There's Blood in My Urine — Should I Be Concerned?

There's Blood in My Urine — Should I Be Concerned?

The sight of blood isn’t usually welcome, but it is often a perfectly normal one. From scraping your knees to monthly periods in women, blood can show up often enough in our lives. When it appears in places it doesn’t belong, such as in your urine, you wonder whether there’s any cause for concern, and the short answer is: Maybe.

For the longer answer, the team of urology experts here at Arizona Urology compiled a few important points about hematuria, which is the medical term for blood in the urine. From potential causes to the next steps, here’s what we want you to know.

Hematuria explained

As we mentioned, hematuria is the medical word for the presence of blood in urine. If you’re reading this because you’ve spotted blood in your urine or your urine is discolored — there’s a pink, red, or brown tint to it — this points to gross hematuria.

Gross hematuria simply means that the blood is visible. We make the distinction because you can have blood in your urine that you can’t see — tiny amounts that we can spot under a microscope.

For this discussion, we’re sticking with gross hematuria.

Potential causes of blood in urine

There are many different reasons you might spot blood in your urine, and we’re focusing on a few of the more common, including:

Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

These infections develop far more often in women — 20% of women will have at least one UTI in their lifetime — but men can get them, too. In either sex, one of the most common side effects of a UTI is hematuria, which is usually accompanied by painful and frequent urination.

Kidney stones

Reversing the gender tables, kidney stones can lead to bloody urine, and this issue affects more men than women. Aside from hematuria, kidney stones also lead to significant discomfort in your abdomen and lower back.

Prostate issues

Some men with enlarged prostates or an infection in their prostate can develop hematuria.

Trauma

Another issue that can lead to blood in urine is trauma to your kidneys. For example, your kidneys might take a direct hit or become damaged by too much jostling, such as during long-distance running.

Other issues that might lead to blood in urine are certain medications, such as blood thinners. Certain cancers can also lead to hematuria, such as bladder, prostate, or kidney cancer.

Sometimes, the cause can remain unknown — hematuria is identified in about half of cases, leaving the other half unaccounted for.

Getting help for blood in urine

Whenever you see blood in your urine, it’s a good idea to seek our help, especially if you’re experiencing other symptoms. Often, a quick course of antibiotics can clear up the pain and the bloody urine if the issue involves an infection.

Or, if the hematuria links to something bigger, we can get you on the right treatment path.

Even if we don’t identify the cause of the blood in your urine, we can rule out some serious issues and monitor the issue moving forward.

For expert and prompt diagnosis of blood in your urine, please contact one of our locations in Phoenix, Goodyear, Gilbert, or Glendale, Arizona, to schedule an appointment.

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