Blood in Semen

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Definition

What is blood in semen?

Blood in semen is also known as hematospermia. It may be in amounts too small to be seen except with a microscope, or it may be visible in the ejaculation fluid. Blood in the semen usually does not last long, as it is usually a self-resolving problem.

How common is blood in semen?

Blood in semen is not common. It can occur in patients in any gender at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Which signs and symptoms can blood in semen usually be associated with?

Related signs and symptoms include:

  • Blood in the urine (called hematuria)
  • Hot, burning urination or other symptoms of painful urination
  • Difficulty emptying your bladder completely
  • A painful bladder that feels distended
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Swollen or painful areas on the sex organs or obvious scrapes from injury
  • Penis discharge or other signs of an STD
  • Fever, racing pulse, and higher-than-normal blood pressure

Causes

What causes blood in semen?

Semen consists of sperm and fluids released by the prostate and other glands. The fluids, also called ejaculate, join the sperm as they pass through a series of tubes to the urethra for ejaculation. A number of things can break blood vessels along this route or along the urinary route to the urethra. Broken vessels then leak blood into the semen, urine or both.

Your doctor will ask if you’ve had prostate surgery or a prostate biopsy recently, since these procedures can cause blood in semen for several weeks afterward.

Most often, no cause can be found for blood in semen. In some cases, particularly among men under age 40, infection is a possible cause. Infection is usually accompanied by other signs and symptoms, such as painful urination.

Severe or recurrent blood in semen and blood in semen in men age 40 and older might, in rare cases, be a warning sign for conditions such as cancer. As a result, a more careful evaluation might be needed. But the risk is low. In follow-up studies of men, mostly over 40, who had blood in their semen, prostate cancer developed in between 4 and 6 percent of participants.

Possible causes of blood in semen:

  • Brachytherapy
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Epididymitis (testicle inflammation)
  • Excessive sexual activity or masturbation
  • External beam radiation for prostate cancer
  • Genital herpes
  • Gonorrhea
  • Hemophilia
  • Orchitis (inflamed testicle)
  • Prolonged sexual abstinence
  • Prostate biopsy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostatitis (infection or inflammation of the prostate)
  • Testicular trauma
  • Vasectomy

Rare causes of blood in semen:

  • Amyloidosis (buildup of abnormal proteins in your organs)
  • Benign growths (cysts, polyps) in the bladder, urethra or prostate
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Testicular cancer
  • Tuberculosis
  • Warfarin side effects

The conditions mentioned above are some common causes of blood in semen. Consult with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for blood in semen?

There are many risk factors for blood in semen, such as:

  • Age over 40 years
  • History of cancer or significant cancer risk
  • Known urologic structural abnormality
  • Bleeding Disorder
  • Trauma

Please consult with your doctor for further information.

When to see your doctor

When should I see my doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you or your loved one has any of the following:

  • Age40 or older
  • Blood in semen that persists longer than three to four weeks
  • Repeatedly recurring blood in semen
  • Other symptoms, such as painful urination
  • Other risk factors — such as a history of cancer, bleeding disorders, or genital or urinary system malformation — or have recently engaged in behaviors that put you at risk of sexually transmitted infections

On noticing one of these symptoms or having any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor to get the best solutions for your situation.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage blood in semen?

These following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with blood in semen:

  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Eat high-fiber foods to make bowel movements easier.
  • Have plenty of rest to allow your body to heal
  • Apply ice to help reduce swelling (if any) for 10 to 20 minutes at a time, but no longer than that.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor for the best solutions.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: January 3, 2019 | Last Modified: January 3, 2019

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