In general, one would tend to think that sperm is always a whitish, sometimes slightly yellow, slimy material composed of fructose, nutrients, water, vitamins and spermatozoa. But just as the taste of semen changes, semen color can change, and it's important to know what each hue means, as it's a valuable indicator for your health.
Find out why the color of sperm changes, and the explanations related to white, brown, red or black sperm.
1 Why does the color of sperm change?
2 Why is semen white, gray or transparent?
3 What does yellow or greenish semen mean?
4 Red, brown, pink or orange semen: the causes
5 Black sperm: what do you need to know?
6 Varying texture, taste and colors of my semen: understanding the changes
Why does the color of semen change?
The composition of sperm (source) makes it sensitive to several elements that we control, namely our physical condition in general and our diet. It is for this reason that the color of sperm can change in an individual, with a passage from yellow or gray, from pink to brown, for a fairly short time.
If these temporary changes are generally not alarming, and they simply derive from a current state (fatigue, stress) or from the consumption of foods that modify the color and taste of sperm, it is better to know what mean each of these colors, because some shades can hide more serious disorders (source).
Why is sperm white, gray or transparent?
Transparent, white or grayish semen is considered normal (source). It is its components that give it this color, in particular zinc, citric acid, calcium, sodium and certain proteins.
Warning: semen that is too transparent, almost translucent, can mean that your sperm are lacking in nutrients. Either you don't vary your diet enough, or your testosterone levels are not high enough or you ejaculate too often. This transparency can also mean a lack of vigor.
To remedy this, it is possible to use natural solutions to increase testosterone.
What does yellow or greenish semen mean?
Having yellow semen may only be a temporary alteration due to the consumption of alcohol or a specific food. But this semen color can hide other more worrying disorders.
Urine in semen
Sometimes urine gets stuck in the urethra (source) and mixes with your semen, giving it a yellow color during ejaculation.
If this is rare, there is nothing to worry about. But if it persists, you could be suffering from a UTI or prostate problem. It is therefore advisable to talk to a doctor about it.
Oxidation of spermine
Spermine is a protein contained in sperm (source), which influences both its smell and its color. If it oxidizes, it can give it a yellow tint.
Among the most common causes of this oxidation is abstinence, because without frequent ejaculation, the sperm stagnates and the spermine changes color. When it comes time to ejaculate, the semen will be thick, yellow, and quite fragrant.
Note: certain foods can be responsible for this change in sperm color, because of their high sulfur content. This is the case with pine nuts, garlic or cabbage.
Jaundice occurs when too much bilirubin (a yellowish pigment formed when the liver breaks down red blood cells) builds up in the body. The most common sign of this condition is yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, but it can also lead to yellow semen. Other symptoms of jaundice include: chills, fever and abdominal pain (source).
This disease which makes your sperm yellow results in an excessive presence of leukocytes (red blood cells) in your sperm. This can come from:
– From a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)- Prostate infection – Immune deficiencies
It is safer to consult a doctor quickly, because some cases of Leukocytospermia can lead to male infertility (source).
A prostate infection
When a bacterium present in the urine spreads to the prostate, the color of the semen can change and cause this yellow tint. The symptoms of a prostate infection (source) are as follows:
– Difficulty urinating – Pain during urination – Abdominal pain – Urge to urinate more frequently – Pain during ejaculation – Feeling of increased fatigue – Fevers and chills
Here too, consulting a doctor is essential.
A bad lifestyle
Your diet affects semen color and excessive consumption of sulfur rich foods, alcohol (source), coffee, soft drugs or tobacco can cause your semen to turn yellow.
It is therefore recommended to maintain a healthy diet, practice sports and drink plenty of water, in order to regulate the bad elements of your body and make your sperm white.
Red, brown, pink or orange semen: the causes
If you have brown, pink or even red semen, this is often a sign that blood has slipped into your semen (source). It will take on this color on contact with oxygen, causing what is called hematospermia (source), which very often results from:
When you perform a biopsy, which involves removing tissue from your prostate, blood may seep into your urinary tract and into your semen, giving it that reddish color.
This is a known consequence of this type of operation. This should go away naturally.
Too high blood pressure
With untreated high blood pressure, blood may appear in your semen. This may be the only symptom you experience, but you could also experience:
– Nosebleeds – Feeling short of breath – Headaches
A prostate infection
As mentioned above, a prostate infection can change the color of semen, turning it yellow, or even red / orange / brown in the most serious cases.
If you are prone to the symptoms we have presented, it is important to seek medical attention quickly.
Among the sexually transmitted diseases that alter the color of semen to make it red, we can cite chlamydia, herpes or gonorrhea. In addition to blood mixing with your semen, most of the time the following symptoms are experienced:
– Pain or burning when urinating – Pain in the testicles – Skin rashes and itching on your private parts
Massive masturbation or overly intensive sex
Ejaculating too often can cause small lesions in the penile tissues, which will result in the diffusion of blood into the semen. Similarly, not ejaculating for a long time or blocking an intense orgasm can cause bleeding.
This condition should resolve on its own within a few days.
Red/brown colored semen can also be a sign of cancer of the prostate (source), testicles, or urethra. If he usually heals (source), it's important to detect him fairly empty.
Additional symptoms include:
– Pain in the testicles or scrotum – Stomach pain – Increased back pain in the lower back – Pain in the private parts
Black sperm: what do you need to know?
Black semen can also be caused by hematospermia (source), and that dark tint is nothing but old blood, accumulated in your body. By mixing with the sperm, it will give it that dark color during ejaculation.
Whether it is a disorder of the seminal glands or a problem related to your spine (source), it is essential to consult a doctor to verify the cause of the problem.
Black sperm can also be caused by too high a level of heavy metals (source) (mercury, zinc, aluminium, etc.), which are toxic to the body (source) and which will change the color of the sperm.
It is advisable to pass certain tests if you think that you have had a risk of exposure to these heavy metals, by drinking contaminated water or by staying in a risk area.
Texture, taste and variable colors of my semen: understanding the changes
The taste of sperm, its texture, its color and its smell are dependent on your organism and your physical health. If you are in perfect health, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, your semen should retain its white/grey color and slimy texture.
On the other hand, in the event of a less impeccable lifestyle, you could be confronted with color changes. If it is punctual, there is no particular reason to worry. On the other hand, red / brown or black semen can hide different diseases and therefore a doctor should be consulted to find the exact cause. A cytobacteriological examination of the urine, or even a sperm culture should then be prescribed.
To improve the quality of your sperm you can also use food supplements like Semenoll. Find our opinion on Semenoll to understand the role of Zinc and Maca root which stimulate the production of spermatozoa and improve the quality and therefore the color of the seminal liquor.