Painful penis and blood in my semen

Originally Published: December 12, 1997 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: July 16, 2014
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Dear Alice,

A while ago I noticed my penis wasn't lying straight. It had always been straight before and this really worries me. It usually hangs to the left. I have felt pain in the tip of my penis, too. Also, I have ejaculated blood. Other times my semen has been normal. What is wrong? Could this be an infection? Can it be cured? Please answer because I am really scared and I haven't talked to my parents yet.

Sincerely,
Scared

Dear Scared,

First let's deal with the directional part of your question. It's quite natural and normal for a penis to point in different directions for different men. This is just part of what makes you unique. The directionality may change with time, but overall as long as it is not causing discomfort then you have nothing to worry about.

Now, regarding the blood issue, consulting a health care provider would be the best option. This may or may not be a problem. However, pain and blood in fluids it shouldn't be in are usually signs that something is wrong. For example, a possible infection could become a greater problem if left untreated. Another possibility is hematospermia, a condition that results in blood in the semen.

As far as talking with someone else about these issues, this may be the first time you've had to deal with a health problem more private than having the flu. Understandably, you're uncomfortable and embarrassed to tell anyone about it. Remember, though, that parents and older trusted advisors have been through many experiences themselves. They may be more receptive, knowledge able, or worldly of such concerns than you imagine. With which one of your parents are you more comfortable talking about personal issues? Do you need to tell them everything? If you don't want to tell them about the ejaculation part, how about just saying that you're concerned about the way your penis has changed and has been hurting? Perhaps say it was just sensitive at first and you didn't want to say anything then. Now, it's very painful and you need to see a health care provider.

If you don't like the idea of going to parents, perhaps you could talk with a health care provider at school. Maybe s/he will be able to tell you what the problem is and/or give you an easy way to describe it to your parents (if you choose to tell them). If you're a Columbia student, you can make an appointment with Medical Services (Morningside) or the Student Health Service (CUMC).

When you go to a health care provider, no one has to come into the exam room with you. Then you can tell your whole story. Telling her/him about these symptoms may be difficult, but your concerns may be more difficult to diagnose without all the facts. While this may be new territory for you, the provider has undergone much training to deal with sensitive issues, like men's sexual health. Clear, open communication with your provider will help ensure that the solution will come comfortably.

Alice