out.
Some common conditions and disorders that can affect the seminal vesicles include:
Signs and symptoms that may occur when you have something wrong with your seminal vesicles may include:
If your healthcare provider suspects you might have problems with your seminal vesicles, they might order one or more of the following tests:
If you have issues involving your seminal vesicles, the treatment depends on the causes. Possible treatments include:
Things that you do to stay healthy overall can help you keep your sexual organs functioning well. These things may include:
Seminal vesicles do get bigger when they are full if you haven’t ejaculated. You may be asked to hold back on ejaculating for three days if your provider has ordered certain imaging tests, such as an MRI.
There are many (billions) of sperm stored in your body. They don’t have to be produced in between ejaculation like the liquids that carry sperm out of the body. So that means that healthy people may be able to ejaculate several times a day.
The sperm production process (spermatogenesis) takes an estimated 64 to 74 days to be complete.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
There are parts of your body that you might not think about until things don’t work quite as they should. Maybe the seminal vesicles are some of these body parts. The glands are important to reproduction since they produce seminal fluid and act with other body parts to push semen out during ejaculation. You can help yourself, and your seminal vesicles, by following healthy behaviors. If you have any pain in your genital area, or if you have signs like blood in your sperm, or if you’re worried about your fertility, contact your healthcare provider.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/09/2022.
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