What Are the Common Causes of Red Semen?

A. Gamm

Red semen, also called hematospermia, is the result of blood in semen. The redness may range from a light pink to a dark red or brown. This condition often causes great alarm in the male and his partner, but hematospermia is typically a non-malignant symptom and the cause is usually unknown. Doctors speculate that the most common causes may be irritation or inflammation of testicular vessels or the urinary tract, trauma to the testicles, a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and rarely, prostate cancer.

Prolonged intercourse may cause red semen.
Prolonged intercourse may cause red semen.

Many doctors believe that red semen might be the result of irritation, inflammation or trauma. Usually, these discomforts are due to prolonged or rough intercourse, or the event of a prostate biopsy. In this case, a repeated case of hematospermia may only happen during these moments. A standard examination of the penis, rectal area and urine is done to verify this. The red semen will typically clear up with time and no further action is necessary.

In rare cases, red semen may be indicative of prostate cancer.
In rare cases, red semen may be indicative of prostate cancer.

Inflammations of the vas deferens, urethra, prostate, or seminal vesicles are occasionally due to a virus or infection. In this case, an STD may be the culprit and further action to deal with the STD must be taken. Another cause for irritation may be stones, in which case a doctor may offer different methods of relief. STDs and other inflammations are supposedly the number one cause of red semen in men under the age of 40.

Semen is produced in the testes, which are contained in the scrotum.
Semen is produced in the testes, which are contained in the scrotum.

Rarely, the red semen is a symptom of cancer, but prostate cancer is the most common type. This may be the case for men who have blood in their semen and are over the age of 40. To rule out any malignant causes, extensive tests are performed. These include a cystoscopy and an ultrasound of the testicular area. While a tumor or cancer is considered a common cause, it is rarely ever the case.

Red semen can be due to a prostate biopsy.
Red semen can be due to a prostate biopsy.

Usually, an incident of hematospermia happens without the male or his partner noticing, so how often a person had discolored sperm is not typically known. When an episode is noticed, doctors recommend that the man have a check-up, but even after an examination, the reason why it happened is usually unknown. In this case, it is said to be benign and has a chance of happening again. If a man over 40 finds red semen, he may have to go through a more intensive examination, but even then, the doctor may not find the cause.

To rule out any malignant causes of red semen, extensive tests are performed.
To rule out any malignant causes of red semen, extensive tests are performed.

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Discussion Comments


I've been drinking a lot of Dr. Pepper and noticed my semen is red. Just sayin'.


I have had red semen for about a year now - off and on. Sometimes it is red for a few times and then is back to white. I think mine was caused by an over-enthusiastic girl who like to be on top and thought I was her horse. Not complaining, though. I am not too worried. I find the female partners freak out more.


I'm posting this now because I am a bit scared and have had this happen before when I was on a medication called adderrall. After I stopped the medication the sperm that was red in color went back to white. It has again happened but my medication has changed from adderall to vyvanse and I am curious if it is happening because of the meds or is it something else.


I had a problem with red semen but I was checked for STDs and the result is fine. I am not infected, so I am confused. What can be the big problem I had? Can you help me?


I never even knew you could have red semen. I’m sorry, but I think if that was any color other than normal, I would just be flipping out all over the place.

On top of that, how exactly is it that you are supposed to be registering this change of color?

I mean, I think most people are pretty side tracked once they could actually look at it with going to sleep or something equally relaxing.

Let’s just say, I’m glad I read the article in case this ever happens to me. But I sure hope this never does happen, because if it does, I’m going to lose it even with this excellent knowledge.


Believe you me, finding red semen is not a fun thing. It is incredibly scary, and very shocking.

My husband, bless his heart, is the father of two beautiful and rambunctious children.

And, while this is wonderful and we would have them no other way, occasionally he gets a good knee to the groin by complete and total accident from one of the two.

They just aren’t quite old enough to understand that this really hurts, and they have to be really careful around daddy in that area. I mean, how do you explain that to a five year old girl?

Well, he was unfortunate enough to get the daylights kicked out of him twice in one day. I don’t mean just a little jolt; I’m talking this poor man had to go lie down while I settled the kids down. He was plum nauseous from it.

He was later terrified by the presence of a pinky colored semen like he had never seen before.

The doctor checked him over thoroughly the next week, but assured him that it was likely from the blows he had taken and didn’t appear to be anything serious.

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