Finding even a small amount of blood in your urine can be scary. Medically, it’s called Hematuria and while many conditions are not serious, the time to seek medical attention is the first time it happens. Don’t ignore even a very small amount of blood. The most common cause of this condition is a urinary tract infection. The infection can irritate the bladder wall so much that it bleeds, causing you to see blood in your urine. Other causes include kidney stones, kidney tumors or bladder cancer. While uncommon, occasionally we find that a kidney or bladder tumor is the source of bleeding. The sooner a tumor is found and treated, the better. Bladder and kidney tumors need to be surgically removed.
The following tests and exams play a key role in finding a cause for blood in your urine:
Physical exam, which includes a discussion of your medical history.
Urine tests. Even if your bleeding was discovered through urine testing (urinalysis), you’re likely to have another test to see if your urine still contains red blood cells. A urinalysis can also check for a urinary tract infection or the presence of minerals that cause kidney stones.
Imaging tests. Often, an imaging test is required to find the cause of hematuria. Your doctor might recommend a CT or MRI scan or an ultrasound exam.
Cystoscopy. Your doctor threads a narrow tube fitted with a tiny camera into your bladder to examine the bladder and urethra for signs of disease.
Sometimes, the cause of urinary bleeding can’t be found. In that case, your doctor might recommend regular follow-up tests, especially if you have risk factors for bladder cancer, such as smoking, exposure to environmental toxins or a history of radiation therapy.
Depending on the condition causing your hematuria, treatment might involve taking antibiotics to clear a urinary tract infection, trying a prescription medication to shrink an enlarged prostate or having shock wave therapy to break up bladder or kidney stones. In some cases, no treatment is necessary.
If your diagnosis includes a tumor concern, Dr. Bankhead will talk with you about surgical options – some of which are minimally invasive
Be sure to follow up with Dr. Roy Bankhead after treatment to ensure there’s no more blood in your urine.
Seeing blood in your urine may cause anxiety, but a simple test can give us details. Call us to schedule an exam.