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After a month of not masturbated, I masturbated today.I noticed that my semen had a slight reddish color to it, which scared me. What could cause that? My urine looks normal, it’s just my semen that’s a different color. Thanks.


If you don’t notice reddish semen again, it’s probably nothing to worry about. Reddish semen is often a sign of there being some small amount of blood in your semen, which can come from an infection or inflammation or even from unknown causes. If you are young and healthy and don’t notice again, you might not give it a second thought although it is always wise to mention symptoms like that to a doctor or nurse.


If you have other symptoms such as painful or sore genitals, or if you have genital itching or discharge, I would encourage you to make an appointment with a healthcare provider and soon.


Men who are over 40 are generally advised to mention reddish semen to their healthcare provider, even when the reddish semen seems fleeting. That’s because with age there is a greater risk of prostate problems or a range of cancers. These are still quite rare and even middle aged and older men will usually find that bloody semen is not a sign of anything serious, but it’s a good idea to let a doctor or nurse know just in case so that they can screen for any infections or more serious problems. You can learn more about these kinds of issues on WebMD and on our Kinsey Confidential website.


Debby Herbenick, PhD is an Associate Professor at Indiana University’s School of Public Health and a Research Fellow and sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute. She’s the author of six books about sex; her newest is The Coregasm Workout. Follow Kinsey Confidential on Twitter @KinseyCon & visit us online at

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