Hematuria is the medical term for the occurrence of the blood in urine and seeing pink or red urine. Everyone who experiences this condition becomes anxious about it although it is not always a serious condition. For example, the blood in urine may appear due to strenuous activities or certain medicines, such as aspirin. On the other hand, hematuria may also be a sign of some serious condition.
There are two kinds of hematuria: gross hematuria and microscopic hematuria. When the blood in urine is visible, then it is called gross hematuria. Microscopic hematuria can only be seen by the means of a microscope and is usually diagnosed when the urine test is performed.
Symptoms of hematuria
Hematuria manifests itself through the appearance of red or pink urine due to the red blood cells. The urine becomes red with a small amount of the blood. The bleeding is not painful usually, except when the blood clots appear in urine. In case of microscopic hematuria, hardly any signs appear.
Causes of hematuria
In humans, the urinary tract is comprised of the bladder, two kidneys, two ureters and the urethra. The waste and excess fluid from the blood is removed and converted into the urine by the kidneys. Ureters are two hollow tubes that carry the urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The bladder stores the urine until it is ejected out through the urethra. When hematuria occurs, the blood cells leak into the urine which is due to various reasons.
- One of the causes for the occurrence of hematuria is some infection of the urinary tract. The infections of the urinary tract are more common in women than in men since the women have shorter urethra. When the bacteria enter the body through the urethra, they tend to multiple themselves in the bladder causing an infection. The main symptoms of urinary tract infections are frequent urination, burning sensation while urinating or painful urination and foul smelling urine.
- Pyelonephritis or kidney infection is also a cause for the incidence of hematuria. The kidney infections usually occur when the bacteria enter the kidneys either through the blood or up from the urethra, bladder and ureters.
- Blood in urine may also appear due to kidney stones or bladder stones.
- In men, the enlargement of the prostate gland may cause hematuria. Since this gland is located just below the bladder and surrounds the top part of the urethra, its enlargement usually causes partial blockage of the urine flow.
Other causes of hematuria include kidney disease, cancer and kidney injury, as well as sickle cell anemia.