Presence of blood in the sperm: causes and consequences

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Presence of blood in the sperm: causes and consequences
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The presence of blood in the sperm or hemospermia is when sperm takes on a pinkish, red or brown tinge.  Hemospermia can happen regularly or intermittently depending on the episode.  Although it is worrying it is rarely serious.  Consult with your doctor to help determine the cause and they will be able to prescribe you the correct treatment. 

Blood in the sperm: More than six possible causes

The presence of blood in the sperm is a sign of bleeding in the urogenital system (prostate, seminal vesicles, epididymides …), which may have different origins depending on external factors.  This is why you need to consult a doctor so they can determine the best course of treatment. In addition, if it is an infection, it can affect one or more urogenital organs.

An Infection

In 30% to 80% of hemospermia cases, infection is at the origin of the problem.  It affects primarily men under the age of 40 and can be a bacterial, viral or parasitical infection. Infection as a result of the human papillomavirus could also be the origin of the problem.

A cyst

If there is a cyst in the urogenital system it can pressurize organs and lead to dilated blood vessels which causes the presence of the blood.

A tumor

Very rarely, blood in the sperm could be a sign of a malignant or benign tumor of prostrate cancer or another urogenital organ such as the seminal vesicles, bladder, urethra, etc.  If in doubt the doctor will decide on an ultrasound so as to check the condition of the organs.


Testicular or perineal trauma (stroke, prostate biopsy) may also be responsible for the presence of blood in the sperm.

A foreign illness contracted abroad

If blood is present in the sperm following a trip abroad, contact your doctor and tell them which country you have recently visited.  Some tropical illnesses such as bilharzia can lead to blood in the sperm.

Other illnesses

A wide range of other illnesses such as a blood coagulation disorder, varicose veins or pelvic arteriovenous malformations may also explain hemospermia.

Presence of blood in the sperm: What are the consequences?

In every situation,   it is strongly advised to consult with your doctor quickly if you have noticed the presence of blood in the sperm.

If you suffer frequently from hemospermia and it is accompanied by pain or heaviness in the lower stomach it could be a sign of a more serious illness like prostate cancer. Extensive examinations should be carried out if this is the case.

Nevertheless, hemospermia is generally as a result of infection or inflammatory problems which affects men under the age of 40.

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