Dec 15, 2009 Table of Contents

Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education Web site.

Information from Your Family Doctor

Hematospermia: Blood in the Semen

Am Fam Physician. 2009 Dec 15;80(12):1428.

See related article on hematospermia.

What is hematospermia?

Hematospermia (he-muh-toh-spur-me-uh) is when you have blood in your semen. It usually happens in men younger than 40 years, but men of any age can have it. The causes in men younger than 40 years usually are not serious.

How do I know if I have it?

If you see blood in your semen after sex, it could be coming from you or your partner. You should ask your partner about menstrual or rectal bleeding. Also ask if your partner has ever had a sexually transmitted infection.

What causes it?

Often, there is no clear cause. It can be caused by a long period of not having sex, masturbating a lot, or having sex that lasts a long time. Other causes may depend on your age. You may need to see your doctor if you are 40 years or older, if you have other symptoms, or if it happens more than 10 times in a row. You should see your doctor right away if you have fevers, chills, or night sweats, or if you feel sick.

The most common causes are:

  • Infections (including those that are sexually transmitted)

  • Inflammation of the bladder, prostate, or related areas

  • Injury to the genitals

In men 40 years and older, additional causes may include:

  • Medical procedures involving the genitals (such as prostate biopsies or hemorrhoid shots)

  • Structural problems with your genitals, prostate gland, or urinary tract

  • Tumors (including prostate cancer)

  • Blood vessel problems

What can I expect when I see my doctor?

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, sexual history, and risk factors for the condition. Your doctor also may examine your genitals and prostate gland. You may need to get a blood test and give a urine sample. If you continue to have blood in your semen, your doctor may refer you to a specialist for more testing.

How is it treated?

Treatment depends on the cause. Usually, hematospermia stops on its own without treatment. If you have an infection, you may need to take antibiotics. If you have a more serious cause, you may need to be treated by a urologist.


This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other health-related information is available from the AAFP online at http://familydoctor.org.

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.

Copyright © 2009 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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