What is Hematuria?

The term hematuria refers to presence of blood in the urine. People may be frightened by finding blood in their urine but this is rarely a symptom of any life threatening condition. Hematuria needs to be carefully evaluated by a physician so the underlying cause can be detected and treated.

Symptoms of hematuria

Hematuria may present as obvious bright red blood or the urine may be a reddish brown colour due to the presence of red blood cells. Sometimes, the presence of blood in the urine is not visible and is only detected in the laboratory when urine is being tested for another reason. When blood is visible in the urine, the condition is referred to as macroscopic hematuria, while it is called microscopic hematuria if the blood is not visible.

Causes of hematuria

Whether a person has macroscopic or microscopic hematuria, the blood is a sign that bleeding is occurring somewhere in the urinary tract such as the kidney, bladder, ureters or urethra. Commonly, the blood is a sign of cystitis or another urinary tract infection.

Examples of other causes include kidney stones, sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, benign enlargement of the prostate, prostate cancer, bladder cancer and kidney cancer.


To diagnose hematuria, a doctor will take a detailed history of the patient’s symptoms to try and establish the cause of the bleeding. Sometimes, urine can turn reddish or brownish for reasons unrelated to the urinary tract. Eating beetroot can colour the urine a reddish color, for example, as can the use of certain medications such as rifampicin or nitrofurantoin.

In women, diagnosis also involves checking whether the blood is actually coming from the urinary tract rather than from the vagina. A rectal examination may also be performed to rule out the possibility that the blood is coming from the rectum or back passage.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Apr 24, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2019, April 24). What is Hematuria?. News-Medical. Retrieved on February 06, 2023 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Hematuria.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "What is Hematuria?". News-Medical. 06 February 2023. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Hematuria.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "What is Hematuria?". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Hematuria.aspx. (accessed February 06, 2023).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2019. What is Hematuria?. News-Medical, viewed 06 February 2023, https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Hematuria.aspx.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
You might also like...
How does SARS-CoV-2 affect the male genitourinary system?