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The 7 Colors of Sperm and How They Affect Male Fertility

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Male fertility is influenced by a wide variety of factors – such as sperm shape, sperm count, and sperm color. Thick, whitish liquid tends to indicate healthy sperm quality.

What if you have discolored sperm?

There are at least 7 different colors of sperm. Each color serves as a different indicator of your health status and fertility status

Your doctor may recommend a series of tests for you to undertake, such as a sperm count test, to analyse the health of your sperm in terms of sperm count, shape, color, and motility.

This test is necessary to help identify symptoms of sexual dysfunction – particularly, if you have trouble conceiving.  

It is advisable for one to consult with a urologist if you think there are problems with your sperm or penis. For recommendations on which urologist to go to or to get a quotation on certain procedures, please contact Smarter Health.

What Causes Discolored Sperm?

When a man ejaculates, sperm will be discharged from the penis along with the semen. Healthy sperm fluid is usually whitish-gray and has a thick jelly-like texture.

However, sperm color can also change under certain conditions. For example, the condition of watery sperm indicates a male fertility problem.

Your health condition will determine the number, motility, shape, and color of your sperm. To increase fertility, it is recommended to try a male vitality diet program.

Prostate problems or post-operative treatment can also trigger a change in the color of the sperm to a reddish or brownish color.

Here are some factors behind discolored sperm: 

  • Diet. Sulfur-rich foods can protect you from serious diseases like cancer and diabetes. However, foods that contain sulfur can also turn sperm yellowish. For example, onions and garlic.
  • Sperm mixed with urine. Both sperm and urine come out of the urethra. The remaining sperm in the urethra can mix with the urine – which changes the sperm color when you ejaculate. 
  • Prostate infection. The prostate gland is located at the base of the bladder. Bacteria that infect the urinary tract can move to the prostate gland and cause new infections, causing sperm to change color.

In general, damaged sperm are unable to fertilise an egg. Additionally, damaged sperm can also decrease male fertility.

Therefore, the condition of having discolored sperm will worsen and lead to infertility if not treated properly.

If you are starting to worry about discolored sperm, do not hesitate to consult a urologist or an andrologist.

The specialist doctor will be able to identify the reasons behind discolored sperm, determining and recommending suitable treatment types.

What Your Sperm Color Say about Your Health

It is important to know the meaning of your sperm color and the color affects your health. 

Clear, white, and gray

Clear, white, or grayish sperm indicates healthy sperm. In general, sperm with this color characteristic has a thick texture due to the high number of sperm. 

However, some men have normal sperm color yet liquid-y texture – this is known as watery sperm. Watery sperm indicates a symptom of male fertility due to insufficient zinc intake.

Yellowish white

This sperm color is usually due to age-related factors.

This condition is fairly normal as long as you do not feel pain during ejaculation or sex.

In addition, there are also other factors that can cause yellowish white sperm color – one of which is when you eat too many foods that contain high sulfur, such as garlic, onions, broccoli, and bananas.


Yellow sperm color does not necessarily indicate a health disorder. It could be because your sperm fluid is mixed with urine in the urethral tract.

Sperm passing through the urethra can get mixed along with the leftover urine, giving it a yellowish color. This condition is most common if you ejaculate shortly after urinating.

However, it should also be noted that there are other possibilities that cause sperm color to have a yellowish tint:

  • Jaundice occurs when too much bilirubin builds up in your body. Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment that is created by the natural breakdown of red blood cells.
  • Leukocytospermia occurs when there are too many white blood cells (leukocytes) in your sperm which causes the sperm to turn yellowish. The causes of leukocytospermia can be from prostate infection, autoimmune disease, or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
  • Prostate infection occurs when bacteria from the urinary tract enter your prostate gland – causing the sperm to change color to a yellowish color


Green sperm color may indicate an infection – either an infection that affects the bladder area or a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Factors behind this are similar to the reason causing the yellowish sperm color.  However, you will still need to be careful about the possibility of catching sexually transmitted diseases from your sexual partner. 

We recommend that you consult with your doctor to identify the reason why you have green sperm color.

Red, brownish 

A reddish tinge usually indicates fresh blood. Meanwhile, a brownish tinge indicates old blood – as blood color change can occur after exposure to oxygen.

Red or brownish sperm may be due to:

  • Prostate biopsy, or surgery is done by taking tissue samples from the prostate gland. This procedure involves cutting the tissue that can enter blood into your urinary tract or ejaculatory tract. The blood may leak, causing the sperm to turn red or brown.
  • Abnormal masturbation. In some cases, men who ejaculate often have bloody sperm. This condition may occur when you don’t have an orgasm for a long time, or stop yourself before ejaculating.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) causes blood to get mixed with sperm, especially if left untreated.


The black sperm color is usually associated with a hematospermia disorder.

Hematospermia is generally associated with inflammatory conditions of the seminal vesicles. Blood that gets mixed together with sperm has been exposed to oxygen – which leads to the black sperm color.

Another condition that can cause black sperm color is spinal cord injuries.

This condition is associated with the damage to the seminal vesicles. These glands produce a number of substances that form dark brown to black sperm color.

Restoring Your Sperm Color to Normal

When you deal with discolored sperm, there is also a possibility of male fertility problems. 

There are many things you can do to improve sperm quality and return the color to normal, such as:

  • Exercise regularly. Exercise is not only for maintaining your ideal weight, but also increasing your testosterone levels. People who exercise regularly have higher testosterone levels and improved sperm quality. Keep in mind that you do not have to exercise over rigorously as it might have the opposite effect – which is reducing testosterone levels.
  • Avoid stress. Stress can lower levels of sexual satisfaction and affect your fertility. The hormone cortisol, which functions to control stress, plays an important role in this. Chronic stress will increase levels of the cortisol hormone that has a negative impact on testosterone. An increase in cortisol levels will make testosterone levels drop. Practice stress management by meditating, exercising, or seeing a psychologist to find the best solution and the right treatment for your condition.
  • Lose weight. When undergoing a pregnancy program with your partner, it is a good idea to go on a diet plan. However, consult your doctor first to determine the most suitable diet plan for you. Losing weight can prevent obesity. Obesity is considered to be one of the causes of decreased sperm quality and quantity. 
  • Balance your zinc levels. Zinc is an important mineral that your body needs. It can also affect your sperm health. Zinc can be found in animal-based foods, such as meat, fish, eggs and shellfish. Moreover, you can increase fertility with foods that are high in zinc.

Have questions about fertility? Leave them in the comment section below.

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3 thoughts on “The 7 Colors of Sperm and How They Affect Male Fertility”

  1. Hello after having sex with my man the sperm confused us because was yellowish orange like which is strange to us

    Can you please help what’s going on?

  2. Hello, my question is why do i ejaculate yellow semen my age is 52 and im in fair shape, my health is considered fair. I exercise once or twice a week. I do not drink alcohol. Can this issue be naturally corrected ? Theres no pain during intercourse or during ejaculation. I do take certain supplements. Thank you.


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