Semen is normally whitish-grey; there are many possible reasons for a change in its appearance. Some may be short-lived and not a major health concern, but sometimes changed appearance can be a sign of an underlying medical condition that requires further evaluation and treatment.
A history review will highlight possible causes such as recent fevers or other illnesses, including cancer, and infections.
Prior trauma and surgery – particularly pelvic, bladder or prostate procedures – should be disclosed.
A physical examination may reveal abnormalities or inflammation. It is important to evaluate the prostate and identify any large cysts, infections or dilated seminal vesicles.
Semen analysis is a simple and important test and should be done early in the evaluation process. Some of the parameters checked are volume, pH and the number of white blood cells. The concentration, motility, shape, structure and vitality of sperm will also be analysed.
You may have inflammation of or bleeding in the prostate or seminal vesicle, a prostate infection or inflammation of the genito-urinary tract.
The changes may not always be associated with an obvious illness. However if changes persist for longer than a week and you also have other symptoms such as pain, fever, sexual dysfunction or blood in the urine, do not delay – see your doctor as soon as possible.