Why Is There Blood in My Urine?

There’s no doubt: Seeing blood in your urine can be scary! This condition, called hematuria, is fairly common and has many possible causes. If medical intervention is required, the treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the condition. 

Gross hematuria describes blood in the urine you can see with the naked eye. Microscopic hematuria, on the other hand, describes blood in the urine only visible under a microscope. Both types of hematuria should be investigated to understand their root cause. 

At Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia, our team of providers is dedicated to helping the men and women of Central Virginia feel their best and experience optimal urological health. As part of our comprehensive line of urological services, we specialize in diagnosing and treating the many causes of hematuria.  

Our team of experts has curated this guide to help you understand the common causes of blood in the urine and when you should seek help. 

What causes blood in the urine? 

Many patients worry that blood in the urine is due to cancer. The truth is, there are many reasons you might have blood in your urine, and not all of them indicate a serious medical condition. 

Rest assured that hematuria by itself is rarely a sign of cancer. If you have a history of smoking combined with gross hematuria, however, your risk of bladder or kidney cancer increases. Our team works to arrive at an accurate diagnosis to rule out or diagnose cancer as a cause of hematuria.

It’s more likely any blood you see in the urine is due to one of the more common causes. Some of the most common reasons you may see blood in your urine include:

Other times, hematuria is an indicator of a more serious health condition. These less common causes include:

How is blood in the urine treated?

Not all cases of hematuria require treatment, and if medical care is needed, your treatment protocol is customized to address the underlying cause of hematuria. As such, the first step for your provider at Urological Associates is to determine what’s causing blood to appear in your urine.

Your doctor evaluates your medical history and any other symptoms you may be having. We’ll also conduct a physical exam and order additional tests or lab work when required. These may include: 

Sometimes, the reason you’re experiencing hematuria can’t be determined. In these cases, your provider has you come in for another urine test sometime in the future, often in one year. We then recommend annual tests until the hematuria resolves itself or the underlying cause is determined.

When should I seek medical care?

Since the causes of blood in the urine can be serious and it’s hard to know what the cause is without a diagnosis, it’s important to seek medical care the first time you notice hematuria. Even a small amount of blood in your urine is a reason to schedule an appointment. This is true even if the hematuria seems to go away. 

If hematuria is accompanied by fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and/or pain in your abdomen or lower back, or if you can’t urinate or see clots in your urine not related to menstruation, seek emergency medical care. 

If you’ve noticed blood in your urine, don’t wait to seek help. Contact Urological Associates by calling 434-295-0184 to schedule an appointment and get the care you need.

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