Blood in the urine needs to be taken very seriously.
Sometimes blood in the urine signifies cancer, other times its "normal", and then there are times when blood in the urine can lead to retention. If you are not sure, please see us or your primary physician for evaluation.
A drop of blood in a bucket of urine can turn it red. Cherry colored urine is not too concerning in the emergency sense, while thick Ketchup-like urine or urine with large blood clots can lead to urinary retention. If the urine is that bloody, a catheter usually needs to be inserted to irrigate out the blood. Sometimes this can be done in the office or ER, but a lot of the time, requires hospitalization for continuous irrigation or even a trip to the operating room.
Blood in the urine, whether found on routine urinalysis (microscopic) or visualized in the toilet (gross hematuria), can be a sign of bladder or kidney cancer. In smokers, this is particularly a concern as bladder cancer is even more common than lung cancers. Often a CT scan and office cystoscopy is recommended and can be performed in our office - this is quick and easy to schedule. Cystoscopy is where a flexible telescope is inserted through the urethra to look at the bladder lining directly.
At other times, blood in the urine is not unusual. Kidney stones and UTI's are some of the more common reasons this can occur. One of the most common reasons in men, is an enlarged prostate which can bleed very easily. The key in deciding whether to be worried about gross blood in the urine is whether there is pain involved.
Microscopic hematuria is less worrisome, but does need to be taken seriously as well. In any case, Middle TN Urology Specialists can help.