Blood in semen (haematospermia)
It's unusual to find blood in your semen when you ejaculate. Try not to worry – it's usually only temporary and the cause is rarely anything serious. The semen may be blood stained, brownish-red in colour or have a pink tinge. See your GP to find out what's causing it.
This information should help to give you a better idea of the possible causes of blood in your semen. You shouldn't use it to diagnose yourself with a condition – always see your GP for a proper diagnosis.
In many cases, no obvious cause can be found for blood in the semen and it will clear up by itself.
Common causes of blood in semen include:
- urinary tract infection
- infection in the testicles or epididymis
- vesiculitis – inflammation of the seminal vesicles (glands that produce most of the fluid in ejaculate)
- seminal vesicle cysts – small, fluid-filled sacs in the seminal vesicles
- prostatitis – inflammation of the prostate gland (where semen is made)
- recent urological surgery – such as a prostate biopsy, cystoscopy or vasectomy
- sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – such as genital herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhoea or trichomoniasis
Less common causes
Less often, blood in the semen can be a result of:
- severe high blood pressure (hypertension)
- a blood clotting disorder
- cancer – including prostate cancer, testicular cancer and bladder cancer
- seminal vesicle calculi – small stones in the seminal vesicles
These conditions are more serious and may require specialist treatment.
When to see your GP
You should see your GP if you have blood in your semen. Your GP will try to find out whether the cause of the blood in your semen is likely to be serious or not.
They'll need to consider a number of things, such as:
- how many times you've noticed blood in your semen
- whether you have any other symptoms
- your age
- your medical history
They may also need to carry out a number of simple tests, including:
- checking your blood pressure
- an examination of your genitals and abdomen (tummy)
- a rectal examination (where your doctor inserts a finger into your bottom)
- urine and blood tests
If you're younger than 40, have only noticed blood in your semen once or twice, and tests don't show you have a serious underlying condition, you shouldn't need a hospital referral.
If you're over 40, have persistent or symptoms that happen often, or tests have suggested a potentially serious cause, your GP should refer you to a urologist. A urologist is a specialist who treats problems of the urinary system.
A further assessment with a urologist may involve having a biopsy of your prostate gland or a scan, such as an ultrasound scan.
Treating blood in semen
The treatment your GP or urologist recommends will depend on what they think is causing the blood in your semen.
In many cases, particularly if you have no other symptoms or the blood in your semen was an isolated incident, no treatment is necessary. The problem will usually get better on its own.
If a clear reason is found, your treatment will depend on the cause. For example, you may be given antibiotics to treat an infection and cysts may need to be drained with a needle.
If there's a serious cause, such as a blood clotting disorder or cancer, you'll be referred to a specialist for any necessary treatment.
More useful links
The information on this page has been adapted from original content from the NHS website.
For further information see terms and conditions.