Did you notice blood in your sperm?
Hematospermia means blood in sperms. Some people may also see blood in urine, along with blood in sperms. Although it may sound alarming, experts say it is rarely due to some severe health condition or malignancy. Studies show that about 1% of patients with urogenital issues have these conditions. Thus, the condition is relatively less common.
Nevertheless, hematospermia sounds alarming. Moreover, it may be difficult to understand its cause without other signs and symptoms. For example, it is most likely due to sexually transmitted diseases or infections in young adults. However, it may be due to something more severe like cancer in middle-aged or older adults. But, then, experts say that hematospermia is rarely the predominant sign of any cancer.
Reasons for hematospermia
As blood in any of the body’s secretions could be frightening, let’s first look at some of the less severe causes of hematospermia. As mentioned above, blood in sperms is not a cause to worry in most cases.
A most common cause is just the bursting of small blood vessels during ejaculation, quite like a nosebleed. Some people may be prone to such issues. However, it is not a cause for worry. In some cases, it may indicate some problems with blood coagulation. Similarly, people taking anticoagulants may be at a higher risk.
It is not a reason to worry if it occurs after some urological procedure like vasectomy or prostate biopsy, as bleeding may happen in some. Similarly, it may happen in a small number of cases due to some urogenital injury.
Other reasons for hematospermia could be:
- Infection or sexually transmitted diseases could be due to gonorrhea, chlamydia, or other conditions.
- Prostate disease- in rare cases, it may be due to benign prostate hyperplasia or prostatitis.
- Testicular issues
- Blood disorders – generally in those living with some severe clotting disorder.
- Chronic systemic infections like tuberculosis
- Cancers – hematospermia is rarely the primary sign of prostate cancer but cannot be excluded. Similarly, other cancers like bladder cancer or tumors may also present as hematospermia. However, if hematospermia keeps repeating, doctors would need to exclude these reasons.
When to see a doctor?
Of course, if it happens once in a while and a person is young, it may not be a cause of concern. However, if it repeats or blood volume is high, it is a cause of alarm. Therefore, one should also see a doctor if one cannot identify common causes like pre-existing urogenital infection or recent urogenital procedure.
Doctors would often start by taking full medical history as they understand that many cases of hematospermia are due to systemic diseases and not some localized issue. Doctors would pay particular attention to bleeding disorders and medications a person is taking.
Physical examination may help in some cases. Doctors would especially need to check for prostate swelling, assess the prostate size, checking blood pressure.
Some of the blood tests that doctors would generally order are a complete blood test and an STD panel to detect sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test is a must, especially in middle-aged and older adults with repeated hematospermia.
Sometimes, identifying the cause becomes challenging, and doctors may recommend more specific tests like ultrasound, kidney or bladder stone testing, CT scan, MRI, etc. But, quite often, a physician may refer to a urologist if it keeps repeating.
When it comes to treating the condition, it would depend on the cause. Thus, doctors may need to prescribe antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, medications that help with fragile blood vessels, drugs to treat prostate issues, and other medicines.
To conclude, hematospermia is uncommon but a frightening symptom. Fortunately, studies show that doctors can identify the cause and treat it successfully in most cases. In addition, it is rarely caused by more severe conditions like prostate cancer. Thus, it is not a reason for alarm until or unless it keeps repeating too often.