Red Blood Cells or Blood in Urine: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Definition: Hematuria is a condition in which there is blood in the urine.

There are two types of hematuria: macroscopic and microscopic. If the blood in the urine is visible to the naked eye, the urine is pink or red due to the red blood cells present; this is called microscopic hematuria.

On the other hand, when the blood is only visible when viewed under a microscope, that is to say, at first sight, the urine seems normal; it is in the presence of microscopic hematuria.

A person with microscopic hematuria may not even realize that something is wrong until they have a urine test.


On its own, hematuria rarely causes symptoms. An exception is when the bladder has so much blood that the clots form and urine flow is blocked.

This can cause pain at the site of the obstruction in the lower pelvis.

Causes of red blood cells in the urine

RBCs in urine can be caused by menstruation, strenuous exercise, sexual activity, viral illness, trauma, or infection, such as a urinary tract infection.


Other more severe causes of hematuria include:

  • Kidney or bladder cancer.
  • Inflammation of the kidney, urethra, bladder, or prostate.
  • Polycystic kidney disease.
  • Blood clots
  • Clotting disorders, such as hemophilia.
  • Sickle cell disease


Physical exam

Urinalysis . It manages to detect urinary tract infections or the presence of minerals that cause kidney stones.

Image tests. The doctor will recommend performing computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or an ultrasound exam.

Ultrasound uses a mixture of high-frequency sound waves and computerized processing to get the kidneys and bladder images.

The cystoscopy . In this procedure, the doctor inserts a thin tube with a microscope camera into the bladder to closely examine the bladder or urethra to detect signs of the disease.

Sometimes, the cause of urinary bleeding can not be found.

The doctor may recommend regular follow-up tests, especially if you have risk elements for bladder cancer, such as smoking, exposure to environmental toxins, or a history of radiation therapy.

Treatment of red blood cells in urine

RBCs in the urine do not have a specific treatment. In this case, the doctor will focus on treating the underlying condition.

This could lead, for example, to taking antibiotics to cure a urinary tract infection, ingesting prescribed medicine to reduce the volume of the inflamed prostate, or shock wave therapy to fragment kidney stones.