Blood in the urine, also known as hematuria, can be gross or microscopic. The blood can be visible to the eyes, which is called gross hematuria, or it can be microscopic hematuria. The blood can be in the form of light-pink to red-colored clots in case of gross hematuria. The quantity of blood can also vary, but the diagnosis for all of them is same. In addition, gross hematuria can be easily detected, as it is visible to the naked eye. However, this is not the case with microscopic hematuria, especially when it is painless. Only a periodic medical checkup can help make the diagnosis.
Now you must be wondering about the reasons and site of the bleeding. The answer is that, the bleeding can take place anywhere along the urinary tract, kidneys, ureters, urethra, or bladder. However, what causes bloody urine and how is it related to a UTI? Let's find out.
Causes of Blood in the Urine
The urinary tract is made of two kidneys, two ureters, a urethra, and a bladder. The function of the kidneys is to remove the excess fluid in the body, along with waste products. This fluid is collected in the bladder through hollow tubes, called ureters. In hematuria, there is a leakage of blood in this urinary tract. The reason for this leakage can be anything as:
- Urinary tract infections (UTI)
- Kidney infections
- Excessive exercise
- Drugs and medications
- Kidney stones
- Kidney cancer
- Enlarged prostate
Symptoms of Blood in the Urine and UTI
A urinary tract infection is mostly seen in women as compared to men, although cases of blood in the urine in children are also reported. There are different conditions which cause a urinary tract infection, including cystitis, urethritis, vaginitis, and an irritable bladder. Thus, if any organ related to the urinary system gets infected, it causes a UTI. The main reason for the infection is bacteria, which may enter the body through the rectal area, multiply, and then travel to the urinary tract, where they cause infections. Also, the symptoms can occur after sexual activity. However, this is not the case every time.
The symptoms of a UTI, which may accompany hematuria, are as follows:
- Cloudy urine
- Dark urine of color, mostly red or brown
- High fever
- Itching and irritation
- Strong urge to urinate
- Frequent urination
- Severe side flank and back pain
- Pelvic pressure
- Discomfort in the lower abdomen
However, the mere presence of blood in the urine, without any other signs, is not a symptom of a UTI. Urinary tract infections must be treated promptly, especially in case it occurs during pregnancy. Otherwise, it may lead to chronic kidney diseases or toxic shock syndrome, and can damage the kidneys. Drink plenty of fluids and water, and wear clean inner-wear to avoid the growth of any pathogenic organisms. In short, maintain hygiene and stay healthy to avoid infections, and get regular health checkups done.