What is haematuria?
Haematuria refers to the presence of blood in the urine. Haematuria can be completely harmless in some cases, while in others, blood in the urine could be a symptom of a serious disorder. When blood is present in the urine it can either be visible or non-visible (present on urine dipstick).
Symptoms of haematuria
When blood can be seen in the urine (visible haematuria), it is usually red, pink or cola-coloured. It doesn't require a large amount of blood to turn the urine a different colour, and in many cases, the bleeding will have caused no pain. However, if blood clots are being passed in your urine, this can be more painful.
Even if you aren't in pain, you should make a doctor's appointment any time you see blood in your urine. In some cases, the change in colour could be due to something you have eaten - such as beets or berries - or a medication like laxatives. Even so, it is always important that you investigate the reason for your red-coloured or tinged urine.
Causes of haematuria
There are many potential causes of haematuria. In some cases, the cause may be unidentifiable.
Among the known causes of haematuria are; kidney infections, which can happen when bacteria enters the kidneys via the bloodstream; urinary tract infections, which occur due to bacteria entering the body via the urethra and multiplying in the bacteria; kidney stones, which form from crystals consisting of minerals from the urine; kidney disease; an enlarged prostate; cancer; certain medications such as anticancer drug cyclophosphamide; inherited disorders like sickle cell anaemia; and kidney injury caused in sports or an accident.
It has been found that long-distance runners are more likely to experience urinary bleeding caused by strenuous exercise.
Treatment options for haematuria
The treatment recommended for haematuria is likely to depend on the cause. Methods of investigation include; urine tests, a physical examination, a cystoscopy (involving the insertion of a narrow tube with a camera into the bladder) and imaging tests such as CT scan or ultrasound.
In some cases, no treatment may be needed following an investigation. Possible treatments include:
- Shock wave therapy - for kidney or bladder stones, using high energy shock waves which are capable of breaking down the stones into small fragments that can be passed out in the urine.
- Prescription medication - such as alpha-blockers like alfuzosin, doxazosin, prazosin, silodosin, tamsulosin or terazosin, to treat an enlarged prostate.
- Antibiotics - which are suitable for the treatment of a urinary tract infection.
Recovery from haematuria treatment will depend on the kind of treatment received. Shock wave therapy requires a brief recovery period, with patients being able to resume daily activities the same day. It is normal to book a follow-up appointment after your treatment so that the doctor can check that there is no more blood present in your urine.
State-of-the-art treatments and investigations
Mr Kaba performs a wide range of cutting-edge, advanced urology treatments. He is skilled in minimally invasive procedures, offering more options to patients in their treatment of urologic disease.