Blood in the Urine

Haematuria or blood in the urine may be blood that you can see (macroscopic) or may be found on testing the urine (microscopic).

Blood in the urine may be due to a number of causes such as urinary infection, kidney stones, prostate disease or more serious underlying problems such as kidney or bladder cancer.

If you see blood in your urine you should see your GP urgently for tests.

What tests will I need?

  • A mid-stream urine test (MSU) - this will confirm microscopic bleeding and diagnose any infection that might be present
  • Urine cytology - to see if there are any abnormal or cancer cells in the urine under the microscope
  • Ultrasound of the urinary tract or CT/IVP

Your GP may order some or all of these tests. You will probably need referral to a Urologist or Renal Physician.

What does the Urologist do?

  • Initial consultation - medical history, physical examination and a review of all Pathology and Radiology results
  • Diagnostic cystoscopy - a direct inspection using a small flexible telescope to look at the lower urinary tract to find the cause of bleeding, This is usually done under local anaesthetic as a walk-in, walk-out procedure.

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer (Urothelial Cancer) starts in the transitional cells lining the urinary tract (kidney tubes/renal pelvis, ureter, bladder and urethra). These are usually slow growing superficial cancers, but some are more aggressive and invade into the wall of the bladder.

Bladder cancer usually presents with blood in the urine (or haematuria). Anyone with visible blood in the urine (not due to infection) needs referral to a Urologist for further investigation to exclude a Kidney or Bladder cancer or other urinary tract pathology.