Treatment for Gross Hematuria in Houston, TX
What is Gross Hematuria? (Blood in Urine)
Hematuria is the medical term for blood in the urine. While in many cases, the cause of seeing blood in the urine is harmless, it can also indicate a serious problem. When the blood is visible to the naked eye, it is called gross hematuria. When the blood is visible only under a microscope, it is called microscopic hematuria.
Dr. Jonathan Clavell is a board-certified, fellowship trained urologist, and men’s health specialist who provides treatment for hematuria at his office in Houston. Learn about the causes and treatments for hematuria and schedule your appointment with Dr. Clavell today.
Symptoms of Gross Hematuria
Gross hematuria can be pink, red, dark brown or dark red-wine color. It takes a very small amount of blood to produce red urine. In certain occasions, gross hematuria can be painless and in others, it can be painful. Some patients also experience:
- Pain in the lower abdomen, flank, urethra or penis.
- Urinary urgency.
- Passage of blood clots which may be painful.
- Urinary retention or the inability to urinate
Common Causes of Hematuria
- Urinary tract infections: an infection anywhere in the urinary tract, from the kidneys all the way down to the urethra can cause microscopic or gross hematuria.
- Kidney stones
- Bladder stones
- Kidney disease: microscopic urinary bleeding is a common symptom of inflammation disorders of the kidney, such as glomerulonephritis.
- Trauma: an injury or blow to your kidney can cause blood in the urine.
- Exercise: although rare, some people (like long-distance runners) can develop gross hematuria that is usually non-harmful and self-limiting.
- Medications: there are certain medications that can cause hematuria. A common anti-cancer drug called cyclophosphamide is known to cause bleeding in the urinary tract. Moreover, some patients on blood thinners can be more prone to bleed in the urine.
- Cancer: visible urinary bleeding can be a sign of cancer in the kidney, ureter, bladder, prostate, or urethra. In some cancers, gross hematuria might be a late sign of the cancer.
Diagnosing Gross Hematuria
Gross hematuria is a self-diagnosis. However, it is important to determine the cause of the hematuria and rule out serious causes such as cancer. This involves certain tests and exams which include:
- Physical exam
- Urine test (including a urine culture)
- Imaging tests (in most occasions, a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis is recommended)
- Cystoscopy: which involves taking a look inside the urethra and into the bladder with very narrow camera.
What if a Cause is Not Found?
In some occasions, the cause of gross hematuria is not found. In those cases, doctors may recommend yearly follow-up testing to ensure nothing was missed in the initial work-up.
Treatment for gross hematuria depends on the cause of the bleeding. For example, a urinary tract infection can be treated with antibiotics while kidney stones are treated with either oral medications or surgical therapy.
When should I Call Dr. Clavell?
If you have seen blood in your urine or have been found to have blood in the urine on a microscopic urine sample, you should follow up with a urologist for evaluation. Most specifically, if you have any of these risk factors:
- Age older than 50 years old.
- A recent infection
- Family history of cancer
- Recent trauma