Help! There's blood in my urine
Blood in the urine (hematuria) is a common reason why patients are referred to see a urologist. Blood can make your urine look pink, red or cola-coloured. Bloody urine isn’t usually painful, unless clots are passed, and often a person has no other symptoms of illness.
Blood in the urine occurs when the filters in the kidneys, or other parts of the urinary tract, allow blood cells to leak into urine. Causes can include the following.
- Urinary tract infections
- Kidney infections
- Bladder or kidney stones
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney disease
- Genetic disorders, such as sickle cell anemia or Alport syndrome
- Injury to the kidney
- Intense, strenuous exercise (rare)
See your doctorSometimes a change in the colour of your urine is a result of a medication or a food you’ve eaten (such as beets or raspberries). However, blood-coloured urine can also be a sign of a serious health problem, so it should be investigated by a doctor.
To diagnose the cause, your family doctor will order a urine test and do a physical exam. You may also be sent for imaging tests, such as a CT scan, MRI or ultrasound. If further follow-up is required, you will be referred to a urologist, who may schedule a cystoscopy.
If the cause of the blood can’t be found, your doctor may recommend regular follow-up visits to monitor your health, especially if you have other health risk factors (e.g. you smoke).