Q: Hi Doc? What causes clear sperm(s)?
A: Thanks for writing in.
One of the causes of ‘clear’ sperm (semen) is pre-ejaculate (a lubricating fluid) which may contain some sperm cells. It is believed that the sperm in the pre-ejaculate is not there at the time the fluid is produced, but is sperm from previous ejaculations that was probably left in the urethra. It is thought that urinating and cleaning the tip of the penis before sexual intercourse helps to clear the urethra of the sperm left from previous ejaculations. Diets poor in protein, frequent ejaculation as occurs in people who masturbate and exposing the testicles to high temperatures like in saunas could lead to a watery consistency/clear colour of semen.
Just to be sure you do know what normal semen should look like, below is a guide.
Using WHO reference values, a normal semen sample should fulfill the following:
- Volume amount of sperm produced in one ejaculation): Greater than or equal to 1.5 ml
- pH (whether acidic or alkaline. If less than 7, it’s acidic and greater than 7 is alkaline): Greater than equal to 7.2
- Viscosity (being semi-fluid): viscous
- Transparency: opaque
- Motility (percentage of sperm that move forward normally): This should be more than 40%
- Morphology (percentage of sperm that have normal shape): This should be greater than or equal to 15% normal, oval sperm heads
- Liquefaction (time taken for the semen to become ‘liquid’): This should be complete within one hour
- Pus cells should be less than 1 million/ml or less than 5/hpf
- Total sperm count: This should be greater than or equal to 15 million.
I hope this helps!