What is hematuria?
You or your doctor has seen blood in your urine, a condition known as hematuria. You are probably concerned and wondering what it means. Most of the time, the cause of hematuria is not serious. However, blood in the urine should never be ignored. Your doctor can evaluate you to identify the cause of the bleeding and treat it, if necessary.

Two Types of Hematuria
Blood in the urine may be one of two types:
  • Gross hematuria means that the blood can be seen by the naked eye. The urine may look pinkish, brownish, or bright red.

  • Microscopic hematuria means that the urine is clear, but blood cells can be seen when urine is looked at under a microscope.
Both gross and microscopic hematuria can have the same causes, and neither one is more serious than the other. Along with either type, you may or may not notice any other symptoms- such as pain, pressure, or burning when you urinate. No matter how much blood is found, the cause of the bleeding needs to be identified.

Stones are collections of crystals that form in the urine. Stones may be found anywhere in the urinary tract, particularly in the kidneys and bladder. Stones in the urinary tract almost always cause bleeding and can sometimes cause severe pain.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlargement of the prostate gland that can happen as men age. In addition to bleeding, BPH may cause problems with urination and occasionally pain. A urinary tract infection (UTI), caused by bacteria, can lead to inflammation in the bladder and urethra as well as bleeding. UTIs are often accompanied by burning, fever, pain, and the frequent need to urinate.
Other causes:

Other causes of bleeding in the urinary tract include:
  • Prostatitis (infection of the prostate gland)
  • Anticoagulant medications
  • Blockage of the urinary tract
  • Sickle cell anemia
Occasionally, no cause can be identified, a condition known as idiopathic hematuria.
Damage to the urinary tract may cause bleeding. Damage may be due to a blow or accident or use of a catheter. Very strenuous exercise may sometimes irritate the urinary tract and cause bleeding. Cancer may occur anywhere in the urinary tract. A tumor in the urinary tract may sometimes cause no symptoms other than bleeding.

Planning Your Treatment

Once the cause of your hematuria has been determined, you and your doctor can plan your treatment, if any is needed. Treatment for hematuria varies depending on the cause of the bleeding. Following are some treatment options for common causes of hematuria.
  • A small stone in the bladder or urethra may be removed with a special scope. Larger stones or kidney stones may be broken up using sound waves or a laser. This process is called lithotripsy.
  • An enlarged prostate may be treated with medications or surgery.
  • Infections in the urinary tract are usually treated with antibiotics.
  • Damage to the urinary tract often heals on its own, but severe cases may require surgery.
  • Cancer of the urinary tract may be treated using surgery, radiation therapy, or medications.
Remember: If you find blood in your urine, don't ignore it. See your doctor for an evaluation to help find its cause.

Notice: Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.