Haematuria (blood in urine)
What is haematuria?
- Haematuria is the presence of any blood in the urine
- This may be visible (macroscopic) or invisible (microscopic)
- It may only happen once however it must be investigated to exclude the presence of cancer (bladder, kidney, prostate, ureter)
What are the symptoms of haematuria?
- Haematuria may be painless or may be associated with pain in the back or bladder region
- There may be associated burning with urination, frequency of urination or fever
How is haematuria investigated?
- Haematuria should always be investigated even if only a single episode that clears up quickly
- Your family doctor will arrange a number of investigations which may include:
- Urine tests – to look for infection or cancer cells
- Blood tests – to check kidney function, blood count and clotting problems
- Scans – ultrasound or CT scan to look for the cause of bleeding
What are the treatment options for haematuria?
- Treatment of haematuria depends upon thorough investigation and accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause. Some possible causes for haematuria include:
- Cancer (bladder, kidney, ureter, prostate)
- Stones (kidney, ureteric or bladder)
- BPH (enlarged prostate)
Your family doctor will arrange preliminary investigations and refer accordingly to a Urologist for further evaluation and management.
Normal blood and urine tests and scans are unable to definitively exclude a bladder cancer. In most cases you will require a flexible cystoscopy to directly visualize the lining of the bladder. This is a very safe and minimally invasive diagnostic day-procedure which can be performed under local anaesthetic or light sedation.
General health and Wellbeing
- The biggest risk factor for urothelial cancer (cancer of the lining of the bladder, ureter or kidney) is cigarette smoking
- Painless haematuria is the most common presenting symptom of urothelial cancer
- We strongly encourage you to discuss smoking-cessation strategies with your family doctor