Blood in the Urine

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What You Need to Know About Blood in Your Urine

When bleeding occurs from the kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate, or urethra, it passes through urine, often tinting it pink to brown. While most causes of hematuria are not serious, we recommend an evaluation to rule out more serious conditions.


What is Blood in the Urine?

Blood in the urine is called hematuria, and it can either be microscopic (visual under the microscope) or gross (visual to the naked eye). It may be a sign of bleeding from the kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate, or urethra.


What are the symptoms of Blood in the Urine?

Blood in the urine will change the color of your urine from clear/amber to pink, red, maroon, or sometimes dark brown (“tea colored”). It will likely occur intermittently. Oftentimes blood in the urine is painless, but you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Burning with urination
  • Lower abdominal discomfort or back pain
  • Urinary frequency or urgency


What causes Blood in the Urine?

While there are many different causes for blood in the urine, it is most commonly due to one of the following: urinary tract infection, inflammation, kidney stones, enlarged prostate, kidney cancer or bladder cancer.


How do you diagnose Blood in the Urine?

What to know before your visit to MidLantic Urology in Philadelphia and surrounding counties:

  • During your visit your doctor will ask you questions regarding your medical history and will perform an exam with focused attention on the abdomen, genitalia, and potentially a rectal exam (for male patients). Information regarding stone history, infection history, cancer history and smoking history will also be discussed.

Tests that may be performed during or after your visit:

  • Urinalysis: This evaluates for any blood in the urine or infection
  • Post-void residual: The physician will often ask you to void and then check to make sure you are emptying your bladder
  • Cystoscopy: This is a procedure performed in the office where the physician inserts a small scope into the urethra to evaluate the urethra, prostate (for males) and bladder
  • Imaging: This will be either a CT scan, MRI scan or ultrasound depending on your history and kidney function. These tests allow us to evaluate the urinary tract.
  • Labs: Urine culture and cytology may be obtained. A urine cytology evaluates the urine cells for evidence of cancer on a microscopic level. Blood work to assess kidney function may also be obtained.


How do you treat Blood in the Urine?

If you notice blood in the urine, increase your hydration in order to dilute your urine. The majority of the time the bleeding will stop on its own. Your ultimate treatment will depend on the results of the work-up. If bleeding does not stop, patients may either need a urinary catheter or cystoscopy and fulguration to stop the source of bleeding.

Remember to call your provider if there are any blood clots, if bleeding does not improve with hydration, or you have difficulty urinating.

Schedule an appointment with a MidLantic Urology Physician near you today!

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