It’s but natural that after ejaculating, the last thing on your mind would be checking your semen for colour, texture, and odour. But mister, there is a strong link between your health and the health of your sperm. Just the way a healthy body, in general, would signify healthier sperm, the same way, the health of your sperm could convey a lot about your general health.

You must be knowing that semen is the male reproductive fluid, but were you aware that your semen at any time consists of only 10% sperms, the rest being made up of calcium, protein, sodium, zinc, and fructose sugar? So all of these play an important role in maintaining the health of your semen. Generally, healthy semen would be cloudy white or grey with a jelly-like consistency to the same. The odour should be bleach like due to the alkaline substances contained in it. This is very important as it helps the sperm to combat its way while travelling through the female reproductive tract, which is acidic.

But if your semen is yellow or greenish and smells terrible, it should be a matter of concern. This could be a sign of a sexually transmitted disease (STIs). Other signs of STIs would be painless sores in your genital areas and/or pain during urination and swelling. If you notice any of these symptoms, immediately contact your nearest health care provider or urologist who, after testing your semen, can get you treated, most of the time, which includes a course of antibiotics. But if your semen has a reddish or brownish tinge to it, as per doctors, it usually has nothing to worry about because this happens due to bursting of some blood vessel, which usually resolves on its own in a day or two. Also known as ‘haematospermia,’ often, this condition alarms men on seeing the tinge, but if it resolves on its own in a day or two, you typically have nothing to worry about.

Also, another condition that can be worrying is no ejaculation of semen during the climax, also known as dry ejaculation. This condition is usually not a problem in most young men as it can happen due to repeated orgasm where your body runs out of the semen supply. But if you are more than 40, and have gone through any treatments in your prostate area, including prostate surgery or radiation, then this could be a sign of retrograde ejaculation. In this, the semen is not expressed through the penis and goes back into the bladder. This might result in cloudy colour urine, along with less climaxing sensations.

So at the end of the day, especially if you are trying to impregnate your partner, then it’s imperative for you to keep in mind that your general health can be affecting your sperm quality and fertility. Here are certain conditions to avoid if you and your partner are trying to conceive, to prevent any harm to your sperm quality

  • Wearing tight underwear, as this keeps the testicles closer to your body, thereby generating heat, which can damage the sperms.
  • Using your laptop on your lap or always keeping your mobile in your front pockets as sperms can get damaged from heat and radiation
  • Smoking or drinking excessive alcohol, which affects your sperm quality.
  • Spending too much time in a hot tub or sauna, which can damage the sperm.
  • Taking drugs that affect fertility

Along with maintaining a generally healthy lifestyle, exercising helps to keep your sperm in good shape. As per a 2013 study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, men who got at least 90 minutes of exercise every week, had 42% more sperm concentration than those who didn’t. Also, if you are obese, then it makes sense to try and lose weight before planning for a baby since body fat leads to the production of more estrogen, which can inhibit sperm production.

Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP