Blue semen may actually indicate a more serious problem occurring in the prostate gland. An infection of this organ can produce semen that ranges in color from yellow to green, and it can differ in appearance between each individual. This type of condition is typically treatable with a variety of oral medications.
Healthy semen is typically white or gray to clear in color. It tends to remain somewhat thick immediately following ejaculation, and liquefies within half an hour. Changes in this color tend to indicate a health concern, so individuals experiencing a change in the color or consistency of their semen should consult with their health care professional.
Someone who believes they have blue semen may actually be viewing a type of yellow or green tinted fluid. When semen is tinted by one of these colors, it can indicate that there is an infection present in the prostate. The prostate is a gland connected to the penis by means of the urethra. It secretes semen, which is designed to protect and nourish the sperm that flows out of the penis during ejaculation.
The prostate gland can become infected, producing greenish blue semen, if it becomes enlarged or if bacteria begin growing around the area. The exact causes of this condition are often unknown. Additional symptoms can include pain and burning while urinating. This can also lead to a subsequent bladder infection, if left untreated, due to the close proximity of these two internal organs. Treatment of this condition can include soaking in a sitz bath, taking muscle relaxers, and taking a prescribed course of antibiotics.
Bleeding in the prostate gland can also cause a discoloration of the semen. When blood is present in the prostate, it tends to streak the semen with hues ranging from pink to red to dark brown. Lighter shades of red tend to indicate recent bleeding, while darker shades of red and brown may indicate older blood flow.
Doctors tend to agree that a significant change in the color of semen, including blue semen, is a cause for concern and usually indicates an underlying health condition. Some individuals may believe that the type of food they eat, the medication they take, or any STDs they may have affect the color of this liquid. Most doctors agree that these external factors have little to no bearing on color of the fluids produced by the reproductive organs.
Common Prostate Infections
A prostate infection is the most common cause of blue or discolored semen. There are four types of prostate infections, also known as prostatitis.
Any of these infections could cause semen to be blue or otherwise discolored.
Acute Bacterial Prostatitis
Acute bacterial prostatitis is the least common form of prostate infection, but it’s the easiest to diagnose. However, it’s also the worst type and can lead to severe pain. It could be life-threatening if left untreated.
While this infection typically lasts the shortest time, the symptoms can be painful and debilitating. It typically requires oral antibiotics for treatment and sometimes intravenous antibiotics in the hospital for a short period, between four and six weeks.
Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is a much less severe infection that can develop over several years, showing only mild symptoms. It’s most commonly characterized and diagnosed by the recurrence of urinary tract infections in young or middle-aged men.
One of the most common symptoms associated with this form of prostatitis is a pain or burning feeling during urination. Treatments include antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications.
Also called chronic pelvic pain syndrome, chronic prostatitis affects men of all ages and can cause intense pelvic or groin pain. The pain can range from severe and sharp to dull and mild, impacting your lower back, groin, pelvis, and lower stomach.
This type of infection is typically the most painful. Common treatments for this include antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications.
Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis
Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis is the most difficult form of prostatitis to diagnose. It can be present for years with little to no symptoms. It’s usually noticed when a doctor is diagnosing a different problem.
It’s when the prostate is inflamed, but the individual feels no pain or discomfort. There are usually no treatments for this type of prostatitis, as it can go away over time, but it can be an explanation for blue or discolored semen.
Other Semen Discolorations
If your semen is discolored, but you wouldn’t call it ‘blue,’ there are other discolorations of semen that are common. Below are all the possible colors of semen and what they may mean for your health.
Clear, White, or Gray
It is a good sign if your semen is clear, white, or a light shade of gray. The enzymes, minerals, proteins, and hormones present in your semen contribute to the whitish color that is a sign of good prostate health.
Yellow or Green
Yellow or green semen often signals the same problems that blue semen does. It may also occur when you urinate immediately after ejaculating, as the fluids just mixed on the way out.
Yellow or green semen can indicate jaundice, a UTI, enlarged prostate, bladder obstruction, or any of the types of prostate infections explained above.
Pink, Red, Brown, or Orange
If your semen is pink, red, brown, or orange, it can be a sign of blood in your semen.
The blood in the semen could be due to recent physical trauma to the area, prostate infections, tumors, or other medical conditions. It may also be caused by a high-protein diet with lots of red meat.
Black semen is rare but can be a sign of health problems. Black semen could be due to old blood lodged in the urethra caused by hematospermia. It could also be a sign of a spinal cord injury or an excess of heavy metals in the blood due to diet.
When To See a Doctor
Slight semen discoloration can be caused by something as simple as a diet with lots of red meat. But the other causes discussed, such as a severe prostate infection, can be dangerous to your health.
If you experience any of the following symptoms along with semen discoloration, no matter what color, it’s best you seek medical attention.
- Trouble urinating/ incontinence
- Painful urination
- Frequent urination
- A frequent phantom feeling of urination
- Mild to severe lower abdominal pain
- Pain or discomfort in the lower back
- Pain or discomfort during ejaculation
- Fever/ sweating
- Genital inflammation
While blue semen can be nothing to worry about, it could indicate intense prostate issues. If you notice semen discoloration along with one or more of the symptoms above, make a doctor’s appointment.