When blood appears in your urine, it's natural to assume it's related to an issue with your kidneys. However, that isn’t always the case.
Blood can enter anywhere along the urinary system and is most often a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Blood can enter the urine stream in the ureters that connect the kidneys to the bladder or blood could be present in the bladder itself. It’s also possible for blood to enter the stream as it exits through the urethra.
For an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment, always seek an evaluation from a board-certified physician, such as one of the leading urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta.
Which diagnostic tests are recommended may depend on the amount of blood in your urine, as well as, how long it's been present and with what frequency. A urine test is the first step. Further screening options may include a blood workup, ultrasound, or a CT scan. Some CT scans are performed with the use of contrast dye to help locate any potential problem areas. Another possible test is a cystoscopy, in which a tiny camera is inserted into the urethra to pinpoint exactly where the blood is entering the stream.
These tests are performed to rule out serious concerns such as cancer, kidney stones, and infection.
Depending on the cause, treatment can range from antibiotics and other prescribed medication to surgical procedures that address a specific concern. Other factors play a role in determining a treatment plan, too, such as age, gender, and exposure to chemicals, as well as lifestyle choices such as tobacco or alcohol use. Each treatment plan is customized to the individual patient.