Did you know blood in the urine (hematuria) is not always a sign of a UTI?

While blood in the urine often isn’t a sign of a serious health issue, in some cases it could be a sign of a tumor in the kidney, urinary tract or bladder. That’s why it is of great value to follow up with your doctor if you see blood in your urine.

Blood in the urine can be caused by many things. In many cases the cause isn’t known.

Non-cancerous causes include:

  • Urinary infection
  • Kidney disease or trauma
  • Kidney or bladder stones
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen
  • A tough workout
  • Period in women
  • Enlarged prostate in older men
  • Prostate infection

In rare cases, hematuria can also be caused by cancer of the kidneys, lining of the urinary tract or bladder cancer.

If you have blood in the urine, your doctor will ask if you have risk factors for cancer. These could include smoking, prior treatment with radiation or chemotherapy or exposure to certain workplace chemicals. The doctor will also look for non-cancer causes for blood in the urine, such as a UTI.

If you are at low risk for cancer, your doctor may ask you to come back for another urine test within six months. If you are at high risk, your doctor may order certain tests. These may include an ultrasound or CT scan to examine your kidneys and ureters, the tubes that carry urine to the bladder. The doctor may look at the bladder with an instrument called a cystoscope.

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If this testing doesn’t find the cause of your hematuria, your doctor may ask you to have your urine checked in another year. If the testing reveals problems, your doctor will talk with you about treatment options.

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