Blood in the Urine

Blood in your urine may be an early warning sign of more complicated diseases, including cancer.


  • Blood in the urine; from large to trace amounts
  • Urinary pain


Blood in the urine, or hematuria, is one of the most common conditions that a urologist will evaluate. Blood in the urine is very common, but never normal. Whether it involves grossly bloody urine or just a microscopic trace, the need for evaluation is the same. By far, the most common cause of hematuria is a simple urinary tract infection, but it is also very important to remember that traces of blood in the urine may be the only early sign of more complicated underlying diseases, even cancers. Don’t try to convince yourself that the bloody urine is not important. Even if it is painless, and even if it goes away on its own, it is still a significant event and your doctor needs to sort it out.

In most instances of hematuria, your physician will recommend some tests to fully evaluate the urinary tract. In assessing the anatomy, it is important to check the entire urinary system- the upper urinary tract (both of the kidneys and ureters) and the lower urinary tract (the bladder and urethra.) In decades past, such an evaluation was complicated and required a hospital visit. Presently, the full evaluation can be performed in the office or outpatient setting. Today’s state-ofthe-art evaluation for hematuria involves urinalysis, history with physical exam, CT scan, and cystoscopy. In some cases, further tests may be ordered, such as a urine cytology or biopsy. Additionally, when tests are inconclusive, repeat tests or more sophisticated tests may be recommended.