What Are the Common Causes of Cold Semen?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

Cold semen is not a common problem, and the most likely causes of semen that is colder than normal have to do with the testicles being in a very cold environment without adequate protection. 

Men who remain in frigid temperatures for long periods of time may have cold semen.
Men who remain in frigid temperatures for long periods of time may have cold semen.

The testes must remain at a stable temperature in order to keep semen from becoming too hot or too cold. This is why the testicles appear to shrink and recede into the body when a male is submerged in cold water or is inadequately covered in cold weather.

Semen is a semi-liquid substance produced by the male testicles and prostate. It is composed of enzymes, proteins, simple sugars, and other substances used to fuel and nourish sperm cells. 

Because it is housed inside the body, semen typically stays within a few degrees of the 98.6 degrees (37 degrees Celsius) the human body maintains. This makes cold semen very unlikely to occur.

Semen may be collected and frozen for conservation purposes.
Semen may be collected and frozen for conservation purposes.

Sperm need to be kept several degrees cooler than the rest of the body, so the scrotum hangs below the abdominal cavity to preserve them. If the temperature surrounding the testicles becomes too cold, the scrotal sack contracts so that the testes are raised closer to the body to keep the temperature stable.

Likewise, in hotter climates the testicles hang away from the body to keep cooler. Generally, very hot temperatures are more of a threat to sperm cells than cold ones.

Sperm cells need to be kept several degrees cooler then the rest of the body.
Sperm cells need to be kept several degrees cooler then the rest of the body.

Sperm need to be kept several degrees cooler than the rest of the body, so the scrotum hangs below the abdominal cavity to preserve them. If the temperature surrounding the testicles becomes too cold, the scrotal sack contracts so that the testes are raised closer to the body to keep the temperature stable.

Likewise, in hotter climates, the testicles hang away from the body to keep cooler. Generally, very hot temperatures are more of a threat to sperm cells than cold ones.

Another situation where cold semen may be present is when it is collected and deliberately frozen to conserve it. This is usually done for fertilization purposes.

Male sperm donors and those who are having trouble getting their partners pregnant may turn to cryogenic freezing of sperm-containing semen for later use. 

This type of cold semen would be lowered to below-freezing temperatures using liquid nitrogen. Some sperm will typically die during this process, but many of them will revive once the semen is thawed.

Semen is produced in the testes, which are contained in the scrotum.
Semen is produced in the testes, which are contained in the scrotum.

Semen also cools in temperature very quickly after ejaculation has occurred. For this reason, men might not be able to tell if their semen is colder than normal by touching it. Any man who feels he may have fertility issues or abnormal semen should consult a specialist.

How Do You Keep the Testicles Warm To Reduce Instances of Cold Semen?

Testosterone can be warmed up very easily and safely through the following ways.

Warm Clothing

Clothes can pin down the heat that will warm up the testicles and the semen. However, please avoid tight pants and undergarments as they can bring about too much heat, and potentially cause more damage. Dress appropriately depending on the weather.

Sitting

Sitting can also warm up the testicles. When they are in contact with the thighs, the chance for cold air to reach them is low. This is a natural method of warming your testicles.

Hot Shower

This activity will increase your body temperature and, in turn, warm up the testicles. However, if the temperature of the testicles rises above normal, it temporarily lowers the quality of sperm. In addition to hot showers, take breaks from bodies of water, like swimming pools and beaches, that can make your semen cold.

How Cold Is Too Cold?

The testicles are liable to hypothermia or frostbite if temperatures are too low. Even protected areas of the body are at risk of hypothermia as the air temperature falls to 5°F ( -15°C) or colder.

Hypothermia is caused by exposure to very cold temperatures, and as a result, the body begins to slow down. The body's response to hypothermia is protective, allowing the heart rate and other vital functions to remain normal even when other organs slow down.

It tends to move towards the lower region. If your thighs are experiencing frostbite, the testicles may be next.

Indicators of frostbite

  • Skin turning white or red
  • Skin looking waxy
  • Numbness
  • Feeling an itchy sensation on the skin

What Is the Association Between Temperature and Semen Quality?

The association between temperature and semen quality has been studied for decades, but the results are still inconclusive. In general, it seems that cooler temperatures are better for semen quality.

Semen quality is a vital determinant for male fertility. The process of spermatogenesis is also susceptible to fluctuations in temperature. Studies show that semen quality criteria include, among others, total sperm number, sperm concentration, and total motility

According to research, keeping the testicular temperature between 31°C to 37°C (88°F to 99°F) allows for perfect RNA, DNA, and protein synthesis. Therefore, resulting in quality sperm production.

Researchers have also found that temperature positively affects sperm movement; a slightly elevated temperature and a sudden drop in temperature can both improve their swimming abilities.

Men living in colder temperatures are also said to have higher levels of semen quality than those living in warmer climates.

What Would Be the Cause of Cold and Sweaty Testicles?

Different factors can cause cold and sweaty testicles.

Hyperhidrosis Disorder

This condition causes you to sweat excessively, often in areas where it's not normal. Sometimes people with hyperhidrosis have "hot" sweats, but other times they experience cold sweats.

Tight Clothing

Wearing tight-fitting underwear or pants can cause your testicles to sweat because there's less air circulation around them.

Thyroid Disease

The thyroid hormone regulates your body temperature and plays a role in sweat production. Some types of thyroid disease can cause cold, sweaty testicles as a result.

If you experience any of these symptoms or notice any other changes in your health that might contribute to them, visit a doctor for further testing.

FAQs

What happens when semen gets too cold?

When semen gets too cold, it can cause problems with motility (the ability of sperm to move) and morphology (the shape of sperm). The best way to maintain good semen quality is to keep your testicles at a healthy temperature.

Does stress make my sperm cold?

Stress and depression aren’t linked directly to the temperature of sperm, but they are the most common causes of low sperm count. Stress can affect your body and all its functions, including the production of testosterone, which is essential for forming sperm.

If you're stressed out, try to unwind by exercising regularly or doing activities that will help improve your overall health. Also, talk to your doctor about it.

Final Thought: Common Causes of Cold Semen

The leading cause of cold semen is a low temperature surrounding the scrotum. While this can be a sign that something is wrong, it's not typically a bad sign.

However, if you have noticed that your semen is cold, it is important to visit your physician immediately so that they can rule out any underlying health conditions.

Discussion Comments

anon998519

I am sometimes cold. My body temperature has a hard time staying warm. I also have lowish blood pressure and exceedingly low triglyceride levels. Even in the summer, while not being in any cold environment, my semen is noticeably colder than my fingers, and ambient environment. I feel that it may have a relationship to possible prostatitis, and am infertile. I had two tests for fertility and the results have dropped in fertility (no improvement).

anon998297

I don't take cold showers; I take very hot showers. Why am I getting cold semen? I live in a very hot place. I'm rarely ever cold!

stoneMason

I don't know why people are worried about cold semen. It's better for semen to be cold than to be warm. I wouldn't worry unless I was stuck in the North Pole without clothes or something.

ZipLine

@literally45-- If you are ejaculating soon after your shower, then cold water is definitely the cause of your cold semen. Remember, when the testes are cold, so is semen.

I'm not a doctor but I don't think that this will cause damage to your sperm. You would have to shower with freezing water to cause damage. But you might want to avoid the genital area while showering with cold water and concentrate on your muscles instead. Try to warm up soon after the shower and see if the temperature of your semen is different.

If this problem continues, even when you don't shower with cold water, it's a good idea to ask your doctor about it.

literally45

Can cold showers cause cold semen? I've been doing warm and cold showers this week. It was recommended to me as therapy to help muscles heal after intense workouts. I usually start off showering with warm water and slowly switch to cold water.

I've noticed however that my semen has been colder than usual recently. Is it due to cold showering? Will this damage my sperm?

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    • Men who remain in frigid temperatures for long periods of time may have cold semen.
      By: Dudarev Mikhail
      Men who remain in frigid temperatures for long periods of time may have cold semen.
    • Semen may be collected and frozen for conservation purposes.
      By: nito
      Semen may be collected and frozen for conservation purposes.
    • Sperm cells need to be kept several degrees cooler then the rest of the body.
      By: fotoliaxrender
      Sperm cells need to be kept several degrees cooler then the rest of the body.
    • Semen is produced in the testes, which are contained in the scrotum.
      By: kocakayaali
      Semen is produced in the testes, which are contained in the scrotum.