What is hematuria or blood in the urine?
Hematuria is a medical term which indicates the presence of blood in the urine. This condition is described as gross hematuria when the blood is visible to the eye, or microscopic hematuria when the blood is undetectable by the human eye, but is seen under a microscope during laboratory testing. Microscopic hematuria is generally discovered incidentally (as a by-product) during a urinalysis.
What causes blood in the urine?
Men, women and children can all experience incidents of blood in their urine. Blood in the urine should never be ignored, but should be diagnosed as soon as possible. In reality, there are several factors that may cause this condition:
- Urinary tract infection
- Infections or disease in the kidneys, bladder or prostate gland
- Kidney stones
- Bladder stones
- Intense exercise
- Injury to a kidney or other organ in the urinary system
- Sickle-cell disease (a common type being sickle-cell anemia)
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Catheter use
- Menstruation cycle
How is blood in the urine diagnosed?
When blood is found in the urine, a urologist will look for an underlying cause. Depending on the type of hematuria a patient has (gross or microscopic), testing may include:
- Physical exam
- Urine test (Urinalysis)
- Urine cytology
- Pelvic exam
- Rectal exam – For men who might have an enlarged prostate.
- Blood test
- Imaging – CT scan
- Cystoscopy – A scope that allows the physician to look into the bladder.
How is blood in the urine treated?
Treatment options will depend on the the underlying condition that is producing the blood. This is best determined by a thorough examination, a review of symptoms, the patient’s medical history, and laboratory results. Depending on findings, treatment options may include:
- Antibiotics or other medications to treat infection or a disease state.
- Referral to a specialist – if a blood disorder is detected.
- Treatment of kidney or bladder stones.
- Treatment of kidney or bladder cancer.
- No treatment – if it is related to the menstruation cycle.
If you can visibly see blood in your urine, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Contact Urology Austin to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations.