Blood in urine is medically known as hematuria. If you witness such condition, it is important to consult a doctor so as to diagnose the underlying problem.It is more commonly seen in women as it is a common feature of urinary tract infections, which is more commonly seen in women.
The visible sign is of changed colour of urine and it shows a pink or cola coloured tinge. The bleeding in urine is not associated with pain usually. Just a little amount of blood is sufficient to change the colour of the urine. It may rarely be painful if blood clots are also present.
The presence of blood can be macroscopic or microscopic in nature. If the blood is visible in the urine through naked eyes, it is known as macroscopic blood in urine. If it is only detected in laboratory investigations, under the microscope, then it is known as microscopic.
Causes of blood in urine, in females
Haematuria occurs due to the presence of blood in the urinary tract which gets leaked in the urinary system due to some pathology of any part of the system. This can be due to various reasons, some of which are listed here:
- Renal infections
These are generally caused due to long standing untreated urinary tract infections. They are usually associated with fever and systemic discomfort.
- Urinary tract infections
This occurs when bacteria enter a person’s urinary tract through the urethra and starts multiplying in the bladder. Urinary tract infections are more common in women because of two main reasons. Firstly, the urethra of women is very small as compared to urethra of men. Secondly, it lies closer to the anus, which increases the chances of transport of bacteria to urethra from the anus. The symptoms of this condition include frequent urge to urinate, pain while urinating and foul smelling urine.
- Kidney stone
Stones are formed when small crystals of minerals and calcified substances unite and form a bigger crystal. These stones are usually symptomless unless they reach a very bigger size, obstructing the flow of urine. Otherwise, they may also cause pain when they pass through the urinary tract to get excreted through urine. These stones are generally responsible for bleeding from the kidneys or any other part of urinary tract, thus resulting in blood in urine.
- Sickle Cell Anaemia
It is an inherited blood disorder, characterised by sickle shaped red blood cells, which are usually supposed to be biconcave shaped. This disorder can result in both microscopic and macroscopic presence of blood in urine.
This is the condition of inflammation of the filtering systems of the kidneys. This can occur due to various reasons including diabetes, blood vessels diseases or any other bacterial or viral infections. Glomerulonephritis is generally associated with microscopic bleeding in urine.
Certain anti cancer drugs and in some cases, penicillin is responsible for haematuria. In some cases, blood thinning agents such as aspirin can also result in macroscopic haematuria.
Haematuria can also be a striking sign of cancers of the kidneys, prostate or bladder. These types of cancers, which occur in internal organs, do not show any other visible signs in their earlier stages unfortunately. They only show any signs of disease in their advanced form, when the treatment becomes difficult.
In a few cases over exerting exercises can also lead to microscopic haematuria. The exact reason behind this is not known though, but excessive pressure on the bladder or excessive breakdown of red blood cells can be a cause.
The diagnosis is done by laboratory examination of urine sample. The sample is examined under microscope to detect the presence of red blood cells. If blood cells are detected in your urine, the doctor may also suggest you to undergo some other tests so as to diagnose the underlying condition which is causing the presence of blood in your urine. These can include CT scan, MRI scan and cytoscopy.
CT scan and MRI scan are done to produce detailed image of the soft tissues of your body, the kidneys and bladder in this case. Cytoscopy includes the insertion of a narrow tube into the bladder. The tube has a camera fitted to its end, which enables the clinician to see the contents inside the urethra and urinary bladder. This ensures the presence of any pathology or stones in this region.
As presence of urine is not a disease in itself, but just a presenting symptom of some underlying disease, its treatment is also based on treating the underlying cause. These may include antibiotics against infections or shock wave therapy or drugs to dissolve and remove the stones present in the urinary tract or system.