Hematuria is the medical term to define blood in urine. Some people will have blood in their urine and be unaware of its presence. When this happens the condition is known as microscopic hematuria. The opposite of microscopic is gross hematuria, which is blood in urine that can be visibly seen. People with a gross form of this condition may see a few drops of blood in their urine or it may be an abundance of blood or even clots.
Many conditions can cause blood to appear in urine. Sometimes this may happen as a symptom of an infection in the urinary tract. The infection could be in the bladder, ureters, kidneys or uretha. In some cases, hematuria is caused by a serious health condition such as cancer, an enlarged prostate in men or a kidney stone. Some people with blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia or hemophilia, may also develop this condition.
In people with gross hematuria, the sight of blood in urine is typically the first symptom of a problem. Individuals with both the gross and microscopic form of this condition may have additional symptoms, such as a fever, nausea and a loss of appetite. Many people may experience frequent and painful urination that may be accompanied by a burning sensation. There may also be pain in other parts of the body. The pain may be in the lower portion of the abdomen, the flank or in the back, typically in the lower half.
A urine analysis may be conducted to diagnose hematuria. The urinalysis may test for the amount of blood present and for certain types of infections which may be causing the bleeding. A doctor may also order a cystoscopy. This is a test used to examine the urethra and bladder for abnormalities. Some additional tests that may be ordered to examine different regions of the urinary tract may include a computerized tomography (CT) scan and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Any time a person sees blood in his or her urine, he or she should seek immediate medical attention. Although, one incident of a few specks of blood in urine may not signify a great medical problem, it is still a reason to undergo a physical examination. This is especially important if fever, pain and vomiting are present. In most cases, hematuria will be treated by managing the underlying problem causing the abnormal bleeding. Often, a singular incidence of this condition will not need any treatment.