What to do if you have blood in your urine

What to do if you have blood in your urine

What to do if you have blood in your urine

February 10, 2020Educational programHealth
Do not panic: most likely, nothing terrible is happening to you.
Photo by Ekaterina Komissarova

Ekaterina Komissarova

Lifehacker medical journalist

What to do if you have blood in your urine


Redness of urine doctors call hematuria. In most cases, this is a one-time occurrence and is not a cause for concern.

But sometimes hematuria can be a sign of serious malfunctions in the body. Therefore, there is one important rule.

Be sure to consult a doctor – a general practitioner or urologist – every time you notice urine with blood.

It is better to spend time on a visit to the doctor than to miss a really dangerous disease.

Where does the blood in the urine come from

The reasonsaccording to which urine acquires a characteristic reddish tint, are diverse: from safe and even funny to frightening.

1. You ate something wrong

Some foods, such as beets, rhubarb, dark berries, can temporarily stain urine a frighteningly bloody (actually not) color. A professional doctor will easily distinguish food staining from blood particles. But for an ordinary person, this can be difficult to do.

2. You are taking certain medications

Temporary hematuria can be caused by:

  • antibiotics based on penicillin;
  • blood thinners such as aspirin or heparin;
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – the same ibuprofen or paracetamol;
  • some medicines that are used in the treatment of cancer.

3. You are too active in sports

Sometimes excessive physical activity can provoke hematuria. Scientists have not yet fully understood the mechanism of this phenomenon. It is assumed that the redness of the urine may be associated with microtrauma of the bladder, dehydration or destruction of red blood cells, which occurs during prolonged aerobic exercise.

Long-distance runners are the most affected. There is even such a definition – “runner’s hematuria.”

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4. You are pregnant

Blood in the urine is sometimes seen in pregnant women. Doctors call such hematuria idiopathic – that is, one whose causes cannot be established. As a rule, after childbirth, this violation disappears.

4. You are a man over 50

By this age, many have an enlarged prostate gland. An enlarged prostate (medically called benign prostatic hyperplasia) presses on the urethra. The consequence of this may be difficulty with urination, frequent urination, and from time to time the appearance of microscopic particles of blood in the urine.

5. You have prostatitis

This is called inflammation of the prostate gland. Prostatitis can be acute and chronic – in the latter case, the disease is difficult to notice without the help of a doctor, since the symptoms are blurred.

With prostatitis, an increase in the gland is also observed, with the consequences that are listed in the paragraph above.

It is extremely important to consult a urologist, because the causes of prostate enlargement can be not only age or inflammation, but also prostate cancer.

6. You suffer from bladder or kidney stones

Small stones often do not show themselves. However, these hard salt deposits can damage the urinary tract and cause some blood to appear in the urine.

7. You have a bladder or kidney infection

Acute cystitis or pyelonephritis also sometimes manifest itself as hematuria. However, in addition to urine with blood, such diseases also have much more pronounced symptoms: fever, pain in the lower abdomen or lower back, burning during urination, and others.

8. You have kidney damage

Accidental injury to the kidneys, such as from a bad fall on the back, can also cause blood in the urine.

9. You suffer from certain hereditary disorders

For example, sickle cell anemia. This disease is genetic in nature. It is manifested by disturbances in the structure of hemoglobin and sometimes makes itself felt in the urine with blood.

What to do if you have blood in your urine

Again, contact a therapist or immediately to a urologist. Or to a doctor who observes you in a specific period of time – for example, a gynecologist if you are pregnant, or another specialist from whom you are undergoing medical treatment.

Perhaps everything will be decided immediately after a short conversation with the doctor. He will ask you about your lifestyle, diet, medications, and, for example, recommend giving up aspirin or reducing physical activity.

But more detailed research may be required:

  • Analysis of urine;
  • Ultrasound of the kidneys and bladder;
  • computed (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – these tests help more accurately than ultrasound to detect stones, tumors and other disorders in the genitourinary system;
  • A cytoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor inserts a thin tube with a tiny camera into the bladder to carefully examine the bladder and urethra.

Be sure to tell your doctor at what stage the blood appears – at the beginning or end of urination. This will help to understand exactly where the problem is located:

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