Blood in urine is medically known as hematuria. Only if there is a lot of red blood cells in the urine it makes the urine look darker which can be easily noticed (macroscopic hematuria). On the other side, in case there is a small number of red blood cells in the urine the color of the urine does not change and the problem can be only identified with urinanalysis (microscopic hematuria). It is not normal for a pregnant woman to suffer from hematuria (either macroscopic or microscopic). If this occurs it is essential to find the underlying cause as soon as possible and treat the pregnant woman accordingly.
Blood in Urine during Pregnancy: Causes
One of the most common causes of hematuria during pregnancy is an infection of the urinary tract. Pregnant women are, in general, more susceptible to urinary tract infections. In pregnant women the enlargement of the uterus may cause compression of the bladder and interfere in its normal emptying. The residual urine is a perfect basis for growth and multiplication of bacteria and consequent bladder infection.
Furthermore, hematuria during pregnancy may result from kidney and/ or bladder stones. As the stone passes down the urinary tract it leads to damage of the ureter, bladder and urethra. This damage is always accompanied by red blood cells in the urine. Apart from hematuria passing kidney or bladder stones always lead to a severe pain.
Hematuria during pregnancy may also point to the presence of even more serious disorders of the upper urinary tract (kidneys). It can affect women suffering from lupus, sickle cell anemia and diabetes. And finally, in very rare occasions hematuria during pregnancy develops as a consequence of bladder or kidney cancer.
Blood in Urine during Pregnancy: Diagnosis and Treatment
Urinanalysis is a simple test which can confirm the presence of blood in the urine. Once hematuria is identified it is necessary to determine its cause. The doctor performs additional tests and examinations such as urine culture, ultrasound and several more blood tests. Once the definitive cause is determined the woman may be treated.
Since pregnancy represents a very delicate period there are certain limitations when it comes to treatments. Namely, pregnant women may not be prescribed all medications and they should not undergo certain diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. The doctor opts for most suitable medication for the very condition and pays attention not to prescribe medications which can cause damage to both, the mother and the baby. Fortunately, hematuria during pregnancy can be successfully treated and brought under control.