So many things can cause blood in your urine (pee), including infections, vigorous exercise and kidney disease. However, you shouldn’t ignore hematuria (blood in your urine). Healthcare providers can help you find the cause and the best treatment.
Hematuria is the medical name for the presence of blood cells in urine (pee). Healthcare providers label blood in urine as gross, microscopic or dipstick.
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Blood in urine is a common finding. It affects an estimated 2% to 30% of the U.S. adult population.
There can be a number of different causes of blood in your urine, some more serious than others. These conditions can involve infections or stones, including:
Other conditions leading to blood in urine may include:
In addition to these other conditions, cells growing uncontrollably in certain body parts — what we know as cancer — can cause blood in your urine. These conditions include:
Many times, there are no symptoms except blood in your urine. When this happens, your providers may say that you’re “asymptomatic.” If you're having symptoms, this may include frequent or painful urination or urination that is urgent or needs to happen “right away.” There can also be associated nausea, vomiting, fevers, chills or pain in your back or lower abdomen.
Although blood in your urine doesn’t always mean you have a disease, it can be an important warning sign to a possible health problem.
Don’t ever ignore bloody urine. Contact a healthcare provider as soon as you find blood in your urine, as earlier detection for any problem is helpful.
During your appointment, your healthcare provider will take a medical history and perform a physical examination that might include a pelvic exam or a digital rectal exam. These things will help your provider understand your symptoms better. Your provider may order other tests. These tests may include:
Treating blood in your urine depends strongly on the actual cause of the hematuria. Your provider will use the information collected from your medical history, physical exam and test results to work with you to find the best treatment.
Treatments for causes of hematuria, including medications and procedures, may each have side effects. These vary by the type of treatment.
However, untreated hematuria could lead to bigger problems, especially if the cause is more serious than vigorous exercise. A healthcare provider should treat any condition that causes blood in your urine. If the cause is something like cancer or kidney disease, early detection leads to early treatment. These things lead to better outcomes.
People who are most likely to have blood in their urine are those with existing diseases known to cause hematuria, such as infections of the urinary system, urological anatomical abnormalities, family histories of urologic diseases and certain genetic conditions. For instance, you may be more at risk if you have a kidney disease or kidney stones or a family history of kidney disease.
You may also be more at risk if you take certain types of medications, such as blood thinners and some types of pain relievers. This shouldn’t delay the same workup if you do see blood in your urine.
However, certain actions may increase your chances of having blood in your urine. These include:
You may decrease your chances of having blood in your urine by avoiding some of these behaviors. It’s true that staying properly hydrated by drinking enough fluids — preferably, water — is good for your urinary tract and your body. If you’re dehydrated, your pee is darker in color. If you’re extremely dehydrated, you could possibly have bloody urine.
You shouldn’t ever ignore blood in your urine. It’s important to contact a healthcare provider if you see blood in your urine or if you have other symptoms related to hematuria.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
There’s no need to panic if you see blood in your urine, especially if you have your period or you’ve just eaten something like beets. However, it’s a good idea to give your healthcare provider a call. It’s better to catch any kind of condition early, even if it’s just a UTI. Your provider will work with you to find out what’s causing blood in your urine and a successful treatment.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/16/2022.
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