Hematuria is the medical term for the presence of blood in the urine. Hematuria may be visible to the eye (gross hematuria) or seen only under a microscope (microscopic hematuria). Either way, this signifies an abnormality. Blood may come from anywhere along the urinary tract, including: the kidneys, which make the urine; the ureter, the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder: the bladder, which stores the urine; the prostate (men); or the urethra, the tube that carries the urine out of the body.
Hematuria has a number of potential causes, many of which are benign; however, it may be the only sign of a serious underlying medical condition, such as cancer.
Causes may include:
- Idiopathic – no specific cause found
- Urinary tract infection
- Stones (kidney, ureter, or bladder stone)
- Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) – enlarged prostate in men
- Trauma or injury
- Vigorous exercise or sex
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Tumors (kidney, ureter, bladder, prostate or urethra)
- Kidney diseases
- Some medications
- Viral infection
- Certain rare diseases
You should notify your doctor immediately if you see blood in your urine, even if you only see it one time.
If hematuria is found incidentally, without any other symptoms, your doctor may recommend further evaluation including:
- Urinalysis with microscopic evaluation (done under a microscope)
- Urine cytology – to look at bladder cells that fall into the urine
- Cystoscopy – to look into the bladder with a small scope
- CT scan Urogram – special x-rays of the urinary tract
- PSA test (in men of appropriate age)
Your urologist will discuss the evaluation and findings with you to develop an appropriate plan of care. If no specific cause is found, idiopathic hematuria, follow-up may still be necessary based on risk factors and findings.