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Alternative Names Return to topHematuria; Blood in the urine
Definition Return to top
Blood in your urine, or hematuria, can be classified as microscopic or gross.
Considerations Return to top
In women, blood may appear to be in the urine when it is actually coming from the vagina. In men, what may be mistaken for urinary bleeding is sometimes a bloody ejaculation, usually due to a prostate problem.
Discoloration from certain drugs, beets, or other foods can mimic blood in the urine.
You may not see blood in your urine. In some cases, it is found microscopically when your doctor checks your urine during a routine exam. Your doctor will follow up on this problem to see if it persists and identify the cause.
When blood is visible to the naked eye, prompt and thorough evaluation is always needed. In children, hospitalization is often necessary to complete the work up.
Causes Return to top
There are many potential causes of blood in the urine. Often, bloody urine is from a problem in your kidneys or other parts of the urinary tract. If your kidneys, urinary tract, prostate, and genitals turn out to be fine, your doctor may check to see if you have a bleeding disorder.
Kidney and urinary tract causes include:
Causes from blood disorders include:
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Blood in the urine should never be ignored. Tell your doctor about this symptom and get an appropriate evaluation, especially if you have unexplained weight loss, burning with urination, frequent urination, or urgent urination.
Call your doctor right away if:
Also call your doctor if:
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
Your doctor will take a medical history and perform a physical examination. Medical history questions may include:
Tests that may be done include:
The treatment will depend on the cause of the blood in the urine. If a urinary tract infection is confirmed, antibiotics may be prescribed. If appropriate, pain medications will be given.
References Return to top
Choyke PL, Bluth EI, Bush WH Jr, et al. Expert Panel on Urologic Imaging. Hematuria. [online publication]. Reston, Va: American College of Radiology (ACR); 2005.
Campbell MF, Walsh PC, Retik AB, eds. Campbell’s Urology. 8th ed. WB Saunders; Philadelphia, Pa; 2002.
Yun EJ. Evaluation of the patient with hematuria. Med Clin North Am. 2004; 88(2): 329-343.Update Date: 7/23/2007 Updated by: Marc Greenstein, DO, Urologist, North Jersey Center for Urologic Care, Denville, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.