At TheHealthBoard, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What Does Yellow Semen Mean?

A. Gamm
A. Gamm

Discolored sperm, especially yellow sperm, typically raises alarms for a man; however, yellow semen usually has natural and benign causes. It is a common belief among many doctors that yellow sperm is rarely ever a sign of anything permanently damaging to the man or his fertility. In fact, the worst case scenario for a man who experiences a yellow semen color involves only a round of antibiotics. The most common causes of yellow semen are urine, age, diet and infection.

Semen is the reproductive fluid that contains sperm (spermatozoa). Sperm is the male sex cell that fertilizes the female ovum. It is made inside vessels of the testicles called seminiferous tubules. Later, it matures in the epididymis and vas deferens and travels through the urethra suspended in semen.

Multivitamins can cause a change in semen color.
Multivitamins can cause a change in semen color.

As semen travels through the urethra before exiting the body, leftover urine in the urethra may exit with the sperm. This is very natural and a common occurrence among many men. It is likely to happen more than once, but does not require any action. A sign that the yellow semen was caused by urine is the semen being a very light tint of yellow as opposed to a darker shade of yellow. In most cases, this yellow tint goes unnoticed.

Foods that are rich in sulfur, like garlic, can make semen yellowish.
Foods that are rich in sulfur, like garlic, can make semen yellowish.

Semen usually turns a more yellow color as a man becomes older. This change is gradual and typically does not mean that the semen will be yellow with every ejaculation. In most cases, the semen will appear to be more yellow after an older man goes longer stretches without ejaculation; however, this may also happen with a younger man at times. There is usually no need for any action as the sperm is still healthy and viable.

As a man ages, his semen may pick up a yellow tint.
As a man ages, his semen may pick up a yellow tint.

A man’s diet affects the color of his semen as well. Food especially high in sulfur can cause yellow semen. The main kinds of food that contain sulfur and may change semen yellow include chives, onions, shallots and garlic. This also includes medications and multivitamins, which may also cause the semen to turn a light yellow color. It is entirely normal for this to occur, and it is not necessary to discontinue the diet.

Eating lots of shallots can cause yellow semen.
Eating lots of shallots can cause yellow semen.

Another common cause for yellow semen is infection. This is the first assumption of many men, and most doctors believe it is more likely to be the cause with younger men. Other signs that the yellow semen is a result of infection include greenish tints, a foul odor, and pain in the genital area. The most common infection is epididymitis, which is caused by prostate infection and can be easily cured with a round of antibiotics. Other infections, such as those caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are also typically eliminated with antibiotics.

What Does Yellow Sperm Mean?

Semen is produced in the vessels within the testicles called the seminiferous tubules.
Semen is produced in the vessels within the testicles called the seminiferous tubules.

Healthy semen often looks white or grayish-white, but if your semen has a slight yellow tint, it is generally not a cause for concern. Slightly discolored semen typically has benign causes that don’t affect your semen’s health or fertility. However, if the color of your semen is severely off, such as if it is a bright yellow or green, it may be a sign of infection.

The most common reasons your semen might be yellow are infection, diet, age, and urine in the semen, and you only need to consider it if the yellow color is a result of infection. However, this can usually be treated with a simple antibiotics regimen. Infection may also be the cause if your semen has a green tint or a strange odor, or if there is a pain in your genitals. If this is the case, you may have epididymitis caused by an infection in the prostate.

Certain foods can affect the color of your sperm and make it appear yellow. Sulfur, which is rich in some foods such as garlic, onions, shallots, and chives can be a reason for yellow semen. Some multivitamins and medications may also affect the color of your semen. Tuberculosis medications in particular can cause yellow semen.

Your age has to do with the color of your semen, as well. You may notice your semen gradually becoming more yellow as you age. This is natural and not a cause for concern, as it does not affect your fertility or health.

Because both urine and semen travel through the urethra, semen can absorb some urine in the urethra as it travels out of your penis. This is generally not an issue, but if you frequently retain urine, it may be a sign of urinary tract infection or an enlarged prostate.

Some sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, can also cause discolored semen. If this is the case, you will also feel a burning sensation when you ejaculate and the semen will smell odd.

Jaundice can cause semen to appear yellow. Jaundice is the result of large amounts of bilirubin in your system and is caused by a variety of issues, such as pancreatic or gallbladder cancer, alcohol use, or autoimmune disorders, among other possible explanations.

Leukocytospermia is a condition that can make your semen take on a yellow tint. This ailment results when there are too many white blood cells in your semen. Leukocytospermia can potentially damage your sperm and reduce its overall health. Alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco use can cause leukocytospermia, as can infections and autoimmune disorders. In addition to yellow semen, swelling in your penis or groin can be a sign of leukocytospermia.

What If There Is Yellow Sperm After Abstinence?

While more common in older men, younger men can also experience yellow semen if there is a lengthy period between ejaculations. Semen that stays in the seminal vesicles for a long time may become thick and change color. Again, there is no reason to worry if this occurs. However, infrequent ejaculation can help contribute to leukocytospermia, so it’s healthiest to have regular ejaculations.

What Can I Do If My Sperm Is Yellow?

There are a few remedies for yellow semen you can try if you want your semen to regain its white color.

First, alcohol and tobacco don’t help. Tobacco can affect the health of your semen and alcohol causes toxins to build up in your body, which may affect the color of your semen.

Low testosterone may contribute to yellow semen. Testosterone naturally lessens with age. You can try using testosterone boosters to reattain a white color in your semen.

Finally, dehydration may be a cause. Drink lots of water and some fruit juices. Try to drink at least three liters of water each day.

How Can I Keep My Sperm Healthy?

Some common activities can affect the health of your sperm. These include:

  • Too much coffee. A little coffee can improve the mobility of your sperm, but too much can cause genetic mutations that hurt its fertilization potential.
  • Too much heat. Too many hot baths can reduce your sperm count. Avoid anything that can heat your sperm.
  • Too much cycling. While cycling has other health benefits, it can detract from the health of your sperm. The shape and quality of your sperm may be harmed, and excessive cycling can even lead to infertility.
  • Too much laptop use. Your sperm’s health can be negatively affected if it’s near electronics. Wi-Fi signals are also not healthy for your sperm.
  • Not enough red in your diet. Red foods are often high in lycopene, which improves the overall health of your sperm.

Discussion Comments


When I discovered masturbation, the semen was yellowish about the first three times--gradually getting more pale. After it started appearing white, I decided that it must get yellow after aging inside.

Six years later, in Basic Training, I went about eight weeks without the opportunity to masturbate, and when I finally did, there was again a yellow tinge.


Yellowing of the semen is actually thickening of it. It usually happens when you stop masturbating/ having sex for a while. After your first ejaculation, it goes back to normal. There are practices in India and Nepal and the old yogis suggest that one needs the yellow semen to make their wife pregnant as its highly potent and the chances of pregnancy are higher than the normal white semen.


As time goes by, ejaculation happens less and is less persistent by sex or masturbation. It happened to me yesterday and I am 70 years old. My girlfriend told me not to worry. My problem is why would a 19 year old girl know this. Lucky me.


Mine is usually yellow if it has been several days since my last ejaculation. I think this is pretty normal. However, I do use a penis health creme every day in order to keep things extra clean and healthy down there. Maybe that has something to do with it. Who knows. But I am going to continue to use this creme because it is loaded with vitamins and nutrients, which are key to a healthy penis.


I've had yellow semen since I was 13 years old. I had ejaculated a lot of semen. Now I'm 17 years old and still ejaculate yellow semen. hat should I do?


Why is my poo yellow and my semen brown? I did visit a lady of the night in Tijuana recently before these symptoms showed up. Someone please help. I am scared and confused.


I got yellow sperm the first time after not masturbating for two weeks when I was on vacation when I was 16 years old. At that point I was already masturbating to porn five times a week. I also got it when I abstained from masturbation for over a month when I was 25.

Most guys don't get this and are confused when they hear about it on the internet because 99.9 percent of men don't go without ejaculating for more than three days at most. Sad, but true.


What antibiotics should I take and are they only prescribed by doctors?


The author forgot to mention that lemonade will also turn semen yellow. I once drank a glass of lemonade and had intercourse with my girlfriend. She wanted my to put my ejaculation on her breasts so I did. When she saw the color she got very concerned.


I am 28 years old and my semen is yellow and I feel pain in my genitals. I guess it was an infection. I had in the past, so please how do I get rid of this yellow semen and what antibiotic do I need to take?


When I drink purple 100 percent grape juice, eat lots of eggs and beets, my semen gets very yellow. When I abstain from grape juice, beets and eggs, it clears up. I was clear for several ejaculations, then I drank grape juice and ate lots of pickled eggs and beets, and my semen is very deep yellow again.


Very nice article. I also suffered from yellow colored semen quite often. But I have read that if it is not associated with pain, then it could be normal and there is not a problem.


I guess a man would be far more likely to notice yellow semen than his partner. I can only imagine all of the alarm bells that might be going off in his head, too.

However, it is important to remember that yellow semen often comes only when a man hasn’t had any…ummm…relief for some time.

My husband actually got an infection from this little issue a few years back, although he did not have yellow semen to accompany it.

He started to have some very frightening and very severe pain in his genital region far beyond what might be expected after a little dry spell.

The doctor actually told us that it was from a sperm cell that had reversed course and swam backward up the urethra, and the cause was going an extended amount of time without…relief.

I was incredibly embarrassed, since I am his wife and all. I kind of felt like it was my fault. I felt even more put on the spot when the doctor asked me if I’d noticed yellow colored semen on the occasions when we had been intimate.

Regardless, a course of antibiotics took care of him without further issue.


I, myself, have never encountered yellow semen. However, I find that information like this is good to know, and I’ll tell you why. I can also tell you that my husband would agree with this logic one hundred and ten percent, by the way.

If it ever just so happened that I did turn up with a noticeably yellow semen on my body after being intimate with my husband, and didn’t know that it was normal, he might be a very unhappy camper by the time I got finished with him.

I don’t know. Even in the best relationships, something as alarming as yellow semen could make any sane woman question her spouse’s fidelity. At least, it would me.

I might not have handled it too rationally if I hadn’t read this article. But, now I know, so I can deal with the the whole hypothetical, probably won’t ever happen situation with both grace and aplomb.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Multivitamins can cause a change in semen color.
      By: pixelrobot
      Multivitamins can cause a change in semen color.
    • Foods that are rich in sulfur, like garlic, can make semen yellowish.
      By: Tim UR
      Foods that are rich in sulfur, like garlic, can make semen yellowish.
    • As a man ages, his semen may pick up a yellow tint.
      By: Robert Kneschke
      As a man ages, his semen may pick up a yellow tint.
    • Eating lots of shallots can cause yellow semen.
      Eating lots of shallots can cause yellow semen.
    • Semen is produced in the vessels within the testicles called the seminiferous tubules.
      By: kocakayaali
      Semen is produced in the vessels within the testicles called the seminiferous tubules.