Blood in the Urine

Blood in the urine means there are red blood cells (RBCs) in the urine. Often, the urine looks normal to the naked eye. But when checked under a microscope, it contains a high number of red blood cells. In some cases, the urine is pink, red, or tea colored, which you can see without a microscope.

What causes blood in urine?

Most of the causes of blood in the urine are not serious. For example, heavy exercise may cause blood in urine. Other more serious causes include:

  • Cancer
  • Kidney infection or disease
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Enlarged prostate (men only)
  • Kidney or bladder stones
  • Certain diseases like sickle cell anemia and cystic kidney disease
  • Injury to the kidneys

How is blood in urine diagnosed?

Your provider will review your medical history and do a physical exam. Other tests may include:

  • Urinalysis: Urine is tested for various cells and chemicals, such as red and white blood cells, germs, or too much protein.
  • Blood tests: Blood is checked for high levels of waste products.
  • Ultrasound: An imaging test that uses high-frequency sound waves to make images of the organs of the urinary tract on a computer screen.
  • Cystoscopy: A thin, flexible tube and viewing device that is put through the urethra to examine the parts of the urinary tract for structure changes or blockages, such as tumors or stones.
  • CT Scan: A computer generated X-ray that can image the inner organs, such as the kidneys, ureters, and bladder.