We all know that most guys like to think of ourselves as pretty macho – and most guys will tell you that they have no issues with the sight of blood.
However there is one place that seeing blood will make almost any guy freak out at least a little bit – and that is seeing blood in your semen.
Blood in the semen is known as hematospermia, and there can be several reasons why men might encounter blood in their semen. Blood in the semen can be caused by tumors, infections, anatomical abnormalities, stones, or inflammation in many sites throughout the genitourinary system.
Prostate biopsy is the most common cause of blood in the semen, and usually blood in the semen is benign and resolves on its own. In most cases, hematospermia has no underlying cause, is benign, self-limited, and no treatment is required.
“Why is blood in my semen and how did it get there?” The presence of blood in the semen (ejaculate) is also called hematospermia. Hematospermia is not always noticed; therefore, it is difficult to make estimates of its incidence. When men ejaculate, they typically don’t examine their semen looking for blood – so it’s not known how common the condition is.
For men younger than 40 with no related symptoms and no risk factors for underlying medical conditions, blood in semen often disappears on its own. For men over 40, chances are higher that blood in the semen could be serious, and needs further evaluation and treatment.
1) Prostate gland biopsy (usually lasts for 3-4 weeks after biopsy)
2) Recent vasectomy
3) Tumors of the prostate, bladder, testes, or seminal vesicles
4) STD’s or infections including chlamydia, herpes, cytomegalovirus, and trichomoniasis
5) Inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis), epididymis (epididymitis), or urethra (urethritis)
6) Calculi (stones similar to kidney stones) in the seminal vesicles or prostate
7) Ejaculation duct obstructions
(Check out our informational video to learn more about blood in the ejaculate – also known as Hematospermia. Dr. Neil Baum explains why there might be blood in your semen, and what you should do about it.)
It’s quite common for men to have blood in their semen at some point in their life for a variety of reasons. The first thing to do is: relax – it’s likely not a big deal. The second thing to do is schedule an appointment with your doctor, because only your physician can determine the possible cause of having semen in your blood.
Treatment of blood in the semen is directed toward the underlying cause if a cause has been found. Sometimes, treatment with antibiotics for a presumptive diagnosis of prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland) is given, since some studies have shown that up to about one-fourth of men with hematospermia have prostatitis. However, the benefit of such treatment has not been definitively established.
In most cases, if blood in the semen is not associated with any known abnormality of other troubling symptoms, no treatment is given, and the condition usually resolves on its own with time in these situations. Persistent hematospermia (for a month or more) even in the absence of other symptoms warrants further or follow-up evaluation.
What is the prognosis (outlook) for men with blood in their semen? The prognosis relates to the underlying cause of blood in the semen if a cause can be identified. However, most cases of hematospermia are benign and resolve without treatment.
While cancer is a rare cause of blood in the semen, the majority of cases are not related to cancer, especially in younger men.
If you have repeated episodes of blood in the semen along with painful urinary or ejaculatory symptoms, the doctor may refer you to a urologist.
If the doctor suspects prostate cancer, or another form of cancer, the doctor may ask for a prostate biopsy to evaluate the tissue for cancer. The incidence of prostate cancer is low in younger men — only 0.6% to 0.5% of cases occur in men younger than 45. But for men of any age with risk factors for cancer, testing that rules out prostate cancer may be the most reassuring part of treatment for blood in semen.
We hope you found this article on “blood in your semen” helpful. If you have encountered blood in your semen that has not resolved itself in a short period of time – please see your doctor. Although blood in your ejaculate is not usually serious and often resolves on its own – if it lasts for any significant amount of time, you should consult a healthcare professional.
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Tapper, Alexander D. “Hematospermia.” Medscape. Feb. 14, 2018. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/457632-overview>.
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