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Raj Singh MD
September 14, 2023

Blood in Semen: Should You Be Concerned?

Blood in Semen

Finding blood in your semen can be alarming and concerning. However, in most cases, it is not a serious health problem, a symptom, or a bigger underlying health issue. In many cases, it can be resolved without treatment. However, it is best to consult a medical professional to help rule out certain risks or diseases.

What Is Blood in Semen?

The condition of having blood mixed with your semen is medically known as hematospermia or hemospermia. It can make the semen appear brownish-red or red in color.

Although the presence of blood in semen is not normal, it is reasonably common. The condition can affect men of all ages. However, hematospermia is more often observed among men between the ages of 30 and 40 years.

What Are the Causes of Hematospermia?

There are several possible causes of the blood mixing with semen. These include:

  • Infections: This is one of the most common causes of hematospermia, especially among younger men. Infections of the prostate, seminal vesicles, or other parts of the genitourinary system can lead to blood mixing with semen. In other cases, the blood can be due to urinary tract infection (UTI).
  • Recent urological procedure: Blood in the semen may sometimes happen after a recent urological procedure, such as a prostate biopsy or a vasectomy. After a prostate biopsy, it may take 20 ejaculations or a few weeks until there is no blood present.
  • Trauma: Trauma or injury to the genital area — such as during vigorous sexual activity or a sports-related accident — can cause hematospermia. In such cases, the presence of blood is often temporary and should resolve with time.
  • Cancer: In rare cases, the presence of blood in semen can be a symptom of cancer, such as prostate cancer.
  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): BPH — a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland — can sometimes result in hematospermia. This condition is more common in older men and may require medical management.
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): Certain STIs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, can lead to blood in semen. Timely testing and treatment are crucial for addressing these infections.
  • Other medical conditions: Blood in semen can also be caused by other medical conditions, such as bleeding disorders or high blood pressure.

When Should You See a Doctor?

While hematospermia can often be benign and self-limiting, there are situations where seeking medical attention is advisable.

For men 40 and over, chances are higher that blood in the semen needs evaluation and treatment. This is especially true for men who:

  • Repeatedly encounter blood in their semen
  • Blood in semen persists for over a month
  • Experience related symptoms, such as fever and painful urinating or ejaculating
  • Are at risk for cancer, a bleeding disorder, or other conditions
  • Are sexually active or engaged in behaviors that may increase your risk of sexually transmitted infections

Your primary care doctor or a urologist may perform a physical exam, blood tests, urine tests, or imaging tests to diagnose the cause of blood in your semen and rule out certain conditions.

If you’re under age 40 and see blood in your semen, it will more than likely resolve even without treatment. However, it is still a good idea to make an appointment with a medical professional to rule out any underlying medical conditions or STIs.

Final Words and Advice

Hematospermia is rarely a cause for much concern in itself. However, seeing blood in semen can still be alarming. Moreover, it can be a symptom for other health issues like infections.

As such, it is important to see a physician or specialist to determine the exact cause and rule out any serious underlying medical conditions.

With prompt action, proper evaluation, and treatment, most cases of hematospermia can be resolved, putting your mind at ease and ensuring your long-term health and well-being.

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