Lumpy, "gelatinous", "clotted", or globulous semen may be quite frightening or worrying to men who experience it, particularly if their semen's appearance has recently changed. What are the possible causes of lumpy semen, and do you need to see a doctor?
Normal Semen Has A Variety Of Possible Appearances
Healthy, normal semen comes in a rather wide variety of colors, textures, and scents. While colors range from a transparent white color to an opaque white or a slight gray and even a pale yellow tint, its smell and texture also change as a result of hormonal changes, level of sexual activity, and even the foods and drinks a man has consumed. Hence, a sudden change in the appearance of one's semen does not automatically signify a medical condition.
Semen is composed of a large variety of different substances, of which only a small percentage is sperm. One of these substances is protein, which assists with the process of the semen's coagulation (thickening) and liquefaction. A gel-like appearance of the semen, and even in some cases a thready, "glass noodle" appearance, is often caused by the build-up of these proteins in the testicles, as the result of infrequent ejaculation.
If your semen suddenly has a lumpy appearance after you have not ejaculated for a longer period of time (weeks or months), this is your most likely culprit, something that will be confirmed if engaging in more regular sexual intercourse or masturbation solves the problem.
Dehydration And A Poor Diet
Another key "ingredient" of semen is water — and when you are dehydrated, your body will first divert much-needed liquid from places where it is considered to be less essential. That includes your semen, and a lumpy appearance can certainly signify that you simply need to drink more water.
Changes in diet can likewise impact the color, scent, and thickness of semen, with a healthy diet promoting semen health and a poor diet doing the opposite.
Low Testosterone Levels
Low testosterone levels, medically called male hypogonadism, is another possible cause of lumpy semen. Accompanying symptoms include fatigue, a lowered libido, difficulty maintaining an erection, mood swings, the loss of muscle mass, and hair loss. Should these symptoms sound familiar to you, please consult your primary care provider.
(Sexually Transmitted) Infections
When the epididymis, a duct through which sperm reaches the vas deferens (the tubes that carry semen into the penis) from the testicles, becomes inflamed, this is called epidytimis. Epidytimis can likewise give semen a clumpy appearance, and may even make it difficult or painful for them to ejaculate.
Sexually transmitted diseases are the most frequent cause of epidytimis in younger and sexually active men, so if there is any chance that you have an STD (remember, it need only take one instance of unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner!), please get tested.
In older men, an enlarged prostate is a likely cause of epidytimis.
Sperm agglutination is a rarer cause of lumpy semen, and the most common reason for its occurrence is anti-sperm antibodies — yep, when your body treats your own sperm cells as foreign substances. Since this condition can make it harder for sperm cells to penetrate cervical mucus, sperm agglutination leads in infertility in some cases.
Temporarily "lumpy semen" will most often indicate either infrequent ejaculation, dehydration, or a poor diet. Taking steps to improve your diet, drink more water, and ejaculate more often may well solve your sticky problem. If it does not, your lumpy semen may be the result of one of the medical problems discussed above, and we advise you to see a doctor.
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