Updated 23 April 2015

What's your diagnosis? – Case 8: bloody semen

This week, a very concerned Mr and Mrs E present to their GP after noticing blood in Mr E's semen. Put on your lab coats and stethoscopes and solve this week's case.


Mr E (52) and his wife, Mrs E (38) arrive at their GP very concerned. When they engaged in sexual activity the night before, Mr E noticed blood in his semen when he ejaculated. At first Mr E thought that his wife was menstruating, but when she reminded him that she’s on a three-month birth control injection (Depo-Provera), he became very concerned.

The following are highlights from the doctor’s history taking:

1.  Mr E has no erectile difficulties.

2.  He’s had no previous surgeries.

3.  This is his first episode of this nature.

4.  He does not have any difficulty passing urine.

5.  The only other complaint he has is a sore throat that he’s had for a while.

6.  Mr E works as a marketing agent and regularly travels to Johannesburg for up to two weeks at a time.

On examination the doctor found the following:

1.  Slightly swollen glands in Mr E’s neck and groin

2.  No abnormalities on abdominal examination

3.  Prostate slightly enlarged, but not tender and no individual masses

4.  Slightly tender right testicle

5.  Very red penis tip and entry to the urethra (opening on penis head)

The GP decided to start with basic investigations. On one of the side-room investigations, he found a possible cause for the problem.

In this case there is more than one possible cause, but one in particular stands out.

Clue: maybe the GP should ask Mrs E some questions too . . .

What’s your diagnosisJoin the guesswork on our Facebook page, or comment below. 

NOTE: Health24's on-site GP Dr Owen Wiese will reveal new cases on Thursdays. We'll post the answer with the story on Mondays, or you can get it via the Daily Tip – sign up here.

Previously on What's Your Diagnosis

What's your diagnosis? -  Case 1: vomiting and weight loss
What's your diagnosis? -  Case 2: eye pain
What's your diagnosis? -  Case 3: strange behaviour and a bullet in the back
What's your diagnosis? -  Case 4: seeing odd things
What's your diagnosis? - Case 5: mysterious lungs
What's your diagnosis? - Case 6: runner with seizures
What's your diagnosis? - Case 7: swollen knee

Dr. Owen J. Wiese is Health24's resident doctor. After graduating from Stellenbosch University with additional qualifications in biochemistry and physiology he developed a keen interest in providing medical information through the media.


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