What Are the Most Common Causes of Hematuria?

Asian woman with a UTI in pain, holding stomach

Hematuria refers to the presence of blood in a person’s urine. There are two main types of hematuria:

  • Microscopic hematuria – A very small amount of blood in urine that can only be seen under a microscope
  • Gross hematuria – A larger amount of blood in urine that is clearly visible

There are several factors that can lead to hematuria. Some of the most common causes of this condition include:

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

A bacterial infection in one or more components of the urinary tract is among the most frequently seen causes of hematuria. The urinary tract includes the urethra, ureters, bladder, and kidneys. Signs of a UTI include painful urination and a persistent urge to urinate, even when the bladder is empty. Hematuria caused by a UTI may be microscopic or gross.

Enlarged Prostate

An enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH) is a common cause of hematuria in middle-aged and older men. Located just below the bladder and close to the urethra, the prostate gland can swell and pinch the urethra, disrupting the bladder’s ability to empty completely and potentially leading to a urinary tract or prostate infection.

Bladder and Kidney Stones

Gross and microscopic hematuria can result from a stone in the kidney or bladder. Stones develop when concentrated urine leaves behind crystals on the walls of the kidneys or bladder, which can eventually turn into hard, small stones. Kidney and bladder stones are typically unnoticeable unless they’re being passed or cause a blockage, in which case they are extraordinarily painful.

Kidney Disease or Injury

Microscopic hematuria is a common symptom of glomerulonephritis—an inflammation of the kidney’s filtering system that sometimes occurs alongside diabetes or as a result of viral infections or vasculitis. Injuries to the kidney, such as a direct blow while playing sports, can also cause hematuria.

Sickle Cell Anemia

An inherited disease that affects the shape of red blood cells, sickle cell anemia can lead to gross or microscopic hematuria, as can other blood disorders like hemophilia and Alport syndrome.

Cancer

Hematuria is a symptom of certain cancers, including prostate, kidney, and bladder cancers. It’s often associated with late-stage malignancies, although this can vary by cancer type.

Certain Medications

Hematuria is a possible side effect of certain medications. These include:

  • Aspirin
  • Warfarin, heparin, and other blood thinners
  • Penicillin
  • Cyclophosphamide, a cancer treatment drug

PhysicianOne Urgent Care Can Help

If your hematuria is related to a non-life-threatening condition such as an enlarged prostate or urinary tract infection, PhysicianOne Urgent Care can provide timely and convenient medical treatment. Our fully equipped, physician-led locations throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York are open 365 days per year during extended hours and offer a 24/7 telemedicine service. To learn more information about PhysicianOne Urgent Care’s walk-in medical services, give our friendly professionals a call at 1-860-650-3848.

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