Here’s a guide to unusual semen colours and when you should be concerned.
The quality of a man’s semen is a maker of their overall health. So the next time after sex/masturbation, it might be worthwhile to take a glance at the condom/kleenex before disposing of it. Who knows, you might just detect an underlying medical condition by yourself!
Colour of semen is White, Clear or Grey
Normal semen is a whitish, cloudy even greyish fluid with the consistency of egg whites.
Colour of semen is Yellow or Green
Certain medications and supplements will tint the semen yellow. This is usually not a problem as the colour is caused by the by-product of the metabolism of the medication. Common medications include rifampicin, an antibiotic which can stain the semen yellow or orange and metronidazole which can turn the semen brownish. Other common medications are senna, a commonly used laxatives and Vitamin B supplements.
#2 Urine in the semen
Urine and semen travel through a common tube, known as the urethra. In cases of urinary retention, when urine is left behind in the urethra, semen can be mixed with urine giving rise to yellow urine.
Jaundice is a condition where there is a build-up of bilirubin from red blood cell destruction. Other than staining the semen yellow, patients also do find yellowing of their skin as well as the whites of their eyes. The other symptoms of jaundice also include abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting
Leukocytospermia happens when too many white blood cells are present in the urethra. This can happen in the setting of an infection, for example a sexually transmitted infection like gonorrhea or chlamydia. Leukocytospermia can also happen in a prostatic infection causing a yellowish-green semen. Other symptoms of prostatitis includes difficulty in urination, pain on urination/ejaculation, pain near the rectum, fever.
#1 Fruits and Vegetables
Consuming beetroots and red dragon fruits can give semen a pinkish-reddish tinge.
Hematospermia refers to blood in the semen. It’s an alarming phenomenon but studies have suggested that the majority of hematospermia are benign. It is almost never a sign of cancer in younger patients.
The most common cause of hematospermia is after a procedure for example after a prostate biopsy. It will last for 3 to 4 weeks with spontaneous resolution.
Uro-genital infections and prostatitis can also lead to reddish urine by irritating the lining of the urinary tract and causing bleeding. Other associated symptoms are pain with urination or pus discharge. Once diagnosed and treated, resolution of reddish urine is common.
However, if hematospermia is persistent for more than a month and the patient is more than the age of 50, it is still advisable to see the doctor for prostate cancer evaluations.
Also read: WHAT IS HEMATOSPERMIA (BLOOD IN SEMEN)?
Black semen is likely old blood in the semen that has been in the body for a long time.
#2 Heavy Metals
High levels of heavy metals, such as lead, manganese and nickel in the blood can lead to dark coloured urine. This is important for workers in related industries who might have possible exposure.
#3 Spinal Cord Injury
Patients with previous spinal cord injuries are known to have brown coloured semen on at least one ejaculation.
There are still many other causes that can lead to discolouration of semen. If you have any particular concerns or any symptoms, it’s best to see your healthcare provider for advice.