Brown Semen: Causes & What does that Mean


Men will normally ejaculate a thick and white semen. A discoloration will indicate that something is wrong in your body. For example, semen will have a brown color because of the presence of blood. This is quite alarming. However, it is treatable. Before getting the right treatment, the first step is to find the specific cause.

What are the Causes of Brown Semen?

Now why is your sperm brown? Hematospermia or the presence of blood in the semen is caused by several factors. The following are the common causes.

  • Infection

The most common cause of a dark brown semen is an infection. It occurs due to the invasion of microorganisms such as parasites, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. These microbes can enter a man’s reproductive system through various ways. One method is through intercourse. Brown sperm is often a symptom of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and herpes.

  • Inflammation

There are several organs involved in sperm production like the prostate gland, epididymis, seminal vesicles, urethra, and vas deferens. When any of these organs is swelling, one will ejaculate a brown-colored semen. These organs may swell due to various reasons such as irritation, trauma, the presence of calcified deposits or stones, and infection.

  • Medical Procedures and Injuries

Medical procedures such as prostate biopsy, radiotherapy, urological procedures, and vasectomy can lead to hematospermia. Injury to the testicles and penis can also cause this semen discoloration. Other causes are a pelvic fracture, rough sex, and masturbating vigorously.

  • Obstruction

When a duct obstruction occurs, the blood vessels surrounding the area will dilate and break leading to blood in the seminal fluid. Another possible cause is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It is a condition wherein an enlarged prostate pinches the urethra.

  • Polyps and Tumors

The presence of polyps in the reproductive system can cause blood in semen. Polyps are abnormal growth of tissues that feels like a small bump. Typically, it is benign. However, it may become cancerous.

Another cause of bloody sperm is a tumor. According to a review, about 3.5% of the 900 patients with a brown sperm have tumors, most of which are present in the prostate. Furthermore, malignant tumor or cancer is not restricted to the prostate gland. It can also develop in the testicles, bladder, and other organs of the reproductive and urinary system. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that older men who have a high risk of developing cancer should seek medical attention if they ejaculated a red or brown-colored seminal fluid.

  • Vascular Problems

Blood vessels surround the reproductive system. Due to several causes, they can be ruptured or damaged resulting to hematospermia.

  • Certain Medical Conditions

Here are other medical conditions that could be linked when your sperm is brown: hypertension, leukemia, liver diseases, and HIV.

Semen Color Meaning


Seminal fluid is a good indicator of a man’s health status. A colored sperm will most likely indicate a problem. The following are the common colors of semen and their meaning.

  • White Semen

A white, cloudy, and viscous semen indicates good health. After 30 minutes, it will normally dissolve or liquefy. Due to its high fructose contents, it has a sweet flavor. If your partner noticed an unusual flavor, high water intake and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will resolve this problem.

  • Yellow Semen

In most cases, a yellow semen is normal. As a man gets older, their seminal fluid may have some discoloration. Men who have not ejaculated for a long time may also release semen with a yellowish tinge. When the seminal fluid has some urine, it may also turn yellow. Thus, it is best to urinate before having intercourse.

In some cases, it can be caused by several medical conditions such as an infection or jaundice. It is an infection if your seminal fluid has an unpleasant odor. One has jaundice if the skin or white part of the eye is yellowish. If you have any of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor for appropriate treatment.

  • Clear or Watery Semen

Sperm cells are responsible for the semen’s white color. A clear or watery semen may indicate a low sperm count. If you ejaculated a clear seminal fluid, it is best to consult your doctor, especially if you are trying to have a baby. An exception for this is if you ejaculate several times a day. Frequent ejaculation will also lead to a watery sperm. For boys, their reproductive system is still developing. Thus, their seminal fluid may also be clear or colorless.

  • Red or Brown Semen

As discussed here, a red or brown sperm indicates the presence of blood due to various factors. In most cases, it will go away without treatment. You will need to seek medical attention if additional symptoms are present such as pain during urination and ejaculation, fever, an increase in heart rate, and an increase in blood pressure.

What to Do if your Semen is Brown?

Depending on the specific cause of hematospermia, various treatments are available. If you released a brown colored semen, you can do the following:

  • If you had a recent medical procedure like a prostate biopsy or urology procedure, treatment is not necessary. The brown semen will go away after a few weeks.
  • For young and healthy men, if there are no additional symptoms, your semen will return to its white color without treatment.
  • You need to see your doctor if you have noticed additional symptoms. The doctor will perform a physical exam and may order some tests such as urinalysis, STD testing, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, and urological tests. These tests will help determine the exact cause of your brown sperm.
  • If the blood in the semen is due to a medical condition like hypertension, the doctor will prescribe appropriate medications to treat the underlying illness.
  • An antibiotic is prescribed for infections, including STDs.
  • If there is an inflammation, anti-inflammatory drugs will help ease the pain and swelling.
  • Your doctor may refer you to a urologist if the condition is caused by a problem in the urinary or reproductive tract. The important symptoms are pain during urination or ejaculation.
  • Your doctor will request a prostate biopsy if he thinks that this condition is due to prostate cancer. This type of cancer is more prevalent in men aging 45 years old and above. However, younger men with a family history of cancer will also be tested.