What Men Should Know About Blood in Their Urine

Blood in your urine can be a sign of a chronic condition or an infection

Kidney Stone Positioned on X-ray
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Discovering blood in your urine, also known as hematuria, can be very unsettling. If you notice blood in your urine, it might indicate a chronic condition or be the sign of an infection. 

The urinary tract starts at the kidneys and includes the ureters (thin tubes that carry urine to the bladder), the bladder, and the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body). Problems in your urinary tract can result in blood in your urine.

What Causes Blood in Your Urine?

  • Kidney stones. Kidney stones are formed in the kidneys but can travel into the ureters, the bladder, or the urethra. At any point along the way, the rough (and sometimes jagged) stone can irritate the urinary tract and cause bleeding.
  • Urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infections can occur anywhere from the kidneys to the urethra, causing pain, foul-smelling urine, and possibly fevers and sweats. An infection, especially when not caught early, can also cause blood in your urine.
  • Kidney disease. Microscopic amounts of blood (only detectable through lab tests) are often found in people with kidney diseases. People with diabetes are particularly prone to developing kidney problems. If you have diabetes or other risk factors for kidney disease, and are concerned about blood in your urine, speak with your doctor and schedule a urine analysis. 
  • Injury. A traumatic injury to the kidneys or any other part of the urinary tract can result in blood in the urine. Sports injuries and car accidents are common sources of these injuries.
  • Cancer. Cancer is definitely not the most common causes of hematuria, but it is still a possibility. Cancer involving any part of the urinary tract can cause blood in the urine. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer involving some portion of the urinary tract. Only men have a prostate, which wraps around the upper portion of your urethra.
  • Medication. Any medication that thins the blood, including aspirin, can cause hematuria. Certain other drugs that do not directly thin the blood can also cause blood in the urine.
  • Strenuous activity. While uncommon, you can develop blood in your urine following intense exercise or other activity.

What to Do If You Notice Blood in Your Urine

If you notice blood in your urine, make an appointment with your doctor for a urine analysis. There are many different reasons why there might be blood in your urine, but ruling out the more serious of these conditions is very important.

Your primary care doctor can test your urine to see if there is blood and rule out an infection. If your doctor thinks the problem is due to a chronic condition, they may refer you to a specialist, such as a urologist. 

After a thorough physical exam, urine tests, and sometimes blood tests and imaging tests, such as ultrasound or CT scan, your doctor will likely be able to determine the cause of your hematuria—or at least rule out the more serious potential causes.

Source

  • Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Novick AC, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology 2006.

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