Blood in urine (haematuria)

Your kidneys and urinary tract filter your blood and are essential to good health.

If you or a family member has blood in their urine, this must be taken seriously. It’s very important that you see your doctor to find out the cause.

Causes of bleeding

Blood in your urine can be caused by:

  • urinary tract infection
  • bladder stones
  • prostate disorders
  • kidney stones
  • kidney disease
  • cancer of the kidney, bladder or prostate
  • injury to your abdomen
  • use of anticoagulant medicines or bleeding disorders.

Blood in your urine could also be a sign of other rare conditions outside the urinary system.

Other causes of red urine

Certain kinds of foods, like beetroot or blackberries, may give your urine a reddish tint. This should only last for a day or so after eating these foods and is nothing to worry about.

A few medications may also turn your urine a reddish colour. If you have started a new medication and notice a colour change in your urine, call your pharmacist to see if that is normal. If the redness continues and cannot be explained by food or medication, see your doctor promptly.

Symptoms

  • The colour of the blood in your urine may appear pink, bright red or smoky brown.
  • Seeing blood during your urine stream may give a clue to the source and this can be helpful for you to tell your doctor. For example:
    • if the blood appears when you start urinating and the urine clears during the stream, the source may be lower down, as in your penis or urethra (the tube from your bladder to the outside)
    • if you see blood at the end of the stream, bleeding may be from your bladder or (in men) the prostate area
    • when the blood appears throughout the stream, the source may be your bladder, kidneys or the tubes connecting them (ureters).
  • If you also have a burning feeling when passing urine, or have to go more often or more urgently, you are likely to have a urinary tract infection that needs an antibiotic from your doctor.

Call Healthline 0800 611 116 if you are unsure what you should do.

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