If you develop hematuria — blood in your urine — you should make an appointment with the team of expert urologists at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists in Bellingham, Washington. While hematuria is most often due to a benign condition, it can also indicate more serious health problems like bladder cancer, so it’s critical to get a diagnosis and appropriate treatment. If you have blood in your urine, call Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists or make an appointment online today.
Hematuria is the clinical term for having blood in your urine. Your urine may appear pink, brown, or in some cases, bright red. However, the amount of blood in your urine may also be so minute that it’s not visible to the naked eye and can only be identified with a urinalysis. Blood in your urine is common, but never normal.
A variety of conditions can cause hematuria. Blood can enter your urine from your kidneys or any other part of your urinary tract. Some of the most common causes of hematuria include:
Your risk of hematuria increases as you age. Your risk is also higher if you’ve recently had a kidney or urinary tract infection. If you have a family history of kidney stones or kidney diseases, you may also be more likely to find blood in your urine.
The doctors at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists diagnose the cause of hematuria with a physical exam, lab work including blood and urine tests, and a cystoscopy. Your doctor may also order a diagnostic imaging study, most commonly a CT IVP, less likely an MRI or an ultrasound.
A cystoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows your urologist to check your bladder for signs of infection or abnormal tissue. They thoroughly numb your urethra before inserting a cystoscope — a slender tube with a light and a camera mounted on its tip — through your urethra and into your bladder. The camera sends images of your bladder to a video monitor in the treatment room.
Treatment for hematuria depends on what’s causing it. For example, if you have a urinary tract infection or kidney infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
If you have a kidney stone, your doctor can prescribe medication to ease your discomfort while the stone passes. If the stone is large, treatments like shock wave therapy can break the stone into smaller pieces.
If your urologist identifies cancer, they can perform a procedure to remove the tumor and recommend other treatments for cancer such as chemotherapy or radiation.
Have you seen blood in your urine? If so, or if you have symptoms of any other urological condition, call Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists or make an appointment online today.