Semen in the Eye: Is It Dangerous? What Should I Do if I Get Sperm in my Eye?

eye-close-up-felix-flickr

There you are, performing oral sex on your boyfriend, husband or what’s-his-name and you start to feel that he’s about to come. Maybe, if he’s particularly kind, he even warns you with an “I’m gonna come.” Then, in spite of the fact that he promised not to get it in your eye if you let him come on your face or neck, whoosh! There it goes. Semen lands in your eye.

The fact is that semen does sometimes get in people’s eyes either during sex play with a partner (e.g., hand jobs or oral sex) or during men’s private masturbation. It is usually accidental and it can be scary, too. People may worry about their eyesight or eye health, particularly if the affected eye starts to get red or feel painful. But they also might not want to call their doctor for advice due to embarrassment.

Should you get semen in your own or your partner’s eye or eyes, here are some steps you can take:

1. Don’t panic. You’re not the first person to get semen in their eye and you’re not likely to be the last unless sex toy companies suddenly come out with Semen Splash Guards and they become all the rage. Contrary to some myths, getting semen or sperm in a person’s eye does not in and of iteself cause blindness.

2. Rinse. You might want to rinse the affected eye or eyes with warm water (not hot water, and not too cold). Semen clumps easily and quickly, and this may cause irritation, soreness, redness, burning, stinging or pain in your affected eye(s).

3. Avoid further irritation. If you normally wear contacts, you may want to remove your contacts and put your glasses on for a while until any irritation subsides. Some people have found that using eye drops helps to reduce irritation. Try not to rub your eyes, which can cause further irritation.

4. Consider health issues. It is theoretically possible to transmit infections (including HIV) from semen to a person’s partner if HIV-infected semen gets in another person’s eye. And according to a friend who is an ophthalmologist, it is also possible for more commonly transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and pubic lice to be spread this way (the spacing of the lashes closely approximate that of pubic hair allowing the lice to thrive). He notes that these infections can cause severe inflammation, itching, and discharge from the conjunctiva and in severe cases ulceration of the cornea. But good news: these problems can also be treated by an ophthalmologist. If you are not sure about your partner’s HIV or other STI status, please ask him or insist that he get tested. To be certain of your own status, you may want to tell your healthcare provider that semen got into your eye and ask about any appropriate or recommended follow-up testing or health considerations relevant to your personal health. Similarly, if your affected eye(s) continue to be irritated, if they have discharge or if they crust, or if it’s very painful or you have any questions at all about your personal health, please check in with your healthcare provider.

5. Note to future self: play it safe. It’s very difficult for men to aim their ejaculate as precisely as they may like and closing your eyes while letting your partner ejaculate on your face is not always an effective safeguard against getting semen in your eye. After all, the semen and sperm can still get in your eye through the corner of your eye. Unless wearing protective goggles during sex play is your thing, you may want to use the “hand shield” move during hand jobs or oral sex, or ask for an early warning “I’m coming” signal so you have enough time to move your face away from the imminent expulsion.

Oh, and if you need a glimmer of hope: men’s ejaculatory thrust decreases with age and ultimately becomes more of a “dribble” than a whoosh. That means that getting semen in one’s eye becomes much less common with men’s advanced age.

Learn more in Dr. Herbenick’s book, Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure & Satisfaction, and follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor

Related or Otherwise Fun MSP Posts:
- How to make oral sex taste better (and what zest can do for fellatio!) – Click HERE to read
- How to have sex in the shower (comfortably) – Five tips – Click HERE to read
- Better oral sex: deciding that you like it – Click HERE to read
- The Sex Toy Cemetery welcomes the pink silver bullet (an MSP classic!) - Click HERE or HERE to read

[Image via felix/Flickr Creative Commons.]

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.