7 Causes of Blood in Urine

When blood is detected in your urine — either by the naked eye or under a microscope — it’s known as hematuria. Even though it can be frightening, it’s usually fairly harmless. 

In other cases, however, hematuria is a symptom of some very serious disorders, so you should see your doctor to determine what’s to blame.

At Urology Associates of Southeastern North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina, our experts specialize in men’s health and the urinary tract system. Their advanced training helps them detect and treat conditions affecting the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra, especially those that can lead to blood in your urine.

Here are seven causes of hematuria that they see on a regular basis.

1. Urinary tract infections

When you have a urinary tract infection (UTI), bacteria enter your body by way of your urethra and multiply in your bladder. These infections cause a variety of symptoms, including:

You can also develop similar infections in your kidneys. These infections share many symptoms as a UTI but usually include back pain and fever.

2. Bladder or kidney stones 

When minerals in your urinary tract crystallize and stick together, small, hard stones form. In most cases, bladder and kidney stones don’t cause any symptoms until they start moving through your system or cause a blockage. At this point, they can trigger excruciating pain and hematuria — gross and microscopic.

3 . Enlarged prostate

Enlarged prostates are common in men as they age and can trigger several urinary tract problems, especially hematuria. That’s because of this gland’s proximity to the bladder and tendency to compress the urethra as it increases in size, which blocks the flow of urine. 

Signs of an enlarged prostate often include an urgent or persistent need to urinate, difficulty doing so, and gross or microscopic hematuria.

You can also experience blood in your urine from a prostate infection.

4. Kidney injury

Trauma to the kidneys can also lead to blood in the urine. This is most common in injuries or blows sustained in contact sports or accidents, but strenuous exercise can cause this symptom as well. 

In most cases, runners experience hematuria, but it can affect anyone who participates in intense exercise. However, you should never assume blood in your urine is due to exercise.

5. Certain medications

If you take medication, it could be to blame for your urinary bleeding. These types of drugs include:

This is even more likely if you also have a condition causing your bladder to bleed.

6. Kidney disease

Your kidneys work to filter waste from your system, which leaves your body in the form of urine. When inflammation develops in this delicate system, urinary bleeding often occurs. Inflammation can occur for several reasons, from systemic diseases like diabetes, immune problems, or even viral or strep infections.

7. Cancer 

Unfortunately, visible blood in the urine is also a sign of advanced bladder, kidney, or prostate cancer. This is especially serious because these cancers usually don’t have symptoms in earlier, more treatable stages.

As you can see, many causes of hematuria are highly treatable and little cause for concern. However, it’s critical to get an accurate diagnosis to rule out more serious conditions.

Don’t ignore blood in your urine. Contact Urology Associates of Southeastern North Carolina by calling 910-421-2505, or you can request an appointment online today.

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