Medically known as hematospermia, blood in semen can affect men of any age group. However, it is more commonly seen in men between the age groups of 30 to 40 years Semen has sperm and fluids that are released by prostate and the other glands. Also called ejaculate, the fluids join the sperm as they cross series of tubes to the urethra for an ejaculation. Numerous things can break blood vessels along this route . Then, the broken vessels leak blood into the semen, urine, or both.
hematospermia does not usually indicate a severe medical issue. When men ejaculate, they do not usually examine the semen. This is why it is not known how common this condition is.
What is blood in semen?
Blood in semen is usually not a serious condition. In men under the age of 40 years with no related symptoms or risk factors, blood in semen is not usually a cause for concern. However, in men above the age of 40 years, a medical evaluation may be needed. Assessment and treatment may be necessary for men who:
- Experience related symptoms while ejaculation or urination
- Experience repeated episodes hematospermia
- Are at an increased risk of a bleeding disorder, cancer, or other medical conditions
Are there any symptoms of blood in semen?
This medical condition may appear different for each individual. The amount of blood in semen can also vary from only a drop to enough blood to make the semen look bloody. This amount varies depending on the cause of the bleeding.
Along with blood in semen, you may also experience:
- Pain while urinating and/or ejaculating
- Hematuria or blood in the urine
- Tenderness in the groin area
- Swelling or tenderness in the scrotum
- Lower back pain
What are the potential causes of blood in semen?
The most likely causes of blood in semen are as follows:
- Inflammation or infection
This is the most common cause of blood in semen. Inflammation or infection in any glands, ducts, or tubes that produce and move semen can lead to the presence of blood in it. These glands, ducts, or tubes include the following:
- Prostate gland: it produces the fluid part of the semen
- Urethra: carries urine and semen
- Seminal vesicles: it adds more fluid to the semen
- Epididymis and vas deferens: these are small tube-like structures where the sperms mature before ejaculation
Blood in semen can also be caused by sexually transmitted infections or STIs such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.
- Blood vessel damage
All the delicate structures, including the prostate gland and tubes that carry sperms, contain blood vessels. If these structures get damaged, it can result in blood in semen.
- Medical procedures or trauma
Experiencing blood in semen is common after certain medical procedures. For example, after a prostate biopsy, some men may temporarily experience blood in semen.
Some medical procedures that treat urinary problems may also cause mild trauma, leading to blood in semen. Usually, this bleeding disappears after a few weeks following the procedure.
Physical trauma to sex organs after an injury to the testicles, pelvic fracture, excessively rigorous masturbation, or sexual activities can also cause blood in semen.
- Obstruction in the reproductive tract
The chances of tubes and ducts of the reproductive tract getting blocked are high. In some cases, these blockages or obstructions can cause the blood vessels to break and leak a small amount of blood, appearing in the semen.
When to see a doctor?
If you have a history of STIs or cancers and experience blood in semen, you must visit a doctor.
If you are over 40 years old, you are at a higher risk of developing diseases such as prostate cancer. Therefore, it is better if you seek medical assistance as soon as you see blood in your semen.
If you are under 40 years and do not have any other related symptoms, you should wait for a few days to see if the bleeding goes away on its own. If it does not, visit your doctor.
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What are the treatment options available for blood in semen?
If your symptoms are mild, the doctor may prescribe you to give it a few days until your body treats the condition itself. However, if the cause requires medical treatment, the doctor may devise a plan keeping in mind your symptoms, causes, and the amount of blood in your semen.
- Treatment at home
If you experience mild symptoms that may have been caused due to trauma or injury, the doctor may recommend you rest let your body heal on its own. For example, if you notice swelling around your groin area, you can wrap an ice cube in a clean piece of cloth and apply it to the affected region.
Most cases of blood in semen usually resolve on their own. However, if your symptoms do not get better in a few weeks, speak with your doctor for further consultation.
- Medical treatment
In case of an infection resulting in the situation, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics. If you experience swelling in your groin area, the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications as well.
If there are blockages or obstructions in your genitourinary tract, you may need surgery.
If the cause of blood in your semen is cancer, the doctor may refer you to an oncologist, who will determine the best treatment depending on the type of your cancer.
Although blood in semen may look worrisome, it is usually not a cause for concern. In most cases, the bleeding resolves on its own. However, if your symptoms keep worsening over time or you face other risk factors, you should immediately consult with a doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does blood in semen take to heal?
The healing process varies for every individual and may take from a few days to weeks, depending on the causes and the amount of blood present in the semen.
Can urinary tract infections cause blood in semen?
Infections are known to be the most common cause of blood in semen. Mostly, the infections occur in the urinary tract, but they can also occur in other areas of the reproductive tract, such as the prostate gland.
Could blood in semen be a symptom of other medical conditions?
Usually, blood in semen does not indicate a serious medical problem. However, in some cases, it could be a symptom of urological medical conditions. Therefore, it is best to consult a doctor for a confirmed diagnosis.