What is blood in urine?
Noticing traces of blood in your urine is always alarming. It isn’t automatically a sign that something terrible is wrong, but you should discuss it with your doctor. Learn more about why you might get blood in your urine and how to treat it.
Blood mixes with urine if there is a problem with your kidneys, bladder, or another part of your urinary tract. Sometimes, there is enough blood that it discolors your urine so you can see it. Other times, the amount of blood is microscopic, and you won’t know that it’s there without medical testing.
Types of blood in urine
There are two types of blood in the urine. The type depends on how much blood is mixed in:
- Gross hematuria: This is when there is visible blood that changes the color of urine to pink, red, or brown. You may notice pain while urinating or in general. You could have clots of blood mixed in, and passing them is painful.
- Microscopic hematuria: This is when microscopic traces of blood are in urine. You may not notice any symptoms at all.
Causes of blood in urine
There are a lot of reasons blood can be mixed with urine. Many of them aren’t serious. However, you need a doctor to figure out what is causing the issue as there is no way to diagnose it at home.
Some of the common causes of blood in urine include:
There are also more severe problems that lead to blood in the urine. These also require a doctor to diagnose.
Some of the more serious conditions include:
Who gets blood in urine?
Anyone can have problems that cause blood in urine. It can happen to people of any age, gender, or race. There are some underlying health conditions that make blood in the urine more likely.
You may be more prone to blood in your urine if you have any of the following issues:
Diagnosis of blood in urine
If you have blood in your urine, you should call a doctor. Even if the blood seems to clear up on its own, you should get it checked out. The issues might be something minor, but you need a doctor to make sure.
Your doctor will talk to you about your health history and any recent activities that could have caused an injury that explains the bleeding. They might also ask you to pee in a cup and send it to a lab for testing. This can confirm a urinary tract infection.
If urine tests don’t explain the problem, your doctor might need to do more tests or physical exams. Some of the tests doctors use to diagnose reasons for blood in the urine include:
- Blood tests: Doctors test blood for evidence of kidney disease, autoimmune diseases, or prostate cancer, all of which might cause blood in urine.
- CT Scan or MRI: Imaging tests allow doctors to see internal organs such as the kidney to examine them for problems.
- Cystoscopy: This test allows a doctor to insert an instrument into the urinary tract and look at the organs. It’s useful for detecting bladder cancer.
- Biopsy: Your doctor will remove a small amount of tissue from your bladder or kidneys to examine under a microscope. The tissue can show the doctor if you have cancer.
Treatments for blood in urine
Treatment for blood in urine will depend on the cause. Different conditions require different kinds of treatment. No matter what the reason is, you will need a doctor to treat it. There is no over the counter medicine for blood in urine.
A urinary tract infection can be treated with antibiotics. Minor injuries may get better with time and rest. Your doctor may want to do follow up tests to make sure there is not blood remaining in your urine.
If you have a serious diagnosis like kidney disease or cancer, your doctor will talk to you about a treatment plan. Surgery may be part of that plan, along with possible chemotherapy or radiation.
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Medically Reviewed on 3/22/2021
National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Disease: “Hematuria (Blood in Urine).”
Urology Care Foundation: “Is Blood in your Urine a Reason to be Concerned?”
Urology Care Foundation: “Hematuria.”