Hematuria is a condition where the urine contains blood or red blood cells. There are two types of hematuria – microscopic and gross. In microscopic hematuria, red blood cells are not visible in the urine until examined under a microscope. With gross hematuria, the urine is red or the color of cola.
Many things can cause blood in urine. Some are serious – cancerous tumors, trauma, kidney and bladder stones, and urinary tract blockages. Others are not as serious and may not require treatment. For example, exercise may cause hematuria that goes away in 24 hours. Other causes include viral infections in the urinary tract, kidney inflammations, medications that thin the blood clotting ability and benign prostate enlargement.
In many cases, the only sign of hematuria is blood in the urine. In other cases the following symptoms maybe be present:
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased urinary force, hesitance, incomplete voiding
- Frequent urination
- Pain during urination
- Pain in the flank or side
- Urinary urgency
There are several tests that can help determine if you have hematuria. These tests can be as simple as examining your urine (called Urinalysis), running a blood test, taking an ultrasound, or viewing an x-ray of the urinary tract (called Intravenous Pvelogram). More invasive testing is often performed under the care of a urologist. A urologist may use a cystoscope to take pictures of the inside of the bladder. The cystoscope has a tiny camera at the end of a thin tube, which is inserted through the urethra. This may provide a better view if there is possibly a tumor or bladder stone.
Hematuria treatment depends on what is causing the hematuria. If no serious condition is causing the hematuria, no treatment is necessary. Otherwise, treatment can range from antibiotic therapy to surgery.
If you have hematuria, it is likely that you will need a referral to a urologist for further evaluation. We work closely with the urologists affiliated with both GHS and St. Francis.