Hematuria occurs when there is blood in the urine. While it can be completely harmless, there can also be serious problems that can cause urinary bleeding. In some cases, the blood can only be seen under a microscope, and in others, it can be seen with the naked eye. Doctors can determine the cause of the blood and come up with an appropriate treatment.
The cause of hematuria can vary from something common to something more serious. Doctors can test the urine to determine the causes. Some of the most common causes include:
- Urinary tract infection
- Kidney infection
- Bladder stones
- Kidney stones
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney disease
- Kidney Cancer
- Sickle cell anemia
- Kidney injury
- Certain medications
- Strenuous activity
The symptoms of hematuria are red, pink, or dark brown-colored urine. In most cases, there is no pain associated with the bleeding. There may also be blood clots, which can be painful to pass. There are usually no other signs or symptoms.
It can sometimes be difficult for doctors to diagnose the cause of hematuria because there are so many possibilities. They will conduct several diagnostic tests to help them come to a conclusion. Sometimes, they may even refer their patients to specialists who can identify the cause more easily. Some of the most common ways that hematuria is diagnosed include:
- Physical exam: The doctor will give the patient a check-up to make sure everything is normal and that the patient appears to be in good health.
- Urine test: The doctor will test the patient’s urine for signs of blood, infection, parasites, and even hormone levels.
- Imagining test: Imaging tests allow doctors to look inside the body to make sure the urinary system is working properly and that there are no tumors or problems that could be causing the bleeding.
- Blood test: A blood test will tell the doctor if there are any infections or abnormalities.
- Cystoscopy: The doctor will put a small tube with a tiny camera inside the bladder to examine the bladder and urethra for signs of disease.
Doctors can treat hematuria in a variety of ways. Treatment usually depends on the cause and the overall health and preferences of the patient. Some common treatments include:
- Antibiotics: These can help clear up any infections that may be causing inflammation in the urinary tract or urethra that could cause bleeding.
- Prostate-shrinking medication: Prescription medications can help reduce the size of the prostate so there is no pressure or swelling.
- Shockwave therapy: If the cause of the bleeding is linked to kidney stones or bladder stones, shockwaves can be used to break them so they can be passed more easily and do not cause pain or bleeding in the process.
In most cases, hematuria is temporary and clears up on its own. If there is a medical reason for the bleeding, it should clear up quickly with treatment. It can take some time to find the cause and the right treatment, and in cases of a kidney or bladder stone, preventative methods may be necessary to prevent future hematuria.