The presence of blood in the urine is referred to as (hematuria). This can be ‘macroscopic’, which is visible to the naked eyes, while ‘microscopic’ which can only be seen only under a microscope. When a person can see the blood in the urine, the condition is called ‘gross hematuria’. People with ‘gross hematuria’ have their urine pink, red or brown.
If you see blood in your urine, try not to ignore it, this may be a sign of an underlying health condition. While some are easily treated and not dangerous, others may need immediate medical attention.
Possible causes of blood in the urine
In hematuria, your kidneys and other parts of your urinary tracts allows blood cells to leak into the urine, there are various problems that can cause this leakage and they include:
- Kidney infection (pyelonephritis): This can occur when bacteria enter the kidneys from the blood stream or move from the ureters to the kidneys. Signs and symptoms are often similar to bladder infections, though kidney infection is more likely to cause a fever or flank pain.
- Enlarged prostate (Benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH): The prostate gland which is just below the bladder and surrounding the top part of the urethra often enlarge as men approach middle age, it then compresses the urethra, partially blocking urine flow. Signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate includes difficulty in urinating or persistent need to urinate and there is either visible or microscopic presence of blood in the urine.
- Kidney and Bladder Stone: Another common cause for blood in the urine is the presence of stone in the kidney or bladder. These are crystals that form from the minerals in your urine, they can develop inside the kidney or bladder. Large stones can cause a blockage thar often result to hematuria and significant pain.
- Urinary tract infection: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) is a common cause of blood in the urine, although they occur more frequently in women than men, men can also develop them too. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can occur when bacteria enter the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. Symptoms of urinary tract infections (UTIs) includes: urgent and frequent urination, pain and burning in the urethra, cloudy and strong smelly urine.
Other Causes of blood in the urine includes:
- Medications like aspirin or blood thinner and antibiotics
- Vigorous exercise
- Inherited condition like sickle cell disease or certain type of hemophilia.
Can blood in the urine go away without treatment?
The answer is yes, blood in the urine can actually go away on its own if the cause is from strenuous exercise or from certain medication. However, because blood in the urine can be associated with serious issues, it is better to consult with your health care provider for more treatment.
How is hematuria diagnosed
A visible and microscopic examination of a urine sample may reveal the source. The doctor may order for test to check for kidney, prostate, bladder disease as well as other conditions. If the doctor suspects other physical abnormalities causing the blood in the urine, they may also ask you to carry out additional test like;
- Blood test: Blood test check for abnormalities in the blood or hormones as well as autoimmune antibodies.
- Urinalysis: Urine is examined for various cells and chemicals, germs and proteins.
- Imaging test: A completed tomography, an ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan are examples of these other abnormalities in the bladder, kidney and urinary vessels.
- Kidney (renal) biopsy: If a doctor suspects kidney disease they may order a kidney biopsy for examination under a microscope.
Measures to reduce urinary conditions such as:
- Maintain hygiene of the genital areas: After urinating or defecating clean the area from front to back to prevent bacteria from re-entering the urethra.
- Ensure to urinate after sexual activity: Emptying the bladder immediately after sexual intercourse flushes bacteria from the urethra, lowering the risk of infection.
- Urinate when need: it is best not to hold urine for too long, because holding urine for too long will cause increase in bacteria, leading to infection.
- Drink enough water: A daily intake of 10 to 12 glasses of water per day aids in the removal of bacteria and other toxins during urination.
When to seek immediate attention
When you start feeling:
- Painful urination
- Frequent urination
- Pain in the abdomen
Causes of blood in the urine (hematuria) includes urinary tract infections, bladder or kidney stone, kidney infection, and certain medications. Some of the causes of blood in the urine maybe serious, so it is important you consult with your health care provider. If you notice any of the symptoms above, try not to ignore any symptom you are feeling as a result of blood in the urine.