General Sexual Health ProblemsSemen Colour / Sperm Colour – What does it indicate?

Most of you men would have seen your semen colour after masturbation, it is silvery white, thick jelly like, little sticky liquid.  Semen colour (some call it sperm colour) varies a little bit depending on the diet and your genetics but more or less that would be the colour of healthy semen/sperms. But, do you know that the colour of your semen can change depending on your health condition? Colour of semen can be green, yellow, pink, reddish brown, red etc and if you notice this along with other symptoms in your body, you should see your doctor immediately.

Semen Colour – Clear, White or little greyish

Clear, white or little greyish is the typical colour of healthy semen/sperms. Ever wondered how does the semen get its colour? Semen is made up of several enzymes (components) that are made up of quite a number of minerals, proteins, hormones etc. Following are the major constituents:

  1. Citric Acid
  2. Phosphates
  3. Calcium
  4. Sodium
  5. Zinc
  6. Potassium
  7. Proteins
  8. Fibrinolysin

(You should also read our ‘6 Natural Testosterone Boosting Supplements’ to see how these are connected in producing healthy semen).

These minerals, proteins etc are secreted by the prostate gland that plays an important role in production of semen.

Semen Colour / Sperm Colour – What does it indicate?

Green-ish or Yellow-ish semen

Yellow semen causes warrants an article for itself, but let’s look at the causes of yellow semen in short here.

1. Presence of Urine in Semen

If you have just peed and then ejaculated, some of the urine that might have got stuck in the urethra could have got mixed with the semen showing up as yellowish urine.

Yellow semen – when you should see a doctor?

If the colour of your semen is yellow every time you ejaculate, you need to see a good sexologist near you immediately. Urinary Tract Infection (that can cause pain and burning sensation when peeing), BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia / Enlarged Prostate), infection of prostate (prostatitis) or other organ in your reproduction system could be the reason for yellow semen.

2. Jaundice

Bilirubin is a brownish yellow substance produced when liver breaks down old red blood cells in the body. This is then removed from the body through stool. (This is what gives the stool its normal colour). When excess Bilirubin builds up in the body, it results in the medical condition called ‘Jaundice’. Symptoms of jaundice include:

  1. Skin colour turning into pale yellow
  2. White part of the eyes turning to yellow-ish
  3. Yellow coloured urine
  4. Fever, Chills and pain in abdomen.

When such urine mixes with semen, the colour of semen can show up as yellowish.

3. Leukocytospermia

Leykocytes are white blood cells. Presence of too many white blood cells (leykocytes) can turn the colour of semen to yellow. Sexually transmitted infections, prostate infection or autoimmune disorder could be the root cause.

4. Prostate Infection / Prostatitis

If the prostate is infected, that can result in semen colour turning yellow. Other symptoms of infected prostate include pain and difficulty peeing, pain during ejaculation, fever, fatigue etc.

Also, yellow semen can be due consumption of foods excess in sulphur such as Onions, Garlic etc. Alcohol, marijuana and other drug abuse can also turn your semen yellow.

Pink, Reddish brown, red or little orange semen colour

Primary reason for such a colour is due to possible presence of blood in semen. If you are suffering from a condition called ‘Hematospermia’, pink or reddish brown semen can be seen due the presence of blood in it. How does blood get into semen?

1. Diagnosing or treating prostate issues

When your doctor is diagnosing prostate issues and wants you to get a biopsy done, a piece of tissue from the prostate is removed and sent to the lab. During this process, some blood may get mixed with the ejaculatory fluids.

During surgery of prostate, some blood might get leaked into the ejaculatory ducts that can turn the semen into pink or red colour. In most cases, this information would have conveyed to you before undergoing the procedure.

2. High Blood Pressure/Hypertension

When left untreated, high blood pressure (or hypertension) may result in blood getting mixed with semen.  Others symptoms of hypertension include shortness of breath, bleeding from nose, headaches etc.

3. Sexually Transmitted Infections

STIs/STDs such as Herpes, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea can cause blood to get mixed with semen. Other symptoms of common STIs include burning sensation or pain when peeing, swelling of testicles, itchy rash around the genitals etc.

4.Prostate Infection (Prostatitis)

The very same infection of prostate can also result in ejaculating pink or reddish brown coloured semen.

5. Rough Sex or Masturbation

Rough sex or masturbation can cause blood to appear in your semen. In some cases, not masturbating for a long time or stopping ejaculation can also result in seeing blood in the semen. This is not a serious concern and should set right in a day or two

6. Cancer – prostate, testicular or urethral

Cancer of prostate or testicles or urethra is a rare but possible scenario when blood in semen can indicate the underlying medical condition. Other symptoms include pain and discomfort in testicles, lower abdomen, back etc.

Black coloured semen

This is a very much possible condition and again, this can be seen when old blood gets mixed with semen. After the blood dries up, it turns into dark red or near black in colour. When such blood mixes with semen, you can see the colour of semen as black.

Spinal cord injuries or presence of heavy metals such as lead, manganese or nickel can be possible reasons for ejaculating black semen.

Should you see a sexologist near you when you spot a change in your semen colour?

Just change in the colour of semen with no other symptoms doesn’t really indicate a medical condition. This should resolve in a day or two. You must see a good sexologist or your family doctor if you continue seeing the coloured semen for more than two days (with no other symptoms) or if you are experiencing other symptoms along with change in colour of your semen.

Semen Colour Chart for Quick Reference



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