Seeing blood in your urine, called hematuria, can be an alarming sight. The most common cause is urinary tract infection, also called cystitis, prostatitis, etc. However, other conditions can also cause blood in the urine, including kidney stones, enlarged prostate, and recent urologic procedures. More serious conditions, such as bladder, kidney, or prostate cancer, can also cause blood in the urine. Your urologist will do tests to determine the cause, usually x-raying your kidneys and using cystoscopy, which involves looking into the bladder with a small, flexible scope. Keep in mind that just a little blood in the urine can look like a lot, but it is very rare to lose so much blood in your urine that you would require a blood transfusion.
After hours or weekends, the most important question when you see blood in the urine is “’Can you still urinate?” Occasionally the bleeding can be severe enough that blood clots will form. You will probably be able to pass these clots, but they can get large or numerous enough to block up the bladder. If this happens, you will get uncomfortable from having a full bladder and will need to go to the emergency room and have a catheter placed to empty and irrigate the bladder.
What to do:
- Drink a lot of fluids to increase urine production and keep the bladder flushed out.
- Stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen etc. which can make the blood thin.
- Call your primary care doctor’s office if you are on prescription drugs that thin the blood (Coumadin, Plavix) to see if it is safe to stop those while you are bleeding.
- Contact us during business hours to set up an appointment for further evaluation.
When to call after hours:
Contact the physician on call if you have a fever greater than 101 degrees, or if you are unable to urinate at all (from blood clots, see above).
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