Haematuria is a condition characterised by blood in the urine. Blood may be present in minute quantities that is not visible to the naked eye and is referred to as microscopic haematuria. In other cases the urine may appear red or brown in colour.

The appearance of red blood cells in urine may be due to a problem in the urinary tract (kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder or urethra). Some of the causes of haematuria include:

  • Infection in the kidneys or bladder
  • Kidney stones
  • Inflammation in the urethra (tube that carries urine out of the body)
  • Prostate, kidney or bladder cancer
  • Enlargement of prostate gland

Along with blood in urine, haematuria may be associated with fever, abdominal pain, decreased urinary force, dysuria (pain during urination), polyuria (frequent urination) and urgency to pass urine.

When you present to the clinic with these symptoms, your doctor recommends a simple dipstick test, where urine is collected and applied to a strip which changes colour on detecting blood. A urine sample may also be examined for cancer cells or infection. An ultrasound, intravenous pyelogram (X-ray procedure with a dye injection), cystoscopy (narrow scope is inserted through the urethra) or kidney biopsy may be ordered.

Treatment of haematuria is aimed at treating the underlying cause. This may include antibiotic medicines to surgery, depending on the cause. Your doctor will suggest the best treatment based on your particular condition.

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