Blood in urine

Blood in urine can turn your urine pink, bright red or brown and can be alarming.

 

By Wallace Health I Medically reviewed by Adrian Roberts.
Page last reviewed: October 2018 I Next review due: October 2021

Summary

Anyone, of any age, can pass blood in their urine. Sometimes, a tiny, unnoticeable amount of blood in urine is detected during routine health checks.

In most cases, passing blood in your urine isn’t something to worry about. However, as it can be a symptom of a serious health condition, it’s important to see your GP.

Blood in urine can usually be easily and effectively treated.

Causes of blood in urine

A urinary tract infection (UTI) triggering inflammation of the bladder (cystitis) is a common cause of blood in urine. Blood in urine in women is often caused by cystitis. Other symptoms of cystitis, which can also affect men, include:

  • Burning pain when passing urine, which may be strong smelling
  • Urinating more than usual
  • Fever and/or feeling unwell
  • Pain in sides, lower abdomen (stomach) and/or lower back

If you have blood in your urine and excruciating pain in your sides, groin or lower back, you may have kidney stones. Kidney stones are small, hard lumps of crystallised urine which can become trapped in your urinary tract.

Blood in urine in men over the age of 50 may be the result of an enlarged prostate. Other symptoms of an enlarged prostrate include difficulty urinating and an increased need to urinate, especially at night.

Other, rarer, causes of blood in urine include:

  • Nephritis – inflammation of the kidneys, which is most common in children and teenagers
  • Kidney infection, which can be caused by cystitis, kidney disease or kidney injury
  • Bladder or kidney cancer
  • Sickle cell disease – a genetic condition which is more likely if you’re of African or African/Caribbean descent
  • Side effects of some medications – aspirin, ibuprofen and some antibiotics can cause blood in urine
  • Strenuous exercise – long-distance runners are particularly prone to passing blood in their urine

Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about symptoms

You can book an appointment with a Spire private GP today.

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Getting a diagnosis for blood in your urine

Your GP will ask you about passing blood in your urine, any other symptoms and your general health. They may examine you and test your urine to check for conditions such as cystitis or kidney stones.

Your GP may also arrange for you to have a CT or MRI scan or a cystoscope. A cystoscope is an examination of your bladder using a tiny camera attached to the end of a thin, flexible tube.

In some cases, your GP may refer you to a consultant for further assessment, diagnosis and treatment.

Treatments for when you have blood in your urine

If you have a urinary tract infection, such as cystitis, your GP or consultant may prescribe antibiotics.

To treat an enlarged prostate, your GP or consultant may prescribe medication. To help relieve your increased need to urinate, your GP may refer you for bladder training. Avoiding fizzy drinks, caffeine and alcohol and drinking fewer fluids in the evening may also help.

Kidney stones often pass naturally in urine. If your doctor recommends waiting for this to happen, they may prescribe pain relief. If the stone is very large, your doctor may refer you for shock wave therapy to break it up or surgery.

If another condition is responsible for blood in your urine, your GP or consultant will recommend treatment depending on your diagnosis.

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