Haematuria is the most common cause of blood in the urine in the UK.
What is haematuria?
Haematuria is blood in the urine and may be sign of another condition, even if it you have it once.
There are two main types of haematuria:
Gross haematuria – when blood in your urine turns it pink or red or you have spots of blood
Microscopic haematuria – When blood in the urine is so small, it can only be detected by a test
What are the symptoms of haematuria?
Symptoms of haematuria include:
- Passing blood or blood clots in your urine
- Urine might be red, pink or dark brown
- Pain passing urine or stool
- Urge to urinate frequently
What causes haematuria?
Haematuria is caused by many different factors, including:
Infection – this usually develops in your urinary tract, bladder or kidneys when bacteria moves up the tube that carries urine out your body
Stones – large crystals in your bladder or kidney can cause a blockage, often leading to haematuria
Enlarged prostate – when the prostate gets bigger with age, it compresses the urethra, causing problems urinating and may stop the bladder emptying fully
Cancer – if you have bladder, kidney or prostate cancer, you’re more likely to have haematuria
Medications – penicillin, aspirin, blood thinners, or drugs used to treat cancer
How is haematuria diagnosed?
No matter how small, blood in your urine must be examined by your doctor. Haematuria can be a sign of a serious condition such as cancer, which is easier to treat if detected early.
Your doctor will first request a urine test called urinalysis. If the test comes back positive for infection you will start a course of antibiotics. If the results show no sign of infection further investigations will be recommended. These may include:
- Questioning about your urinary tract and any other symptoms
- A physical assessment including rectal examination
- An ultrasound scan of your kidneys or bladder
- A CT scan and/or a scan called a CT IVU which may require an iodine-based injection
- A flexible cystoscopy, which is a telescopic examination of the bladder
How is haematuria treated?
Treatment for haematuria will depend on the cause of blood in your urine. If haematuria is caused by a urinary infection, you will be given a course of antibiotics to relieve the symptoms. If a different condition is detected your doctor will discuss with you the most appropriate treatment options.
If you’re unsure what treatment you should go for, or the above treatments don’t work for you, our team of expert specialists are here to help.