If you see blood in your urine, it can be a cause for concern. You may be wondering what it could mean and what you should do about it. If you see blood in your urine, it is important to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Blood in the urine, which is medically known as hematuria, can have many different causes, some of which can be more serious than others. It is important to determine the source of the blood as soon as possible in order to receive appropriate treatment.
Blood in Urine: Should You Be Concerned?
While certain causes of hematuria can be dangerous, others are very innocuous and can go away with little or no therapy. In any case, it should be evaluated by a medical professional.
Gross hematuria is blood in the urine that is readily visible. Microscopic hematuria refers to blood in the urine that isn’t visible. Urine with gross hematuria can be red or pink, or the color of cola, tea, or rust. Gross hematuria frequently develops in the absence of other symptoms.
Because it only takes a small amount of blood to darken urine, you’re probably not losing as much blood as you think. Heavy bleeding that involves passing blood clots, on the other hand, is an emergency that can be uncomfortable and puts you in danger of a blocked bladder outlet and inability to pass urine. (Mayo Clinic, 2017)
Causes of Blood in Urine
When you have hematuria, blood cells escape into your urine from your kidneys or other sections of your urinary tract. This leakage can be caused by a variety of issues, including:
Infections of the urinary tract:
Bacteria enter your body through the urethra and proliferate in your bladder, causing these infections. Urinary urgency, discomfort, and burning during urination, and exceptionally strong-smelling urine are all possible symptoms. Microscopic blood in the urine may be the only indicator of sickness for some people, particularly the elderly. (Mayo Clinic, 2020)
Infections of the kidney:
This can happen when bacteria enter your kidneys from your bloodstream or move from your ureters to your kidney. The signs and symptoms of kidney infections are frequently similar to those of bladder infections, with the exception that kidney infections are more likely to result in a fever and flank pain. (Mayo Clinic, 2020)
A stone in the bladder or kidneys:
Crystals grow on the lining of your kidneys or bladder from the minerals in concentrated urine. The crystals can grow into small, hard stones over time. Because the stones are usually painless, you won’t realize you have them until they cause a blockage or are passed. The symptoms are usually easy to spot – kidney stones, in particular, can be excruciatingly painful. Both gross and microscopic bleeding can be caused by bladder or kidney stones. (Mayo Clinic, 2020)
As men become older, the prostate gland enlarges, which is located directly below the bladder and surrounds the top part of the urethra. The urethra is then compressed, partially halting urine flow. Difficulty peeing, an urgent or continuous desire to urinate and either visible or microscopic blood in the urine are all signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH). The same signs and symptoms can be caused by a prostate infection (prostatitis). (Mayo Clinic, 2020)
Other than these, kidney injury, cancer, inherited disorders like sickle cell anemia, and even strenuous exercise can cause bleeding. (Mayo Clinic, 2020)
When is Blood in Urine an Emergency
Because some of the reasons for blood in the urine are dangerous, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. Even a small amount of blood in your pee should be taken seriously. If you don’t detect blood in your urine but have frequent, difficult, or painful urination, abdominal pain, or kidney pain, visit your doctor. All of these symptoms could be signs of microscopic hematuria. If you can’t urinate, notice blood clots when you urinate, or have blood in your urine, seek emergency care. (Mary Ellen, 2019)
When you see blood in your urine, it’s important to see a doctor right away. Blood in the urine can be a sign of many different conditions, some of which are serious. The only way to know for sure what is causing the blood is to have a doctor check it out. Don’t delay in getting medical attention if you see blood in your urine.
“Mayo Clinic Q and a: Blood in Urine Should Not Be Ignored – Mayo Clinic News Network.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 27 June 2017, newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-q-and-a-blood-in-urine-should-not-be-ignored/.
“Blood in Urine (Hematuria).” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 15 Oct. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/blood-in-urine/symptoms-causes/syc-20353432.
Ellis, Mary Ellen. “What Causes Bloody Urine?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 23 Aug. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/urine-bloody.