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)
    • Infection
    • 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

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