Hematuria

Also known as: Blood in the Urine, Nephropathy

Regular checkups with a primary care physician are the only way most people discover microscopic amounts of blood in their urine. You should see your doctor regularly to stay healthy.

Illustration showing the outline of the body with the organs of the urinary system, including the kidneys, ureter, bladder, and urethra.

Blood in the urine (hematuria) has many possible causes. If it occurs after an injury (such as a car accident or fall), it is most often a sign of bruising to the kidney or bladder. Common causes of blood in the urine include urinary tract infections, kidney stones, inflammation, tumors, or certain other diseases of the kidney or bladder. Menstruation can cause blood to appear in the urine sample, although it is not coming from the urinary tract.

If only a trace amount of blood is present, it will show up on the urine test, even though the urine may be yellow and not pink or red. This may occur with any of the above conditions, as well as heavy exercise or high fever. In this case, your doctor may want to repeat the urine test on another day. This will show if the blood is still present. If it is, then other tests can be done to find out the cause.

Home care

Follow these home care guidelines:

  • If your urine does not appear bloody (pink, brown or red) then you do not need to restrict your activity in any way.

  • If you can see blood in your urine, rest and avoid heavy exertion until your next exam. Do not use aspirin, blood thinners, or anti-platelet or anti-inflammatory medicines. These include ibuprofen and naproxen. These thin the blood and may increase bleeding.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised. If you were injured and had blood in your urine, you should have a repeat urine test in 1 to 2 days. Contact your doctor for this test.

A radiologist will review any X-rays that were taken. You will be told of any new findings that may affect your care.

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Bright red blood or blood clots in the urine (if you did not have this before)

  • Weakness, dizziness or fainting

  • New groin, abdominal, or back pain

  • Fever of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Repeated vomiting

  • Bleeding from the nose or gums or easy bruising