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Blood in urine (haematuria)

3-minute read

Blood in the urine, also called haematuria, is common. It might be detected on a urine test, or you might notice it yourself.

If you notice bright red blood in your urine or it has turned pink, red or brown because it has blood in it, see your doctor straight away.

Normally you should not be peeing blood. If there is blood visible in your urine or small amounts only visible under a microscope (microscopic haematuria), it needs to be checked out.

What causes blood in urine?

Urinary tract infection (infection of the bladder or kidney) is one of the most common causes of blood in the urine. Other common causes are:

  • exercise, sexual intercourse or injury
  • a kidney stone
  • cysts
  • blood-thinning medication
  • a disease of the blood
  • a medical procedure

Blood in the urine can also be caused by:

CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — Use the Urinary infections and problems Symptom Checker and find out if you need to seek medical help.

How is blood in urine diagnosed?

Your doctor will talk to you and will examine you.

They will ask for a urine sample for urine tests, and may ask for a blood test.

A urine test involves checking your urine to see what it contains. White blood cells in the urine usually indicate infection. Red blood cells in the urine may indicate infection, kidney disease, a blood disorder or other conditions such as a tumour.

Further possible tests include:

  • an ultrasound or CT scan of the kidneys, ureters and bladder
  • a cystoscopy, in which a specialist looks into the bladder with a flexible camera

How is blood in urine treated?

There are many different treatments for blood in the urine, and it depends on the cause. It may involve antibiotics, or surgery. Some causes of blood in urine don’t need any treatment.

It is important to have regular follow-ups with your doctor to ensure complete recovery.

When might it be something else?

Normal urine colour is light yellow. Certain foods and medicines can change urine colour. For instance, beetroot, blackberries, food colours and certain medicines can cause pink, red or lighter brown urine.

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Last reviewed: October 2021


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