Here’s why your semen colour changes and what it means
Healthy semen is a cloudy white colour with a jelly consistency similar to a raw egg. Slight changes in semen colour, texture, and even smell might be normal and should pose no concern.
In some cases, semen colour changes could be a sign of an underlying issue. Possible reasons include blood in the semen or infections, both of which require medical attention.
Male fertility is influenced by a wide variety of factors – such as sperm shape, sperm count, and sperm colour. Thick, whitish liquid tends to indicate healthy sperm quality.
What if you have discoloured sperm?
There are at least 7 different colours of sperm. Each colour serves as a different indicator of your health status and fertility status.
It is important to know the meaning of your sperm colour and the colour affects your health.
Clear, white, and grey
Clear, white, or greyish sperm indicates healthy sperm. In general, sperm with this colour characteristic has a thick texture due to the high number of sperm.
However, some men have normal sperm colour yet liquidy texture – this is known as watery sperm. Watery sperm indicates a symptom of male fertility due to insufficient zinc intake.
This sperm colour is usually due to age-related factors.
This condition is fairly normal as long as you do not feel pain during ejaculation or sex.
In addition, other factors can cause yellowish-white sperm colour – one of which is when you eat too many foods that contain high sulfur, such as garlic, onions, broccoli, and bananas.
Yellow sperm colour does not necessarily indicate a health disorder. It could be because your sperm fluid is mixed with urine in the urethral tract.
Sperm passing through the urethra can get mixed along with the leftover urine, giving it a yellowish colour. This condition is most common if you ejaculate shortly after urinating.
However, it should also be noted that other possibilities cause sperm colour to have a yellowish tint:
- Jaundice occurs when too much bilirubin builds up in your body. Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment that is created by the natural breakdown of red blood cells.
- Leukocytospermia occurs when there are too many white blood cells (leukocytes) in your sperm which causes the sperm to turn yellowish. The causes of leukocytospermia can be from prostate infection, autoimmune disease, or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- Prostate infection occurs when bacteria from the urinary tract enter your prostate gland – causing the sperm to change colour to a yellowish colour.
Green sperm colour may indicate an infection – either an infection that affects the bladder area or a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Factors behind this are similar to the reason causing the yellowish sperm colour. However, you will still need to be careful about the possibility of catching sexually transmitted diseases from your sexual partner.
We recommend that you consult with your doctor to identify the reason why you have green sperm colour.
A reddish tinge usually indicates fresh blood. Meanwhile, a brownish tinge indicates old blood – as blood colour change can occur after exposure to oxygen.
Red or brownish sperm may be due to:
- Prostate biopsy or surgery is done by taking tissue samples from the prostate gland. This procedure involves cutting the tissue that can enter blood into your urinary tract or ejaculatory tract. The blood may leak, causing the sperm to turn red or brown.
- Abnormal masturbation. In some cases, men who ejaculate often have bloody sperm. This condition may occur when you don’t have an orgasm for a long time or stop yourself before ejaculating.
- High blood pressure (hypertension) causes blood to get mixed with sperm, especially if left untreated.
The black sperm colour is usually associated with a hematospermia disorder.
Hematospermia is generally associated with inflammatory conditions of the seminal vesicles. Blood that gets mixed together with sperm has been exposed to oxygen – which leads to the black sperm colour.
Another condition that can cause black sperm colour is spinal cord injuries.
This condition is associated with damage to the seminal vesicles. These glands produce several substances that form dark brown to black sperm colour.
Restoring your sperm colour to normal
When you deal with discoloured sperm, there is also a possibility of male fertility problems.
There are many things you can do to improve sperm quality and return the colour to normal, such as:
- Exercise regularly
Exercise is not only for maintaining your ideal weight but also increasing your testosterone levels. People who exercise regularly have higher testosterone levels and improved sperm quality. Keep in mind that you do not have to exercise over rigorously as it might have the opposite effect – which is reducing testosterone levels.
- Avoid stress
Stress can lower levels of sexual satisfaction and affect your fertility. The hormone cortisol, which functions to control stress, plays an important role in this. Chronic stress will increase levels of the cortisol hormone which has a negative impact on testosterone. An increase in cortisol levels will make testosterone levels drop. Practice stress management by meditating, exercising, or seeing a psychologist to find the best solution and the right treatment for your condition.
- Lose weight
When undergoing a pregnancy program with your partner, it is a good idea to go on a diet plan. However, consult your doctor first to determine the most suitable diet plan for you. Losing weight can prevent obesity. Obesity is considered to be one of the causes of decreased sperm quality and quantity.
- Balance your zinc levels
Zinc is an important mineral that your body needs. It can also affect your sperm health. Zinc can be found in animal-based foods, such as meat, fish, eggs and shellfish. Moreover, you can increase fertility with foods that are high in zinc.