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What Are the Common Causes of Yellow Sperm?

By T. Broderick
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many causes of yellow sperm. The most common is that as a man ages, sperm naturally takes on a yellow pigment. For younger men, diet can play a role in sperm color. A mild infection or urine in the semen has the same effect. The most serious cause of yellow sperm is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). An STD requires a consultation with a physician to both treat the disease and make sure it is not spread to future sexual partners.

Yellow sperm is a natural sign of the aging process in men. This occurs due to the gradual thickening of semen as men age. The same effect can occur in younger men who are dehydrated. If the body is dehydrated, it will not use as much water in its ejaculate, changing its overall composition. The sperm and a man's fertility are not affected in any way.

Certain diets can create sperm that has a yellowish cast. Foods that contain high levels of sulfur, such as garlic and onions, for example, give sperm a yellow tinge. As in the example in the previous paragraph, this color change does not affect fertility. If one wishes to return his sperm color to normal, drinking plenty of water and/or changing his diet will remedy the issue.

If one does not urinate before intercourse or masturbation, it is possible for urine to mix in with ejaculate, causing yellowish sperm. Besides the color change, the presence of urine has no other symptoms. Unless urine is always present in one's sperm, there is no need for concern. Otherwise, consulting a urologist is advised.

A minor infection can result in yellowish sperm. Many men experience prostatitis, an infection of the prostate. In some cases, prostatitis is asymptomatic while other men experience discomfort, pain or trouble urinating. Yellow sperm can present on its own or in combination with another symptom. By examining a sample of seminal fluid taken during a prostate exam, a urologist can confirm the presence of infection. A short course of antibiotics cures an infection and returns the sperm to its normal color.

The most serious cause of yellow colored sperm is a bacterial STD, usually either gonorrhea or chlamydia. Besides yellowing of the sperm, both of these diseases cause burning and yellow discharge. Medical treatment is required to cure both conditions. Although a number of antibiotics are still effective against chlamydia, gonorrhea has become resistant to all but one antibiotic medication. If both conditions are treated early enough, there are no lasting side effects.

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Discussion Comments

By anon1000561 — On Oct 20, 2018

@anon992071: Mine as well. Yellow sperm.

I've been diagnosed with Gilbert's Syndrome (elevated Billirubin, missing an enzyme, apparently we live longer though!). It's associated with jaundice.

Most likely they are related IMO!

By anon992071 — On Aug 11, 2015

This is the first time I have ever posted about this problem, but have been looking it up for years. I'm 30 years old. My ejaculate/semen (whatever the technical term) has been yellow my whole life.

At first, I had idea it was abnormal. Then I saw things such as porn, etc. A sexual partner of mine commented on it and I've been self conscious ever since. I used to be overweight as a child and do not like taking off clothing in front of people. I do not go to the doctor for these reasons as well. I've been searching for a reason why mine is yellow. I always see stuff saying it can come with age, STDs, diet... well, how can that be? I was like this when I was a young virgin.

I mainly just want to know if I'm dying of a cancer and/or if I'm unable to have children? I know people will say to go to a doctor but am I the first to have had this problem my entire life? No one ever seems to mention it.

By chivebasil — On Sep 15, 2011

When I was in college I played on my university's soccer team and there was one season when I suffered from a yellowish sperm. We started training in the summertime and it was brutally hot that year. I thought that I was drinking enough water, the coaches pushed it onto us at every break, but apparently it was not enough.

I began to notice a change in my sperm when I was by myself one night and it really freaked me out. You get pretty used to your own body, especially in regards to sex, so when something changes it can be really jarring. After fretting over it for about a week I finally went to a doctor and sheepishly asked him what was going on.

He told me that I was dehydrated and actually hooked me up to an IV right there in his office. Afterwards I made sure to drink even more water during soccer practice. I would also drink a ton of it before and after. My sperm changed back to its normal color pretty quickly and I actually started to play better. I guess that I was more dehydrated than I realized.

By gravois — On Sep 14, 2011

I am a little embarrassed to admit this but this internet forum is a good place to air embarrassing information. When I turned 60 my sperm began to take on a distinct yellow tint.

My wife was the first to notice and we were both concerned. This is not something that people often talk about and so I had no idea that this could even happen. I went to my doctor for a full check up and he assured me that there was nothing to be concerned about. It is just a consequence of growing older.

At this point I have gotten used to all the aches and pains and strange changes that happen to an aging body. And really, it doesn't effect my sex life at all. My wife and I are as fulfilled as we have always been and the color of my sperm really doesn't change anything. Don't worry guys, this is no big deal.

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