Blood in your urine
What is haematuria
Haematuria is the presence of blood in your urine. It is most commonly present in minute amounts not visible to the naked eye and thus termed microscopic haematuria that is only detected by a microscope or simple dipstick test. Less often visible blood may appear in the urine and is termed gross haematuria.
Causes of haematuria
It is not normal for blood to be present in the urine and any part of the urinary tract from the kidneys to the bladder and urethra may be the source of haematuria.
Does haematuria always have a sinister underlying cause
Haematuria may not be sinister, if it occurs during menstruation, a urinary tract infection or following strenuous exercise. It can occur in people on blood thinning medicines such as warfarin. Haematuria may sometimes be found in sickle cell anaemia or even sickle cell trait.
Investigations are, however, important to both exclude sinister causes and other potentially treatable conditions.
Which investigations do I need
Blood tests are done to assess for anaemia and that the kidneys are functioning normally. Your urine be tested for protein, casts, abnormal cells and for infection.
An ultrasound scan of your urinary tract will be performed and looks at your kidneys for stones, cysts or tumours. Occasionally, a more detailed imaging test called a CT scan is performed.
Lastly, it is critical to have a cystoscopy (see related section of website).
What if all investigations are normal
This usually means that it is highly unlikely to be a serious cause of the haematuria. You should, however, have an annual assessment of your urine, kidney function and blood pressure.