Hematospermia is the medical term for the presence of blood in semen. Hematospermia is a natural source of anxiety for men who are affected by it. It is unlikely, however, to be a symptom of a severe health condition.
Blood in the sperm can be caused by injuries, infections, prostate problems, and a variety of other reasons and conditions.
Causes of Blood in Semen
Semen is made up of sperm and fluids secreted by the prostate and other reproductive organs. The fluids referred to as ejaculate, combine with the sperm as they travel via a series of channels 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.
Common causes of blood in semen include:
- Ruptured blood vessel
- Sexually Transmitted Infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes
- Enlarged prostate
- Benign polyps or malignant tumors in the prostate, testicles, epididymis, or seminal vesicles
- Trauma from a prostate biopsy. You may see blood for up to four weeks after the procedure.
- Trauma from a vasectomy.
- Injury to the urinary tract or genitals
When To See The Doctor
A single occurrence of blood in the sperm is not a medical emergency. Nonetheless, seeing a doctor to rule out more serious problems is a good idea.
This allows for quick treatment of any underlying concerns and can provide a lot of confidence if nothing is wrong.
If you have certain risk factors and symptoms, further testing may be necessary to rule out a more serious underlying disorder. Call your doctor about blood in semen if you:
- Are 40 or older
- Have blood in semen that persists longer than three to four weeks
- Have repeatedly recurring blood in semen
- Have other symptoms, such as painful urination
- Have 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
Treatment of Blood in Semen
You may be able to treat yourself at home, depending on the cause of the blood in your semen. If the underlying cause of your symptoms requires medical treatment, your doctor will work with you to choose the best course of action.
When the male is under the age of 40 and has few or no risk factors for cancer or other serious health issues, they may not need treatment for a single instance of hematospermia.
However, they may need treatment if there is an infection or a blockage. Some potential treatment options include:
- antibiotics, for bacterial prostatitis and UTIs
- anti-inflammatory medications, to treat inflammation
- surgery, to remove blockages or treat problems with blood vessels
- treatments for underlying conditions, such as STIs or chronic liver disease
- medication, chemotherapy, or surgery, for tumors and other forms of cancer