Blood in Semen: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Blood in semen is not usually a serious condition, but it shouldn’t be ignored. In the presence of other symptoms, and if it continues for a few days, it could become severe. Read on to learn what you should do and when you should seek medical attention.

8 minute read

Last Updated July 14, 2020

Blood in Semen - Men's Health - 1MD

The sight of blood in your semen can be alarming, but thankfully it is not common. In most cases, it is not a sign of a serious health problem, but it should never be ignored. 

Men under the age of 40 should especially be proactive about blood in their semen in the event it lasts for a long period of time. Hematospermia is a condition of temporary blood in the semen, and this usually resolves itself. Any time it becomes more permanent requires medical attention.

Symptoms of Blood in Semen

The amount of blood in your semen will depend on the cause, and it can vary from a small drop to large amounts. Along with the presence of blood, you may also experience some of the following symptoms:

♦ Pain when urinating or ejaculating
♦ Pain in your lower back
♦ Tenderness in the groin
♦ Swelling in your scrotum
♦ Painful distended bladder
♦ Difficulty emptying the bladder completely
♦ Penile discharge
♦ Fever or racing pulse

If you have a family history of cancers or a personal history of sexually transmitted infections, then you should see your doctor any time there is blood in your semen. Otherwise, your age can generally determine when you should be concerned. 

If you are under 40, then you should wait to see if it goes away on its own, unless there are other symptoms present. If you are over 40, you have a higher risk of serious illnesses, so you should report any blood in your semen to your doctor right away. 

Causes of Blood in Semen

Your semen travels through a series of tubes as it makes its way to the urethra for ejaculation. Anywhere along this path puts semen in contact with blood vessels, and blood can leak for any number of reasons. 

Most of the time, the exact cause is never discovered and is not serious. The causes of blood in semen that may need further medical attention and treatment include:

Prostatitis: The inflammation of the prostate gland causes pain, problems urinating, and sexual dysfunction.

Urethritis: Inflammation of the urethra can cause painful urination, penile discharge, and itching or burning near the penis.

Epididymitis: Inflammation of the coiled tube where sperm is stored is commonly caused by bacterial infections and sexually transmitted infections. This causes swollen scrotum, testicle pain, discharge, and pain when urinating. 

STIs: Sexually transmitted infections like herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea are common causes for blood in the semen. These will also present with other symptoms that make them easy to identify. 

Blood vessel problems: The blood vessels are very delicate structures, and any abnormalities or damage can cause tears that can result in blood getting into semen.

Tumors: Malignant tumors or benign polyps can cause blood to reach the semen. Vascular abnormalities, such as cysts, can also have the same effect. Older men are at higher risk for urinary tract cancers that can cause bleeding into semen. 

Enlarged prostate: If the prostate is enlarged, increased pressure is put on your urethra, which can cause bloody semen. 

♦ Obstruction: A blocked ejaculatory duct causes the nearby blood vessels to become dilated and more likely to break, causing blood to leak into the semen. 

♦ Hypertension: Chronically elevated blood pressure causes dilated and weak blood vessels, which can lead to blood leaking into semen. 

Leukemia: This is cancer of the blood-forming tissues in your bone marrow. Both red and white blood cells are affected, and the presence of blood in semen can be noted in later stages of the disease.

Chronic liver disease: Liver disease impacts hormone production and increases inflammation of blood vessels, resulting in possible leakage of blood into semen and urine.

Trauma: Medical procedures, such as prostate biopsies, vasectomies, or surgery to remove hemorrhoids, can cause temporary bleeding in the semen. This should go away as you recover from the procedure. You need to see your doctor if it continues, as this could indicate a problem in your healing. 

Diagnosing Blood in Semen

Before treatment can be selected, the cause of the blood in semen needs to be identified. Several tests are performed to identify the cause. 

♦ STI tests, which include thorough blood work
♦ Physical examination to check for physical symptoms such as swelling, redness, infection, or inflammation
♦ PSA testing, which tests for prostate-created antigens to evaluate prostate health
♦ Scans like CT or MRI scans to identify possible obstructions
♦ Transrectal ultrasound to find abnormalities and tumors near the prostate

Treatment for Blood in Semen

Treatment for blood in the semen will depend on the cause. Bacterial infections will be treated with antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs can help with pain and swelling. If there is a blockage or obstruction causing the bleeding, then minor surgery may be needed to remove the blockage. 

Bladder stones and tumors are the most common causes for surgery. You can also treat more temporary cases at home. If a physical injury is a cause, get plenty of rest, and apply ice packs in intervals to reduce any swelling. 

Natural Treatment for Blood in Semen


Inflammation and infection are the most common causes of blood in the semen. There may be an underlying condition that requires medical treatment, but these natural options can help. 

By reducing inflammation or fighting infection, natural ingredients can prevent pain and further damage. 

Pumpkin Seed Extract: This possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties. Prostatitis and epididymitis are two common inflammatory conditions that can lead to blood in the semen. By reducing inflammation, pumpkin seed extract reduces swelling and pain associated with these conditions.

USPlus Saw Palmetto: This natural ingredient is known to improve and protect prostate health. Enlarged prostate and prostatitis can both cause blood in semen. Saw palmetto protects the prostate from inflammation and oxidative damage to reduce this risk.

Beta-carotene: This carotenoid is used in the body as a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Beta-carotene has been proven to protect the prostate and urinary tract from inflammatory diseases. As a result, the risk of blood in semen can be reduced or prevented. 

Pygeum: Although mostly used to promote prostate health, pygeum also fights infections. Urinary tract infections, along with STIs, can cause blood in semen, and pygeum is an antibacterial agent.

What Is the Long-Term Outlook?

Blood in your semen usually looks worse than it really is. Most cases are not serious and will resolve on their own after a few days. 

It is important not to panic at the sight of blood in your semen, but if it lasts longer than a few days, then you need to bring it to your doctor’s attention. You should also seek medical help if you are experiencing other symptoms. Once the cause is identified and treatment is given, you can return to your healthy life. 

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