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Hematuria (Blood in the Urine)

There are many reasons why a person can have blood in their urine. This condition, known as hematuria, can be an indication of a serious problem or conversely, have no negative connotation. What should you do if you find out that there's blood in your urine? Read the following to learn more.

What is hematuria?

Hematuria is defined as the presence of red blood cells in the urine. It can be characterized as either "gross" (visible to the naked eye) or "microscopic" (visible only under the microscope). Microscopic hematuria is an incidental finding often discovered on urine tests as part of a routine medical evaluation, whereas gross hematuria could prompt you to visit the doctor. Hematuria can originate from any site along the urinary tract, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate and urethra. It is estimated that hematuria occurs in 2.5 to 21 percent of the population. In many patients no specific cause is found; however, hematuria may be a marker for infection, stone disease or urinary tract cancer. Risk factors for significant underlying disease include: smoking, radiation, overuse of some pain medicines and exposure to certain chemicals.

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Information provided by the American Urological Association.