What are the causes and treatment options for hematuria?

Symptom Database

Hematuria, also known as blood in urine, is a condition characterized by the presence of red blood cells in the urine. It can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition or a result of certain factors. In this article, we will explore the causes and treatment options for hematuria, as well as discuss its symptoms, diagnosis, prevention, and management in both adults and children.

Causes of Hematuria

Hematuria can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs): Infections in the urinary tract, such as bladder or kidney infections, can lead to hematuria.
  • Kidney stones: The presence of kidney stones can cause irritation and damage to the urinary tract, resulting in blood in the urine.
  • Urinary tract injuries: Trauma or injury to the urinary tract, such as from a fall or accident, can cause hematuria.
  • Enlarged prostate: In men, an enlarged prostate gland can obstruct the flow of urine and lead to hematuria.
  • Bladder or kidney infections: Infections in the bladder or kidneys can cause inflammation and bleeding, resulting in blood in the urine.
  • Certain medications: Some medications, such as blood thinners or certain antibiotics, can increase the risk of hematuria.
  • Genetic disorders: In rare cases, genetic disorders like Alport syndrome or sickle cell disease can cause hematuria.

Treatment for Hematuria

The treatment for hematuria depends on the underlying cause. Here are some common treatment options:

  • Antibiotics: If a urinary tract infection is causing hematuria, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the infection and alleviate the symptoms.
  • Kidney stone removal: If kidney stones are the cause of hematuria, they may need to be removed or broken down using procedures like lithotripsy.
  • Prostate treatment: In cases where an enlarged prostate is causing hematuria, medications or surgical interventions may be recommended to manage the condition.
  • Treatment of underlying conditions: If hematuria is a result of an underlying medical condition, such as kidney disease or bladder cancer, the treatment will focus on managing and treating that specific condition.

Hematuria Symptoms

The presence of blood in urine is the primary symptom of hematuria. However, the color of the urine can vary depending on the amount of blood present. It may appear pink, red, or brown. Other symptoms that may accompany hematuria include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Fever or chills (in cases of infection)

Hematuria Diagnosis

When a person presents with symptoms of hematuria, a healthcare professional will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the underlying cause. The diagnostic process may involve:

  • Medical history review: The healthcare provider will ask about the patient’s medical history, including any previous urinary tract infections, kidney stones, or other relevant conditions.
  • Physical examination: A physical examination may be performed to check for any signs of infection or abnormalities in the urinary tract.
  • Urinalysis: A urine sample will be collected and analyzed to detect the presence of red blood cells and other abnormalities.
  • Imaging tests: Imaging tests, such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI, may be ordered to visualize the urinary tract and identify any structural abnormalities or stones.
  • Cystoscopy: In some cases, a cystoscopy may be performed to examine the bladder and urethra using a thin, flexible tube with a camera.

Hematuria Prevention and Management

While it may not always be possible to prevent hematuria, there are certain measures that can help reduce the risk:

  • Stay hydrated: Drinking an adequate amount of water can help prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones, which are common causes of hematuria.
  • Practice safe sex: Using barrier methods, such as condoms, can reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections that can lead to hematuria.
  • Manage underlying conditions: If you have a pre-existing condition, such as kidney disease or an enlarged prostate, following your healthcare provider’s recommendations for management and treatment can help prevent hematuria episodes.
  • Seek prompt medical attention: If you experience any symptoms of hematuria, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Hematuria in Adults

Hematuria can occur in adults of all ages. It is essential for adults experiencing blood in their urine to seek medical attention promptly. Hematuria in adults can be a sign of various conditions, including urinary tract infections, kidney stones, bladder or kidney infections, prostate issues, or even bladder or kidney cancer. Early detection and proper treatment are crucial for managing these conditions effectively.

Hematuria in Children

Hematuria can also occur in children, and it is important for parents or caregivers to be aware of this symptom. In children, hematuria can be caused by urinary tract infections, kidney stones, trauma, or genetic disorders. If a child exhibits blood in their urine, it is important to consult a pediatrician for further evaluation and appropriate management.

In conclusion, hematuria, or blood in urine, can be caused by various factors and may indicate an underlying medical condition. Prompt medical attention and proper diagnosis are essential for determining the cause of hematuria and implementing appropriate treatment. By following preventive measures and managing underlying conditions, individuals can reduce the risk of hematuria episodes. Remember, if you experience any symptoms of hematuria, it is always best to consult a healthcare professional for guidance and support.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
Add a comment