Have you recently gone to the bathroom only to see blood in your urine? This condition, called hematuria, is always disconcerting. The good news is that many causes of hematuria aren’t serious and can easily be treated.
But for some people, hematuria can signal a concerning underlying condition. That’s why the board-certified providers at Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia, want you to know what steps to take if you notice blood in your urine.
Why am I seeing blood in my urine?
Hematuria can be triggered for many reasons. Most of the time, seeing blood in your urine isn’t caused by a serious condition. However, many of the common causes of hematuria still require medical treatment.
Some of the most common reasons men and women may experience hematuria include:
- Taking certain medications
- Vigorous sexual activity
- Having an STD or a virus
- Having a bladder or urinary tract infection
- Strenuous exercise
- Sustaining an injury
For women, menstruation, endometriosis, or implantation during pregnancy may also cause spotting or bleeding that can appear as blood in the urine.
Sometimes, more serious conditions cause hematuria. Because you can’t tell the cause of your hematuria without a diagnostic exam and/or testing, don’t wait to schedule an appointment with a provider at Urological Associates.
By seeking medical attention early, we can address even serious causes of hematuria more successfully. Some of the less common but more serious causes of seeing blood in your urine include:
- Kidney or bladder cancer
- Enlarged or irritated prostate (in men)
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Health problems that cause issues with blood clotting
- Sickle cell disease
Problems with your kidneys or urinary tract also increase your risk of seeing blood in your urine. If any section of this system is injured, swollen, irritated, damaged, or diseased, you can have hematuria. Issues like bladder stones, kidney infection, and kidney stones can be the cause of these issues.
What action should I take if I have hematuria?
Keep in mind that hematuria is never normal. As such, the best thing to do if you have hematuria is to schedule an appointment with a urologist at Urological Associates. You should seek emergency care by calling 911 or going to your nearest ER if you have hematuria with any of the following:
- Inability to urinate
- Fever and/or chills
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Pain in your low back or abdomen
- Blood clots (not related to menstruation)
At Urological Associates, we first determine the cause of your hematuria before creating a customized treatment plan to address the underlying reason you’re noticing blood in your urine. To do this, your provider reviews your medical history and symptoms, then conducts a physical exam.
In some cases, you may need lab work or additional tests to determine the cause of your hematuria, including:
- Blood tests (to check biomarkers and waste produce levels)
- Urinalysis (to check for bacteria, chemicals, and biomarkers in your urine)
- Radiological Imaging (medical images to diagnose and guide for treatment)
- Ultrasound (noninvasive imaging to check your urinary tract)
- Cystoscopy (exam of your urethra and bladder using a thin, flexible tube)
In some cases, we can’t determine the cause of the hematuria. If this happens, your provider may recommend testing again after a period of time.
Have you noticed blood in your urine? Get to the bottom of your hematuria by scheduling an appointment over the phone at Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia.