Blood in urine (hematuria): Causes and treatment

Learn about what may cause blood in your urine, how to know if you have it, and possible treatments for it.
Medically reviewed by
AKF's Medical Advisory Committee
Last updated
April 12, 2022

Blood in your urine (i.e., your pee) does not always mean that you have kidney disease, but it may mean something is wrong with your kidneys or another part of your urinary tract.

What is blood in urine?

Blood in your urine can look red, pink or brown. Sometimes, you may not know you have blood in your urine until you have a urine test. A urine test may also find white blood cells, which can be a sign of an infection in your kidneys or another part of your urinary tract.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have blood in your urine so they can decide what to do next.

If you notice a lot of blood, or any blood clots in your urine, contact your doctor right away.

What are the causes of blood in urine?

There are many causes of blood in your urine, including:

  • An infection, such as a UTI (urinary tract infection) or virus
  • Kidney stones
  • Having your period (menstruation)
  • Sexual activity
  • Injury, such as from sports

Other, more serious problems can also cause blood in your urine, such as: 

  • Kidney or bladder cancer
  • Irritation or swelling in your kidneys, prostate (in men) or another part of your urinary tract
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Blood clots or diseases that cause blood clotting
  • Sickle cell disease

Anyone can have blood in their urine, but it is more likely if you:

  • Have a family history of kidney disease
  • Have an enlarged prostate (usually in middle age or older men)
  • Have a history of kidney stones
  • Are taking certain medicines, such as pain relievers, blood thinners and antibiotics 
  • Have or recently had certain types of infections

What is the treatment for blood in urine?

The treatment depends on the cause of the blood in your urine. To find out the cause, your doctor may ask about your family history and test your urine. A lab will test the urine sample for signs of an infection, kidney disease or other problems.

If an infection is causing the blood in your urine, your doctor may give you antibiotic medicine. Other causes may need different treatments.

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