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Blood in Urine

Blood in urine is medically known as hematuria. There are many causes of blood in urine.

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This is not a condition in itself, but a symptom of other underlying conditions. In some cases, it does not indicate anything serious, but in certain cases, it is an indication of a serious disease.

Let us learn more about blood in urine from the following.

What is Hematuria?

The presence of red blood cells in urine is termed as hematuria. It can result from a minor condition or something that can be a life-threatening.

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There are two types of hematuria:

Microscopic hematuria

In this type, red blood cells are visible only under a microscope or after carrying out urinalysis.

Macroscopic hematuria

When one can observe blood in urine, it is called as macroscopic or gross or frankhematuria.

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In some cases, one may find the red coloration of urine due to:

  • Presence of betanin after eating a lot of beetroots
  • People who take drugs such as Rifampicin and Phemazopyridine
  • Presence of myoglobin

Causes for blood in urine

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There are many reasons for observing blood in urine.

Some of these causes include:


Cystitis a bladder infection that causes a burning sensation during urination. The infection can be due to bacteria, viruses or a result of sexually transmitted diseases.

Kidney stones

Presence of kidney stones can lead to appearance of blood in urine. One may even find microscopic bleeding in urine of people suffering from kidney stones.


The infection of the kidneys can cause one to suffer from painful urination as well as the presence of microscopic blood in urine. Pyelonephritis


Glomerulonephritis a condition that causes inflammation within the kidneys. It can occur due to infection by Strep or certain viruses. It can lead to microscopic bleeding.


Any injury or trauma to the kidneys can lead to blood in urine.


A prostate infection can lead to the presence of blood cells in urine.


Advanced stages of prostate cancer, bladder cancer or kidney cancer can lead to appearance of blood in urine.


Certain medications like penicillin, aspirin, anti-cancer drugs or blood thinners can lead to the presence of blood in urine.

Sickle cell anemia

Sickle cell anemia can lead to gross as well as microscopic hematuria.

Symptoms of blood in urine

Presence of blood in urine, is the most obvious sign of hematuria. Other than that, one may observe red, brownish-red, pink or tea-colored urine, instead of the normal pale yellow urine. This indicates the presence of blood in urine. Many times, a microscopic examination helps indicate presence of red blood cells in urine. This test is carried out when one is suffering from a bladder infection, kidney infection, kidney stones or other kidney diseases.

Diagnosis of blood in urine

Diagnosis is made on the basis of medical history and blood test. Other tests include an ultrasound sonography to tract the area of bleeding or presence of renal stones. A cystoscopy may be recommended to examine the bladder and urethra to know what is causing the bleeding.

Treatment of blood in urine

Hematuria has no specific treatment as such. The treatment focuses on management of the underlying ailment causing blood in urine. Antibiotics to treat infections, surgery to remove kidney or bladder stones, chemotherapy and radiation for cancer, etc.

One should seek immediate medical help when they observe red or dark brownish red urine. The prognosis is good for blood in urine as most cases are manageable and treatable. People with kidney or bladder cancer may have to undergo long-term treatment to get rid of the malignancy. In most cases, blood in urine is a trivial matter that gets treated. Speak to your healthcare provider for more details, in case one observes blood in urine.

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Urinary tract infections: Symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment
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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: March 13, 2015