What blood in your urine could mean

Noticing blood in the urine can be very unnerving. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, blood in the urine is not always a reason for concern. It can sometimes be a result of vigorous exercise or certain medications, like aspirin, penicillin or blood thinners.

In some instances, however, blood in the urine, also known as hematuria, may point to one of the following medical conditions:

Urinary tract issues: Caused by bacteria that enter the urethra and/or bladder, a urinary tract infection may also leave you with a constant urge to urinate, a feeling of burning when you do urinate and a strong scent in the urine.

In most instances, this can be treated with antibiotics. Still, blood in the urine could point to a urinary tract blockage that requires surgery.

Kidney problems: Blood in urine may point to kidney infections, stones or diseases like diabetes.

Enlarged prostate: As men approach middle age, they may experience difficulty with urinating or a persistent urge to do so because of pressure when the gland presses on the urethra and blocks urine flow. This also can be caused by infection, as well.

Cancer: Blood in the urine may be a tell-tale sign of bladder, kidney or prostate cancer.

Genetic disorders: Sickle cell anemia, an inherited defect of the red blood cells most often seen among African-Americans and those of Mediterranean descent; Alport syndrome, a problem with a filtering membrane of the kidneys; or hemophilia, in which an individual’s blood does not clot properly, are all conditions that can all lead to blood in the urine.

Other sources: According to the National Institutes of Health, blood may appear to originate in the urinary tract but actually come from the vagina in women. In some instances where there has been both urination and a bowel movement, the blood actually may be in the stool or originate in a rectal or anal problem.

Regardless of the cause, it is best to make an appointment to see your Cincinnati urologist any time you experience blood in your urine.

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