Semen is a gray color with a jelly-like texture. This can vary depending on your genes, lifestyle and health.

If you are not experiencing other symptoms, the changes in color are not cause for concern.

Read on to find out what yellow, green, brown, and other colors mean.

clear, white, or gray yellow green pink red brown orange black
heavy metals x x x
high blood pressure x x
jaundice x
leukocytospermia x
“normal” x
prostate biopsy or surgery x x x x
prostate, testicular, or urethral cancer x x x x
prostatitis x x x x x x
sexually transmitted disease x x x x
spinal cord injuries x x
substance use x
urine in semen x
abstinence x x

It is considered a typical or healthy semen.

What is semen made of?

Your semen is made up of a variety of different things. They all contribute to the texture of semen.

The substances in semen primarily come from the seminal vesicles, two glands located behind the bladder. The prostate gland contributes to semen as well. Substances in semen include:

  • The acid is called citric acid.
  • Acid phosphatase.
  • zinc
  • The amount of potassium is high.
  • Ascorbic acid is a component of the body.
  • The substance is called fibrinolysin.
  • mucus

The testes also release sperm into the semen, which makes up around 5 percent of semen volume.

Yellow or green semen is usually associated with:

Urine in your semen

A blockage can keep urine from completely leaving your urethra — the tube that drains urine out of your bladder — when you pee. This is known as urinary retention.

Semen can get mixed with trapped or leftover urine, giving it a yellow tint. This is most common if you pee after a while.

Some causes may need medical attention.


Jaundice happens when too much bilirubin builds up in your body. Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment left behind when your liver breaks down red blood cells.

It can turn your semen yellow if you have a symptom like yellow skin and whites of your eyes.

There are other symptoms of jaundice.


Too many white blood cells in your semen can cause leukocytospermia. This can make your semen yellow.

There are causes that can include:

See a doctor if you suspect leukocytospermia. Some causes, such as chlamydia, can result in infertility if left untreated.

Prostate infection (prostatitis)

Men can be caused by infections. This can happen when your urinary tract is invaded by the same type ofbacteria.

Other symptoms may include:

If you suspect prostatitis, see a doctor.

A pink or red tint is usually a symptom of fresh blood. Older bloodshed can cause a brownish or orange tinge. After being exposed to oxygen, blood may turn into a color.

Bloody semen is known as hematospermia, which is usually associated with:

Prostate biopsy or surgery

A sample from your prostrated body is used for a biopsy.

The procedure can cause blood to mix with semen and cause it to turn reddish or brownish.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure (hypertension) can sometimes cause blood to appear in your semen, especially if the condition isn’t being treated.

You may not experience any other symptoms in some cases.

In severe cases, you may experience headaches, bloody nose, and other symptoms.


STDs like herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea can cause blood to appear in your semen.

Other symptoms of STDs can be included.

  • burning while peeing
  • Swelling in your testicles can be a symptom.
  • There is a discharge from your penis.
  • It can be itchy, irritating, or painful.

Prostate infection (prostatitis)

Research indicates that prostatitis may also cause bloody semen.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Difficult peeing
  • When peeing, it hurts.
  • “It’s a need to pee often.”
  • Lower abdominal pain.
  • There is pain in your back.
  • The pain during sex.
  • There is a high degree of There is a high degree of There is a high degree of fever…
  • “It’s cold.”


Not having an orgasm for a long time, or stopping yourself before ejaculation, may cause blood to get in your semen. The release of semen from overly full seminal vesicles may cause irritation and lead to the bleeding.

“This usually doesn’t cause concern and often resolves on its own.”

Prostate or testicular cancers

In rare cases, bloody semen may be a symptom of prostate or testicular cancer. These cancers are often treated successfully, even at later stages.

testicular and prostrate cancer have no symptoms. Still, there are symptoms that may include:

  • Difficult peeing
  • “It’s necessary to pee frequently.”
  • When peeing, it hurts.
  • There is persistent pain in your body.
  • When ejaculating.
  • There is pain in your testicles.

Black semen is usually caused by hematospermia. Black blood is generally old blood that’s been in your body for a while.

Black semen may be associated with other things.

Spinal cord injuries

Injuries to your spinal cord may result in dark brown- or black-colored semen. Although the exact reason is unknown, research suggests that it may have something to do with a malfunction of the seminal vesicles. These glands produce some substances that make up semen.

If you have an injury, see a doctor. They can determine if it is causing symptoms or if it is the result of another issue.

Heavy metals

An older study from 2013 found that high levels of heavy metals — such as lead, manganese, and nickel — in the blood may cause dark-colored semen.

This may result from exposure to contaminated food, water, or other environmental factors.

If you think you have been exposed, you should see a doctor.

Semen is usually squishy or jelly-like.

You may experience slight differences in texture.

A temporary change in texture is usually not cause for concern.

If you experience pain, fatigue, or other symptoms, you should see a doctor.

These symptoms, along with thickened semen, could be an indication of severe dehydration, hormonal imbalance, or infection. Thickened semen may also be caused by prostate inflammation.

Very thick semen can result in infertility because it prevents the sperm from moving effectively toward the egg.

Watery semen may be a symptom of vitamin deficiency or infertility.

The semen may look translucent or clearer than normal, indicating it contains a very small amount of sperm.

Even when you are in good health, your semen may change.

If you are experiencing other unusual symptoms, you should see a doctor.

These include:

  • Difficult or complete inability to urinate.
  • “It’s swelling around your genital area.”
  • There is a rash on your scrotum.
  • Clear discharge or cloudy discharge.
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • There is a high degree of There is a high degree of There is a high degree of fever…