Blood in Semen
Why is there Blood in My Semen?
The presence of blood in your semen, also referred to as hematospermia, is not only a sign of an underlying health condition but can also instill fear and shock in the affected individual.
However, this is not a common condition and rarely signals a serious health issue. There are instances when blood in semen can present serious health concerns and this is why you should seek immediate medical attention anytime you experience this problem.
What are potential causes of hematospermia?
This condition can be a cause of concern among men, especially after ejaculation. The semen usually contains stains that range from brown-red to a tinge of pink and bright-bloody red. On most occasions, the primary cause may not be established, and it can resolve itself.
The most common causes may include:
- Sexually transmitted infections such as genital herpes, trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea
- Prostatitis, also known as prostate inflammation
- Inflammation of the seminal vesicles, which are glands that produce most of the semen fluid
- Recent urological medical procedures such as cystoscopy (bladder scope), prostate biopsy and male sterilization (vasectomy)
- Other conditions that can also trigger this condition include poorly managed high blood pressure, blood clotting disorders, cancers of the genito-urinary tract such as testicular cancer, prostate cancer as well as bladder cancer
What to expect during my doctor’s consultation?
To successfully diagnose this condition, your doctor will first take a comprehensive medical history of yours. This includes a history of any recent sexual encounter.
Your doctor will also conduct a physical examination, which will include examining your genitals for any swelling and lumps. He will also check your prostate for any signs of tenderness, swelling and other related symptoms.
The following tests may be carried out:
- Lab tests to ascertain if a sexually transmitted disease is the culprit.
- PSA test to test for cancer of the prostate.
- Radiological imaging to help locate any potential obstructions.
What should I do with this condition?
Your best bet toward finding a lasting solution to your blood in semen problem is to see your doctor for examination.
Are there treatment options for hematospermia?
Treatment options are usually tailored toward the underlying cause, especially if the primary cause has been established. In this regard, antibiotics may be used to treat infections and anti-inflammatory drugs may be used for some types of inflammations.
If liver disease or high blood pressure is the culprit, your doctor will focus your treatment on that particular condition.
However, if it is not associated with any known troubling symptoms, no treatment is usually given as this condition usually resolves independently with time. With that in mind, consistent hematospermia that goes for more than a month even with absence of known symptoms warrants immediate medical intervention.
Is this dangerous for my partner?
This condition could be a telltale sign of an STD which can be highly contagious.
Gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV all fall in this category and this should be tested for to ensure no sexually transmissible diseases is to blame.
If any infection is proven via testing, your doctor will treat it with the recommended medications. It is highly recommended for you to be accompanied by your partner for the treatment as well.
Does it affect my ability to have children?
On most occasions, the cause of hematospermia will not impact on male fertility.
However, certain types of testicular cancer can potentially result in a reduction of reproductive capacity. Consequently, this may have an impact on male fertility.
If you have any concerns about your fertility after having experienced hematospermia, you can schedule for semen analysis for fertility factors at a later specified date.
Take home advice
In conclusion, it is important that you seek medical advice if you see blood in your semen.
This is especially necessary if you are aged 40 years and above, have had recurrent bleeding episodes, or any risk factor for either infection or cancer. Symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, pain while urinating as well as bone pain may also warrant medical attention as this might points towards a more sinister condition!
- Beji, S., Hoejgaard, M., & Lyngdorf, P. (2012). Seminoma in the testis presenting as hemospermia. Case reports in nephrology and urology, 2(2), 135–137. https://doi.org/10.1159/000343245
- Papoutsoglou, N., Burger, M., & Riedmiller, H. (2013). Persistent painless hemospermia due to metastatic melanoma of the right seminal vesicle. BMC urology, 13, 43. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2490-13-43
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