Looking into the toilet and “seeing red” can be a scary thing. However, it is a more common occurrence than you might believe.
Hematuria, or blood in the urine, can be caused by many things. Some are serious and some just differences in the body from person to person. There are also different possible causes between males and females.
The first order of business is to determine if the blood is “gross”, meaning it can be seen with the human eye, or “microscopic”, seen only under the microscope. Visible blood can occur with or without clotting and is more worrisome than microscopic blood, especially if there are other risk factors such as smoking.
When you come into Pinson Urology, we will begin a workup to find if there is a concerning cause for the blood.
A workup will consist of two parts. The 1st will be an x-ray or CT scan of your abdomen and pelvis. This is looking for any abnormalities in the upper urinary tract. This would include things like renal cysts and kidney stones.
The 2nd part is called a cystoscope (seen on photo above). This is a short relatively painless procedure to look at the lining inside of the bladder. A small catheter sized scope is passed into the bladder. Water then flows in and expands the walls. The doctor will use the small camera on the end of the scope to look around for signs of bleeding or growths that shouldn’t be there. The procedure takes 2-5 minutes.
After both pieces of the puzzle are put together we can determine if there is cause for worry. Most people are “normal” and the blood comes from a few red blood cells passing into the urine as it is made in the kidneys.If there is an abnormal cause for the blood, then treatment options are discussed immediately.