Blood in the urine or hematuria can be a scary ordeal and requires immediate assessment by a doctor. Nevertheless, it is not usually an indication of any life-threatening condition.
If there is bright red blood in the urine or it has turned reddish or brown due to blood, a doctor should be consulted. Oftentimes, the urine might only contain a small amount that is only detected with a urine test.
What are the common causes of hematuria?
- Bladder infection or cystitis – this causes a burning sensation while urinating
- Kidney infection
- Kidney stones
- Urethritis – inflammation of the tube that transports urine to be eliminated from the body
- Enlarged prostate gland – common among older men which causes the prostate gland to press on the bladder and can trigger issues such as frequent urge to urinate and difficulty urinating
- Bladder and kidney cancer
- Prostate cancer
Consultation with a doctor
The doctor will ask about the symptoms and perform a physical exam to pinpoint the cause of hematuria.
Among men, a rectal exam is performed while a vaginal exam is carried out for women. A blood and/or urine test is also required to check for any indications of infection. In case an infection is possible, antibiotics might be prescribed before the results are available. The individual is referred to a specialist if the test results do not indicate an infection.
In some instances, the doctor might recommend monitoring of the symptoms to check if they settle on their own over time.