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Discolored Semen: What Does That Mean?

January 12th, 2016

Discolored Semen: What Does That Mean?

Discolored Semen: What Does That Mean?

Semen is an organic fluid that contains spermatozoa, enzymes, and fructose. It is produced in the seminal vesicle and secreted by the gonads. Normally, it appears to be a whitish-gray color that is thick after ejaculation and becomes liquid within 30 minutes. The consistency and color can be affected by age, diet, and frequency of ejaculation. Changes in the color or appearance it may simply be temporary and not a sign of an underlying disorder, but changes in its color can also signal underlying medical conditions that should be evaluated by an urologist. If you’re noticed a change in the color or appearance of your semen that has lasted longer than a week, or if you’ve experienced a change in color that is also accompanied by pain, fever, blood in your urine, or problems with sexual function, then you should consult your doctor for a thorough evaluation.

Causes of Semen Color Change

Blood in semen imageSome possible causes of change in the color of it include prostate biopsy or inflammation of the prostate gland, which can turn its color to pink or a reddish brown. Bleeding can occur in the prostate gland or seminal vesicle, and usually it is benign, but it can be from a tumor. These are other causes of reddish-brown or brown semen, so if it’s persistent, be sure to consult your urologist for evaluation. In general, fresh blood results in a red or pink color, but old blood will appear more brown that red.

Urine in semen can cause it to appear yellow. However, jaundice, caused by liver disease, may be the cause of yellow or even orange semen. If you have an unusually high number of white blood cells in your semen, you may also notice a yellow tint. Yellowish-green semen suggests a possible prostate infection, so you should see you doctor right away for evaluation and treatment. Other symptoms associated with prostate infection include burning with urination or discomfort when engaging in sexual activity.

If it appears excessively sticky or slow moving, you have inflammation in your genitourinary tract. If it persists longer than a week or if it is accompanied by other signs, like fever or pain, be sure to follow up with an urologist.

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