Finding blood in your urine can be very frightening and must be investigated by a doctor, but it’s not usually a sign of anything life-threatening.
If you notice bright red blood in your urine, or if your urine has turned red or brown because it has blood in it, consult with a doctor.
Sometimes, urine may contain only a small amount of blood invisible to the naked eye and is only apparent when a urine test is carried out for something else. This still needs to be investigated by your doctor, as healthy urine should not contain any detectable amounts of blood.
The medical name for blood in the urine is haematuria.
The blood will have come from somewhere within the urinary tract – the kidneys, bladder or the tubes that urine passes through. It is often the result of a urinary tract infection (UTI), such as cystitis.
Common causes of blood in urine
Bladder infection (such as cystitis) – which typically also causes a burning pain when you urinate
kidney infection – which may also cause a high temperature and pain in the side of your tummy
kidney stones – which may be painless, but can sometimes block one of the tubes coming from your kidneys and cause severe tummy pain
urethritis – inflammation of the tube that carries urine out of the body (urethra); it’s often caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as chlamydia.
An enlarged prostate gland – this is a common condition in older men and nothing to do with prostate cancer; an enlarged prostate gland will press on the bladder and may also cause problems such as difficulty urinating and a frequent need to urinate
Bladder cancer – this usually affects adults aged over 50 and can also cause you to urinate more often and more urgently, as well as pain when urinating
kidney cancer – this also usually affects adults aged over 50, and can cause persistent pain below your ribs and a lump in your tummy
prostate cancer – this is usually only seen in men aged over 50 and usually progresses very slowly; other symptoms can include needing to urinate more frequently and urgently, and difficulty emptying your bladder
Your Doctor will ask about your symptoms and carry out a physical examination to help determine the cause of the blood in your urine. For men, this may include a rectal examination and women may have a vaginal examination.
They will also arrange blood/and or urine tests to look for signs of an infection. If they think that an infection is likely, they may prescribe some antibiotics before you get your results and if needed he will refer you to a specialist if your test results later show you don’t have an infection.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend keeping an eye on your symptoms to see if they get better on their own over time.
These tests may include more blood and urine tests, an ultrasound scan, an X-ray and a cystoscopy. This is a procedure used to examine the inside of the bladder, using an instrument called a cystoscope.
Always consult with your doctor about your problems and must follow the instructions of physicians.