Thick yellow and foul smelling semen could be alarming for men. Thick and yellow semen is considered normal and benign condition but foul smell is not good and indicates that something wrong is there. Foul smell indicates some sort of infection or bacterial growth is occurring inside the urogenital tract. Semen mixed with dead becteria and their toxins along with inflammatory exudate is responsible for the bad odor.
Causes of Yellow Colored Semen
Infections like prostatitis, seminits, epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis may cause yellow semen with foul smell and are usually associated with pain. These infections are treated with the help of antibiotics. Antibiotics are prescribed after culture and sensitivity test of the semen. This test recognizes the organism and an appropriate antibiotic that can kill that organism is then prescribed.
2. Semen Mixed with Urine.
Sometimes yellow colored foul smelling semen discharge during ejaculation occurs due to retention of urine inside the urethra. When semen passes through the bulbar urethra it mixed with the yellow colored concentrated urine and appear yellow and smells bad. Retention of urine predispose to urinary tract infection (UTI) and UTI itself is a cause of burning and foul-smelling discharge.
3. Old Age.
As man grows, his semen becomes yellower with growing age. It is normal and benign. It doesn’t affect his fertility and sexual performance. It doesn’t mean that every semen discharge will be yellow. The yellow semen appears on intermittent ejaculations but older men discharge yellow colored semen more often as compared to younger man.
Some foods that contain sulfur may impart yellow color to semen. These foods include, onion, garlic and chives. Some medicines also cause semen to turn yellow. These medicines include some multi-vitamins and Rifampicin which is a commonly used drug to treat tuberculosis.
Thus from the above discussion we can conclude that yellow semen discharge can be perfectly normal and benign but if it is associated with foul smell then it indicates a problem, with need further evaluation and treatment. The best test to confirm whether something is wrong or not is to do a microscopic examination and culture of the semen discharge.