A condition in which there are traces of blood in the urine, is referred to as hematuria. The amount of blood in the urine depends on how severe the condition is. Many times, the traces of blood found in the urine, can be seen only under a microscope. In case the condition is severe, the blood is distinctly visible with the naked eye during urination.
To detect mild hematuria, examining samples of urine under a microscope is required. If blood is visible throughout urination, then it is referred to as total hematuria. Application of urine sample to a strip coated with a chemical is another way to determine the presence of blood in urine. If the strip changes color, then it means that the person is having hematuria. A procedure known as cystoscopy is then performed, which involves the introduction of fiber optic instrument into the urethra. This procedure helps to see and detect any anomalies in the bladder, prostate and urethra.
Quite a few health problems related to the urinary tract system can cause hematuria syndrome. As we all know, the organs such as the kidneys, ureters, urethra, bladder and prostate, form the urinary tract system. Now the kidneys, do the job of extracting excess amount of liquid from the blood. This excess liquid is then converted into urine, which then travels through two hollow tubes (ureters) and then gets accumulated in the bladder. It is then eliminated from the body through the urethra. Now, circumstances that damage or restrict the normal functioning of these organs, can cause hematuria in males. It is discussed below:
Formation of kidney stones can bring grave consequences. This is because, these stones made from calcium and solid waste, can produce damaging effects in the inner lining of the urinary tract system as they pass through the tract, which may result in hematuria. Even an inflammation of the kidney or presence of blood clots in the kidney veins can also cause blood to appear in urine.
Enlargement of Prostate
When there is abnormal growth of the prostate (the gland that is found below the bladder), it can cause hematuria. The prostate gland encircles the upper portion of the urethra and so when it enlarges, the urethra is subjected to pressure, which may obstruct the normal flow of urine and may cause bleeding.
An injury to the kidney or bladder, during an accident, can severely damage the internal organs and result in internal bleeding, which may be seen during urination.
Prostatitis is nothing but inflammation of the prostate gland. It is a disease that causes painful urination and is accompanied by presence of blood in the urine. This is a bacterial infection that also causes a prickly or burning sensation while urinating. Hematuria in males is often regarded as a severe case of acute bacterial prostatitis.
Studies have shown that hematoria in males can also be brought by strenuous exercises. Hematuria caused due to exercise is a minor issue and staying away from exercise for a few days will help to get rid of red color in the urine. Occurrence of blood in urine may be seen in people who participate in sports like football and long distance running. However, these symptoms usually subside within a week after adequate rest.
Urinary Tract Infection
Blood cells in the urine can also be a symptom of urinary tract infection. The infection caused by the bacteria, first invades the urethra. The bacteria then increases in number and enters the bladder. Pain while urination and foul-smelling urine, are the most common symptoms of urinary tract infection that may cause mild internal bleeding.
Formation of cancerous growth in any part of urinary system such as the kidneys or the bladder, can also lead to hematuria in males. If blood, can be clearly seen in the urine, through the naked eye, it can also mean the presence of advanced kidney or bladder cancer. Unfortunately, cancer cannot be detected in its early stages, as it does not show any symptoms.
Prolonged use of drugs such as aspirin and penicillin or blood thinners such as plavix and coumadin that are used to prevent blood clots and even anti-cancer drugs, can also cause hematuria in males. Due to intake of blood thinners on a regular basis, the ability of your blood to form clots reduces. This can trigger internal bleeding and as a result the person may pass down bloody urine.
Sickle Cell Anemia
This is a genetic disorder that is typically marked by formation of unnaturally shaped red blood cells. Usually, the shape of red blood cells is similar to a disc. However, in people affected with sickle cell disease, the red blood cells are found to be crescent in shape. This unusual shape of red blood cells not only disturbs normal blood flow but can also cause urinary bleeding. Frequent urination, unreasonable thirst, pale skin and formation of skin ulcers are some of the other symptoms of sickle cell anemia.
Kidney infections such as glomerulonephritis can also be responsible for presence of blood in urine. Glomeruli are tubular structures found in the kidneys and do an important job of purifying blood and eliminating all the waste matter in the form of urine. In glomerulonephritis, the glomeruli are inflamed due to a bacterial or a viral infection. Thus, the damage to the filtration mechanism of the kidneys can cause blood to mix with urine. The amount of urine produced (urine output) also decreases in glomerulonephritis patients. People who recently had a strep throat infection are at increased risk of glomerulonephritis. Development of tumors in the kidneys are some of the other issues that can also cause hematuria in both sexes.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Blood in urine and burning sensation while urinating are also regarded as one of the symptoms of STDs. Although in some cases, men who have contracted this infection show a foamy or a cloudy discharge, there have been instances of abnormal change in urine color due to the presence of blood.
After diagnosing the cause behind occurrence of hematuria, appropriate treatment plan can be decided. For instance, people with urinary tract infection are given antibiotics whereas those with prostatitis are advised to take alpha blockers and pain relievers.
A point to note here is that people with hematuria, should abstain from any rigorous activity such as lifting weights, as it can lead to further complications and worsen hematuria. Though exercise induced hematuria is not a cause of worry, taking rest for a few days is a must to resolve this urological condition.