Blood in semen (hematospermia) can be frightening, but the vast majority of time, it's not cause for serious concern. Blood in semen is uncommon, and, most often, it goes away on its own.
Blood in semen
Often, no cause can be found for blood in semen. For men under age 40, infection is the most common cause. Infection is usually accompanied by other signs and symptoms, such as fever, genital or urinary pain, difficulty urinating, or blood in your urine.
For men age 40 and older, blood in semen is a slight predictor of a cancer (malignancy), most often prostate cancer. So a more careful evaluation is merited when this sign appears in this age group. But the risk is low. In follow-up studies of more than 800 men who had blood in their semen, cancer was found in less than 4 percent (on average).
More common causes of blood in semen:
- Genital herpes
- Interrupted sex
- Prolonged sexual abstinence
- Prostate biopsy
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
- Testicular trauma
- Vigorous sex
Less common causes
- Benign growths (cysts, polyps) in the bladder, urethra or prostate
- Fragile blood vessels
- Prostate cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Von Willebrand disease
- Warfarin side effects
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.