Blood in the semen
Blood in the semen is called hematospermia. It may be in amounts too small to be seen except with a microscope, or it may be visible in the ejaculation fluid.
Semen - bloody; Blood in ejaculation
Most of the time, blood in the semen is caused by swelling or infection of the prostate or seminal vesicles. The problem may occur after a prostate biopsy.
Blood in the semen may also be caused by:
- Blockage due to enlarged prostate (prostate problems)
- Infection of the prostate
- Irritation in urethra (urethritis)
- Injury to urethra
Often, the cause of the problem cannot be found.
Depending on the cause, other symptoms that may occur include:
- Blood in urine
- Fever or chills
- Lower back pain
- Pain with bowel movement
- Pain with ejaculation
- Pain with urination
- Swelling in scrotum
- Swelling or tenderness in groin area
- Tenderness in the scrotum
The following steps may help ease discomfort from a prostate infection or urinary infection:
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Eat high-fiber foods to make bowel movements easier.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Always call your doctor if you notice any blood in your semen.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
The health care provider will perform a physical exam and look for signs of:
- Discharge from the urethra
- Enlarged or tender prostate
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Swollen or tender scrotum
You may need the following tests:
- Prostate exam
- PSA blood test
- Semen analysis
- Semen culture
- Ultrasound of prostate, pelvis or scrotum
- Urine culture
Barry MJ, Collins MM. Benign prostate disease and prostatitis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 131.
Gerber GS, Brendler CB. Evaluation of the urologic patient: History, physical examination, and the urinalysis. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 3.
Small EJ. Prostate cancer. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 207.
Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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