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It's unusual to find blood in your semen when you ejaculate, but try not worry – it is usually only temporary and the cause is rarely anything sinister.
The semen may be bloodstained, brownish-red in colour or have a pink tinge – but in any case, you should see your doctor for a full investigation.
Before you read on, it's worth making sure that the blood you have found is definitely in your semen and not in your urine, which can indicate a different cause. Information on blood in the urine is covered elsewhere.
In many cases, no obvious cause can be found for blood in the semen, in which case it is most likely to be the result of a forgotten or unnoticed injury to the genitals, such as a trouser-zip accident.
The other likely causes of blood in the semen are outlined below. This is intended to give you a better idea of the underlying problem, but you should not use it to diagnose yourself with a condition – always see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
If you have recently had prostate surgery or a procedure such as extracorporeal shockwave treatment, this will be the most obvious cause of the blood. The blood should soon pass within three to four weeks, but you should still get it checked by your doctor.
If you haven't had any surgery or procedure to your lower body, the cause is likely to be one of the following:
Less commonly, blood in the semen may be a result of:
If you have any of these conditions, you will be under the care of a specialist.
If you are younger than 40 and you have one episode of blood in a month, it is unlikely that the cause is anything serious and you shouldn't need a hospital referral.
Your doctor may ask you to provide a sample of ejaculate, and may also request a urine sample and take a blood sample if they suspect there is an infection.
Your doctor should refer you to a urologist (specialist who treats problems of the urinary system) for further assessment if you are aged 40 or over and:
You may have an ultrasound or biopsy of your prostate gland (where a sample of tissue is taken for analysis).
A serious underlying cause like prostate cancer is rare, but should be investigated in this case.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.