Have you noticed your urine is pink, reddish, or discolored? A number of health issues ranging from the harmless to the more serious can be behind this symptom so it's important to get it checked out.
Here at the Urology Center of Florida in Pompano Beach, Drs. Craig Herman and Steven Kester use state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and tools along with our on-site lab facilities to treat a wide variety of prostate and bladder control issues. With more than 25 years of service, our practice provides personalized care in a supportive environment.
Causes of blood in the urine
Also known as hematuria, blood in the urine results from red blood cells entering the urinary tract. There are two types: gross hematuria, when there are enough red blood cells that urine appears discolored to the naked eye; and microscopic hematuria when blood can only be detected under a microscope during lab testing.
A number of health issues can cause hematuria, including some that are serious, so it’s important to see one of our expert urologists for the correct diagnosis. Some possible explanations are:
- Urinary tract infection
- Kidney infection
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney or bladder stone
- Kidney disease
- Kidney injury
- Inherited disorders like sickle cell anemia and Alport syndrome
Certain medications, such as anticoagulants and penicillin, can also cause hematuria, as can strenuous exercise, although that only affects a small number of people. In many cases, doctors can't find the cause.
Whether there are symptoms in addition to the hematuria depends on the cause. Ailments like a urinary tract infection, kidney stone, or enlarged prostate can cause pain in the abdomen or side and/or a fever. Needing to urinate frequently, pain while urinating, and decreased the urinary force and/or incomplete voiding may also occur.
When blood in the urine is present, we typically perform a thorough physical exam, including medical history, followed by testing. Often a cystoscopy is conducted, during which a flexible, hollow tube that has a lens (known as a cystoscope) examines the urethra and bladder. For men, we also inspect the prostate. This procedure takes only about a minute and frequently can identify the location of the bleeding.
Other tests may include a urinalysis, which in addition to confirming the existence of red blood cells in the urine can also diagnose a urinary tract infection and detect minerals that form kidney stones. Depending on the situation, we might order tests including an ultrasonic exam of the kidneys, bladder, and, if applicable, prostate; an X-ray of the urinary tract organs; and a CT scan or MRI. A biopsy of the kidney could be done as well.
The best type of treatment for blood in the urine is determined once we’ve discovered the underlying cause. If it’s the result of a urinary tract infection, we typically prescribe antibiotics. For an enlarged prostate, there’s a medication that can shrink it. Kidney stones are often addressed by using ultrasonic treatment. In the case of a more serious problem, such as cancer, we can refer you to a specialist.
If you’re experiencing blood in your urine, call or click to book an appointment with Dr. Herman or Dr. Kester today to receive a proper diagnosis.