Blood in the urine is also called hematuria. Normally, urine does not contain blood.
There are two kinds of hematuria:
- Microscopic hematuria—Urine contains a small amount of blood, which is not visible to the naked eye
- Gross hematuria—Urine is visibly discolored by blood, appearing red or tea-colored
In some cases, the cause of hematuria is never found. The list of known causes is lengthy. Some more common causes include:
- Injury to the abdomen, pelvis, or internal organs of the urinary tract
- Vigorous exercise—resolves with rest
- Urinary tract infection or kidney infection
- Cancer of the prostate, kidney, or bladder
- Kidney disease
- Kidney stones
- Bleeding disorders such as hemophilia
- Certain congenital diseases such as polycystic kidneys
- Radiation of the pelvis for cancer treatment
- Certain medications
Factors that may increase your risk of hematuria include:
- Medications such as certain antibiotics and pain medications
- Recent upper respiratory tract infection
- Family history of kidney problems
In some cases, there may not be additional symptoms.
But, if you have an underlying condition, you may have other symptoms. For example, kidney stones can cause blood in the urine, along with pain in the side, abdomen, or groin.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a neprhologist who specializes in kidney disease or a urologist who specializes in the urinary system.
Your doctor may need to test your bodily fluids. This can be done with:
- Urine tests
- Blood tests
Your doctor may need to view your bodily structures. This can be done with:
Treatment will depend on the cause of hematuria. Some causes of hematuria require no treatment or will resolve on their own. Other causes will respond to medication. For example, treating a urinary tract infection with antibiotics will stop the hematuria. Still, other causes may require surgery, such as the removal of a tumor or treatment for prostate cancer.
Treating the underlying condition that causes hematuria may help prevent it from occurring.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
National Kidney Foundation
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Hematuria in children. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/hematuria.cfm. Accessed September 3, 2014.
Hematuria in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebsochost.com/dynamed. Updated February 17, 2014. Accessed September 3, 2014.
Hematuria in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebsochost.com/dynamed. Updated July 22, 2013. Accessed September 3, 2014.
Microscopic hematuria. Am Fam Physician. 1999 Sep 15;60(4):1154. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/990915ap/990915b.html. Accessed September 3, 2014.
Urination problems. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/health-tools/search-by-symptom/urination-problems.html. Accessed September 3, 2014.
Last reviewed August 2014 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.