Hematuria: Possible Causes 

Many things can lead to blood in the urine (hematuria). The blood may be easy to see when you look at the urine. This is called gross hematuria. Or it may only be seen when the urine is looked at under a microscope. This is called microscopic hematuria. Often no cause for the blood can be found. This is called idiopathic hematuria. Here are some of the most common causes of blood in the urine:

  • Kidney or bladder stones. These are collections of crystals. They form in the urine. Stones may be found anywhere in the urinary tract. But they form most often in the kidneys or bladder. In addition to blood in the urine, they can cause severe pain.

  • BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). This is enlargement of the prostate gland. It happens with age. BPH often causes problems with urination. It sometimes causes blood in the urine.

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI). This is due to bacteria growing in the urinary tract. It can cause blood in the urine. Other symptoms include burning or pain with urination. You may need to urinate often or urgently. You may also have a fever.

  • Damage to the urinary tract. This damage may be due to an injury. It may also result from the use of a urinary catheter. Very hard exercise may sometimes irritate the urinary tract and cause bleeding.

  • Cancer anywhere in the urinary tract. A tumor may sometimes cause no symptoms other than bleeding.

Urinary tract showing kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra, lymph nodes, and positions of uterus and prostate.

Other possible causes of bleeding include:

  • Prostate gland infection (prostatitis)

  • Taking anticoagulants

  • Blockage in the urinary tract

  • Kidney disease or inflammation

  • Cystic diseases of the kidneys

  • Sickle cell anemia

  • Endometriosis

Online Medical Reviewer: Marc Greenstein MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Tennille Dozier RN BSN RDMS
Date Last Reviewed: 9/1/2021
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