Semen thickness and how it affects fertility

Once issues about the semen are mentioned, you will notice one of two reactions; some people become embarrassed while another set of people become worried.

Watery semen as its sometimes called is not a good way to express it though since it cannot be watery in that sense.

This is one of those issues that raises eyebrows and many people do not understand it and have lived with hearsay rather than fact.

Well here are the important things you should know about the semen.

Semen is the liquid that is released through the penis during sex, it carries sperm and other fluids from the prostate and various parts of the male reproductive organs.

Normally, semen is thick and whitish but it has been observed that sometimes it can vary in consistency. Mostly it doesn’t get thicker, rather it becomes less viscous.


The main culprit is low sperm count, and this is a term many men dread. However, there are other causes of watery semen and  all will be discussed briefly in the coming paragraphs.

There are mainly 4 possible causes and thankfully, they are treatable and preventable.

Low Sperm Count:
Low sperm count has been indicated to be the major cause of watery semen. It’s medical name is oligospermia. It simply means that the semen contains fewer sperm cells than normal.

By definition, if you have less than 15million sperms in one millilitre of your semen; you have a low sperm count).

Low sperm count doesn’t just happen? certain factors lead to low sperm count and they include:


This is when the veins from the testicles in the scrotum are swollen. It is treatable.


Mainly sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea can lead to low sperm count as it causes the inflammation of the male reproductive organ.


Both malignant (those that spread as cancers) and benign tumors (less dangerous and don’t spread) in the testicles can reduce sperm production.

Hormonal imbalances

Changes in male sex hormones can affect sperm production.

Retrograde ejaculation

This is when semen travels backward into the bladder and it can be due to injuries to the tubes that carry semen.

Frequent Ejaculation
Another cause of watery sperm is frequent ejaculation. This is seen in men that masturbate excessively several times per day or those who engage in intercourse multiple times in a day.

This happens because the body requires ample time to produce the right amount of semen after the first ejaculation. Therefore if you keep going after the first one, the quality just keeps dropping and it will surely become less viscous.

Zinc Deficiency
The body sometimes produces a certain group of antibodies known as anti-sperm antibodies. This group of antibodies see sperm as a foreign body and attack it to destroy. It thereby leading to low sperm count and invariably watery semen.

However, research has shown that if a man has an adequate level of zinc in the body then he can fight off the effect of this group of antibodies. They thrive in men with zinc deficiency and this can be corrected using zinc sulfate supplements.

If you notice that your semen is watery, check if it is clear or whitish. If it is clear then it is likely pre-ejaculation fluid which is released usually during foreplay and it is not semen although it contains few sperm cells.

Can watery semen affect fertility?

Watery semen is most times a temporary condition and it resolves on its own without having to make any intervention or take medications.

However, if it becomes persistent then it is a pointer to indicate another condition such as low sperm count.

Low sperm count does not mean that the man is infertile it just means that it will be more difficult for him to get a woman pregnant.

So watery semen can simply be due to some lifestyle changes, nutrient deficiencies or other underlying medical condition and the only way to know is to visit the hospital and get checked.

So if you notice that your semen is consistently watery then you should visit the hospital so that the underlying problem can be discovered and handled.

Watery semen is not something to panic about, it is something that every man will experience sometime.

Pharm. Chukwuekem Chijioke
Pharmacist, Author and Life Coach.

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