What Color Should Semen Be?
Did you know that the color of your semen could be indicative of your fertility, or, in some cases, your infertility? Semen color1 (Mayo Clinic 2020), texture, and even smell can provide a lot of information about your fertility and health.
Semen is considered normal when it is white or a light gray color. Semen that does not fall in this range of color may indicate a medical condition. Unusual colors like yellow or green indicate that you may have a prostate infection and should speak with your medical provider as soon as possible to determine if an infection is present and if antibiotics are needed.
Yellow semen may also indicate urine in the semen. This can be an issue that requires attention from a fertility specialist, as it may indicate infertility. Pink or reddish-brown semen suggests that you may have some bleeding from or inflammation of your prostate. Most doctors will advise consulting with your provider in order to determine if a change in semen coloration requires testing or treatment.
The texture and consistency of semen is also important. Typically, semen is thick immediately after ejaculation and thins over time. If you find that your semen has changed to a runny or overly sticky texture, then a medical condition may be present2 (Rothman and Reese. 2009. Infertility in the Male).
When to speak with a physician
Often, a change in semen is temporary and will resolve itself on its own after a short period of time. However, a change in semen could indicate a medical condition. If changes in your semen last for more than one week, or if these changes are accompanied by sexual dysfunction, blood in urine, pain, itching, or fever, then it’s best to contact your provider. If your doctor determines that a medical issue is present that affects your fertility, Dr. Bastuba of the Male Fertility & Sexual Medicine Specialists (MFS) can provide a semen analysis in order to determine the best course of treatment for your situation.
- Gargollo PC. Discolored semen: What does it mean?, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, September 29, 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/discolored-semen/expert-answers/faq-20058363
- Rothman SA, Reese AA. 2009. Semen analysis. In: Lipschultz LI, Howards SS, Niederberger CS, editors. Infertility in the Male. 4th Edition. New York (NY): Cambridge University Press. Chapter 33. https://www.cambridge.org/vi/academic/subjects/medicine/obstetrics-and-gynecology-reproductive-medicine/infertility-male-4th-edition?format=HB&isbn=9780521872898