Blood in the Urine

Blood in urine is referred to by specialists as hematuria. Gross hematuria is blood in the urine that can be visualized, and microscopic hematuria is seen only under the microscope. Both of these conditions could indicate a problem in the urinary tract.


The most common symptom with hematuria is a pink or light brown tint to the urine. Red urine is less common as it takes quite a bit of blood to make urine red in color. Hematuria is not usually painful, unless blood clots are being passed into the urine, and is usually the only sign or symptom that is noticeable.


Common causes of blood in the urine include urinary tract infections, bladder stones, kidney stones, tumors in the urinary system, kidney disease, and trauma.


An evaluation of blood in the urine is recommended. The entire urinary tract must be evaluated including the kidneys, the ureters, the bladder, and the urethra. The kidneys produce urine, which is then transported to the bladder via the ureters. The bladder stores urine and finally passes out of the body through the urethra.

A test of blood in the urine includes looking at the urine under the microscope and assessing for abnormal cells in the urine. In addition, images of the kidneys and ureters are obtained. These images may be obtained through a series of tests with a CT scan, MRI, ultrasound of the kidney, or dye injected into the ureters. Finally, a procedure in the office called a cystoscopy looks directly into the bladder.


Sometimes treatment is not required and it depends on the cause or condition of hematuria. Common treatments for a hematuria that may or may not be in combination with another issue include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Medication for reducing an enlarged prostate
  • Therapy used to break up kidney or bladder stones

With any of the treatment courses above, the recovery time is up to two weeks.

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