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by Shannon DW
(Blood in the Urine—Adult)


Hematuria is blood in the urine. Normally, urine does not contain any blood.

There are 2 kinds of hematuria:

  • Microscopic hematuria—small amount of blood that is not visible to the naked eye
  • Gross hematuria—enough blood to make urine appear red or tea-colored


In some cases, the cause of hematuria is never found. The full list of known causes is lengthy. Some of the more common causes include:

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your risk of hematuria include:

  • Smoking
  • Medications such as certain antibiotics and pain medications
  • Family history of kidney problems
Kidney Stone
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You may not have any other symptoms.

You may also have symptoms related to the cause. For example, kidney stones can cause pain in the side, belly, or groin.

When Should I Call My Doctor?

Call your doctor any time you notice blood in your urine.


You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a specialist.

To help find a cause, your doctor may do:

  • Urine tests
  • Blood tests

Images of your pelvic and belly structures may be taken with:


Treatment will depend on the cause. Some will not need treatment. Symptoms may also resolve on their own.

Other may need medicine or surgery.


Prevention will depend on the cause.


Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians  https://familydoctor.org 

National Kidney Foundation  https://www.kidney.org 


HealthLink BC  https://www.healthlinkbc.ca 

The Kidney Foundation of Canada  https://www.kidney.ca 


Gross hematuria—approach to the adult. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:  https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T909566/Gross-hematuria-approach-to-the-adult  . Updated June 27, 2016. Accessed September 7, 2017.

Hematuria in children. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/hematuria. Accessed August 31, 2015.

Hematuria in children. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:  https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T576483/Hematuria-in-children  . Updated June 16, 2017. Accessed August 31, 2015.

Microhematuria—approach to the adult. EBSCO DynaMed Plus websit  https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T909568/Microhematuria-approach-to-the-adult  . Updated June 21, 2017. Accessed September 7, 2017.

Thaller TR, Wang LP. Evaluation of asymptomatic microscopic hematuria in adults. Am Fam Physician. 1999;60(4):1143-1152.

Urination problems. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/health-tools/search-by-symptom/urination-problems.html. Accessed September 7, 2017.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2018
  • Update Date: 09/03/2014