Hematospermia Etiology, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Sexual Ramifications: A Narrative Review

Sex Med Rev. 2022 Oct;10(4):669-680. doi: 10.1016/j.sxmr.2021.07.004. Epub 2021 Sep 16.


Introduction: Hematospermia (HS) is the presence of blood in ejaculatory fluid. It is a rare condition that is historically idiopathic or associated with sexual behavior. Technological advances have identified many of the etiologies behind HS, improving treatment. Though often benign, HS remains a source of considerable sexual anxiety for patients. Few papers have outlined a diagnostic and therapeutic approach to HS, and none have explicitly addressed its sexual consequences.

Objectives: To provide a comprehensive overview of HS, emphasizing its sexual ramifications.

Methods: A PubMed literature search was performed through May 2021 to identify all relevant publications related to etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and sexual effects of HS. Original research and reviews were analyzed, and pertinent studies were included in this review.

Results: Iatrogenic interventions (eg, transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsies) are the most common cause of HS. Infection and/or nonspecific inflammation is the most common non-iatrogenic etiology. Malignancies, including prostate, testicular, and other genitourinary cancers, are rarely the cause of HS. Diagnostic approaches to HS can be organized according to patient age (less than or greater than 40 years old), persistence of bleeding, and the presence/absence of concerning symptoms. Though HS often spontaneously resolves, treatment may require various medications (eg, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories) or surgical interventions. HS has several sexual ramifications, including libido-affecting anxiety, social repercussions from sexual partners and non-sexual affiliates, increased risk of erectile dysfunction or transmission of sexual infections, and compromised fertility, especially when cryopreservation is utilized.

Conclusion: HS may significantly affect sexual health through several mechanisms, though there is a paucity of formal data on this subject. Further research is needed to fully understand the severity and extent of HS's effect on sexual well-being, especially in those with refractory bleeding. Drury RH, King B, Herzog B, et al. Hematospermia Etiology, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Sexual Ramifications: A Narrative Review. Sex Med Rev. 2022;10:669-680.

Keywords: Anxiety; Diagnosis; Hematospermia; Infertility; Sexual; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Erectile Dysfunction* / complications
  • Hemospermia* / diagnosis
  • Hemospermia* / etiology
  • Hemospermia* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostate
  • Sexual Behavior


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents