Urine can vary in color depending on hydration levels, but what does it mean when it’s pink? If you’ve noticed a pink shade in your urine, you may be concerned about what it means.
If so, you’ve come to the right place because pink urine is a sign of hematuria, or blood in the urine. Our team of providers at Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia, has decades of experience providing comprehensive urological services and advice, including diagnosing and treating hematuria.
Keep reading to find out more about this condition and how it’s treated.
Hematuria and its causes
Hematuria is a condition when blood is present in your urine, creating a pink or red hue. There are two types of hematuria:
- Gross hematuria is when you can see blood in the urine
- Microscopic hematuria is when blood in the urine is only visible with a microscope's assistance
It is important to investigate both types of hematuria to understand the cause.
Cancer and hematuria
While many people worry that cancer causes blood in the urine, cancer is not the only reason you may experience this condition. There are many causes of hematuria, and not all are serious medical conditions.
Hematuria alone is rarely a sign of cancer, which usually presents with other symptoms. However, if you have a history of smoking tobacco as well as gross hematuria, your risk of kidney or bladder cancer is increased.
Our team either rules out or diagnoses cancer as a cause of hematuria.
Other causes of hematuria
Pink urine is most likely due to a cause other than cancer. The most common causes include the following:
- Some medications
- Strenuous exercise
- Sexual activity
- A virus or STD
- Injury or trauma
- An infection (like a bladder infection or UTI)
Less frequently, hematuria can be an indicator of a significant health condition. Less common causes of hematuria include:
- Blood clots
- Kidney or bladder cancer
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Enlarged or irritated prostate (in men)
- Swelling or irritation in your kidneys or urinary tract
- Sickle cell disease
It is important to inform our team if you spot signs of hematuria. A professional diagnosis is necessary to detect and treat these severe health conditions early.
Medical care for blood in urine
It’s challenging to know the cause of hematuria without a diagnosis. That’s why when you notice hematuria, it’s time to seek medical care.
A small amount of blood is enough to seek an appointment, even if the hematuria seems to go away. If the blood in your urine also presents with chills, fever, nausea, vomiting, or pain in your lower back or abdomen, seek emergency medical care.
You should also get immediate emergency attention if you can’t urinate or see clots in your urine unrelated to menstruation.
Diagnosing and treating hematuria
Hematuria doesn’t always require treatment. When medical care is needed, our team customizes your treatment plan to address the underlying cause.
The first step in treatment is determining the cause of your pink urine. We evaluate your medical history and symptoms and conduct a physical exam. We may order additional tests or lab work if needed, which may include:
- Blood tests to check the levels of waste products and biomarkers in blood
- Ultrasound imaging to check your urinary tract
- Urinalysis: A urine test to check for bacteria, chemicals, and biomarkers in urine
- Intravenous pyelogram: a series of X-rays that checks for tumors, kidney stones, and blockages
- Cystoscopy: examination of your urethra and bladder with a thin, flexible tube
In some cases, the cause of hematuria can’t be determined. If that happens, we have you return for a urine test in the future. We recommend annual tests until the hematuria resolves on its own or the underlying cause is determined.
If you’ve noticed pink urine, don’t wait to get care. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia, today.