There are many reasons why both men and women may experience blood in their urine. Although it may be unsettling, it’s not always cause for concern. If you see blood in your urine, you should investigate the underlying cause with your doctor.
Signs and symptoms of blood in the urine
Blood in your urine may occur in two different ways:
Microscopic hematuria is when only a health professional can see blood in your urine under a microscope. This is a fairly common finding in urine analysis of adults. Your doctor may order further tests to find the underlying cause if they can see 3 to 5 red blood cells per high-power field.
Causes of blood in urine for men and women
You may experience blood in your urine for a variety of reasons:
Kidney or bladder stones
A kidney stone is produced through chemicals in your urine. There are four types of hard kidney stones: uric acid, cystine, calcium oxalate, and struvite. By contrast, bladder stones consist of hard minerals lumped together.
Medically, bladder stones are called bladder calculi. Either kidney or bladder stones could cause the blood you see.
Infection of the kidney or bladder
An infection in your kidneys or bladder may cause blood in your urine. If the blood comes from an infection, you may experience other symptoms. For instance, kidney infections (pyelonephritis) may produce fever and chills, or pain in your lower back.
In more serious cases, blood, when you urinate may indicate cancer. Blood is one of the early warning signs of bladder cancer, but it could also indicate kidney cancer. A benign tumor may also cause blood in the urine.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
The majority of urinary tract infections occur in the lower tract of the urine tract, meaning the bladder and the urethra. Urinary tract infections may cause blood in your urine, itching, and pelvic pain. They can usually be cured within a few days with medication.
Women have a higher risk of getting a urinary tract infection than men.
For men, blood in the urine could mean benign prostatic enlargement. This is a condition that affects all men as they grow older. By the age of 50 to 60, half of all men will experience an enlarged prostate, and 90% of men over the age of 85 will experience it.
Tests for blood in urine for men and women
If you have blood in your urine, your doctor will run some initial tests to help identify the underlying cause, including:
Blood Tests: To evaluate kidney function
Once your initial test results are in, your doctor may order some follow up tests:
- Kidney stone analysis
- Bleeding disorder tests
- Sickle cell tests
- Hemoglobinopathy (the identify other inherited disorders affecting red blood cells)
- Autoantibody testing (determine if an autoimmune disorder is present)
- Prostatic specific antigen (to look for prostate cancer)
- Kidney biopsy (to determine nature and extent of structural kidney damage)
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
American Cancer Society: "Kidney Cancer Signs and Symptoms."
American Family Physician: "Assessment of Microscopic Hematuria in Adults."
American Kidney Fund: "Blood in urine."
American Society of Hematology: "Sickle Cell Trait."
Cedars-Sinai: "Bladder Stones."
Harvard Health Publishing: "Hematuria: What Is It?"
Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Urinary Tract Infections."
Lab Test Online: "Blood in Urine (Hematuria)."
National Kidney Foundation: "Kidney Stones."
National Kidney Foundation: "Alport Syndrome."
National Health Service: "Sickle cell disease: Treatment."
Urology Care Foundation: "Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)."
Urology Care Foundation: "Urinary Tract Infections in Adults."
Urology Care Foundation: "Kidney (Renal) Infection - Pyelonephritis: What is Kidney (Renal) Infection - Pyelonephritis?"