what causes blood in urine

Overview

When your urine has a tinge of pink, red or brown, it means there is blood in your urine. The medical term for this condition is Hematuria. The symptoms of the condition may not always be visible.

While it can be dramatic and frightening, it usually isn’t a cause of alarm. At the same time, Hematuria shouldn’t be ignored as it may indicate a more serious medical condition.

What does blood in urine indicate?

Hematuria could be a symptom of many underlying causes. Some of them are:

  1. Kidney/bladder stones– The minerals in concentrated urine sometimes form crystals on the walls of your kidneys or bladder. Over time, these crystals harden to form small stones. Larger stones can cause blockages that result in Hematuria and significant pain. Surgical treatments for kidney stones include laparoscopic treatment, laser treatment and shock wave lithotripsy.
  2. Enlarged prostate– Often when men approach middle age, their prostate enlarges. This compresses the urethra and partially blocks the urine flow. Symptoms include visible or microscopic blood in the urine. 
  3. Urinary tract infections (UTI) This occurs when bacteria enter your urethra and multiplies in your bladder. It causes burning while peeing, cloudy pee, pain and even blood in the urine for some. 
  4. Cancer Visible bleeding in the urine may be a sign of advanced kidney/bladder/prostate cancer. 
  5. Sickle cell anaemia Sickle cell anaemia is a hereditary defect of haemoglobin in red blood cells. It causes blood in the urine. 
  6. Kidney disease- Glomerulonephritis is the inflammation of the kidney’s filtering system. This disease can occur by itself or be a part of a systematic disease like diabetes. It can cause blood in the urine

causes of blood in urine

Other, less severe, causes of blood in the urine are:

  • Menstruation– Menstruation/period is the vaginal bleeding a woman experiences every month as their body prepares for pregnancy. The menstrual blood is partly blood and partly tissue that sheds from the uterus. 
  • Strenuous exercise Although very rare, strenuous exercise may lead to blood in the urine. However, the cause is unknown and may be linked to trauma to the bladder, dehydration or breakdown of red blood cells. 
  • Medications Medications like anticancer drugs, cyclophosphamide and penicillin, aspirin, blood thinners, anti-swelling drugs etc. can cause blood in the urine. 
  • Kidney injury A blow to the kidney can cause blood in the urine. 

What should you do if you see blood in your urine?

Since most causes of Hematuria are serious, you should immediately contact your health care practitioner when you notice blood in your urine. 

You may not always be able to see the blood in your urine and so should seek help when you experience the following symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty or pain while urinating
  • Abdomen pain

These symptoms of Microscopic Hematuria may not always be present. 

Diagnosis of Hematuria

Your health care provider will first ask you several questions regarding the amount of blood in your urine, any pain you’re experiencing, the frequency of urination, etc. Your doctor will then take a physical examination and collect a sample of your urine to test (urinalysis). 

You may be asked for an imaging test to determine the cause of the Hematuria. 

Another possible test that could be asked is a Cystoscopy where a camera is sent in a small tube up your urethra and into your bladder to examine from within.

causes of blood in urine

Treatment of blood in your urine

It is best to avoid treating Hematuria on your own and instead consult your doctor as the symptoms may worsen over time. 

Your treatment will be determined on the basis of the condition causing blood in your urine. 

For UTI, you will be asked to take certain antibiotics to clear it. For kidney stones, treatment may involve undergoing laparoscopic surgery. 

An underlying cause may not always be found in some patients.

How do you give a urine sample?

You will be provided with a sterile antiseptic wipe to clean yourself and a cup to collect your urine in. 

  • For women: Wipe your vagina three times from front to rear using the antiseptic wipe.
  • For men: Use the antiseptic wipe to clean the head of your penis
  • Start urinating in the toilet.
  • Halfway through the urination, catch the urine in the cup 
  • Wash your hands with soap and water 
  • Give the sample 

Home remedies for UTIs

Urinary Tract Infection can cause blood in the urine. Some home remedies to prevent UTI are:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated
  • Urinate regularly to flush out the bacteria from your urinary tract
  • Increase your intake of Vitamin C as it increases the acidity in your urine, in turn, killing the bacteria
  • Drink unsweetened cranberry juice as the cranberries prevent the bacteria from entering the urinary tract
  • Urinate after sexual intercourse 

Can Hematuria be prevented?

You may not be able to prevent blood in your urine, but it is recommended to practice good hygiene and drink plenty of fluids.

Takeaway

Although some cases of Hematuria may not be serious, it is important to call your health care practitioner as soon you notice a change in the colour of your urine or experience the few symptoms of microscopic hematuria. 

For a consultation, you can contact a urologist at Pristyn Care. 

FAQ

Does e-coli cause blood in urine?

Generally, e-coli stays in the gut. But if it enters the urinary system, specifically from stool to the urethra, it may cause serious infections. And if the infection becomes chronic, it may lead to blood in urine.

Does sex cause blood in urine?

Sexual intercourse might be a potential cause of blood in urine. If sexual intercourse is rough enough to hurt the opposite partner, it may cause him/ her to bleed while passing urine. If bacteria from an unhygienic penis enters the urethra of the female partner, it may cause her to bleed while urinating.