Blood in Semen - Ask the Expert

Health Professional

Dear Dr. Motola,** I have been showing slight blood in my semen for the past few months and my doctor has given me antibiotics but it has not gone away. There is no pain or other symptoms--I'm just concerned. What might be causing this? Should I see my doctor again or is this not something to be alarmed about?**

Blood in the semen is known as hematospermia. Although bothersome to the patient, it tends to not be of any great significance, especially when it is not associated with any coexisting symptoms. In most cases the problem tends to resolve just as suddenly as it arose. Several conditions may be associated with hematospermia. One of the most common conditions is prostatitis (an infection and/or inflammatory condition of the prostate. Hematospermia may also be associated with prostatic calcifications which are also of little significance.

Several systemic conditions such as hypertension, bleeding disorders, liver disease and lymphoma may also be associated with hematospermia.

A recent study has demonstrated an increased risk of prostate cancer in men with hematospermia. Obviously a rectal examination needs to be performed, and depending on your family history and age, a PSA determination. If this evaluation is normal, a "tincture of time" might help resolve the problem.