White woman's hand flushing a toilet

What causes some people to pee blood from a UTI?

By Katy Brodski-Quigley, MD, EdM Oct 13, 2022 • 2 min

A common cause of blood in the urine is a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTIs are bacterial infections along the urinary tract: in the urethra, bladder or kidneys. When the urinary tract gets infected, red blood cells may leak into the urine. This is why some people experience a UTI with blood. The presence of blood in the urine is never normal and should always prompt a medical checkup.

UTIs are treated with antibiotics, which target the bacteria that’s causing the infection. By the time the course of the antibiotics is completed, any blood in the urine will typically disappear. Antibiotics are often used to treat UTIs, regardless of whether you have bleeding with a UTI or not.

Other causes of blood in the urine

There are other issues aside from a UTI that can cause blood in the urine.

What is hematuria? 

Hematuria is a medical name for blood in the urine. While hematuria is commonly caused by bacteria inflaming or irritating cells in the urinary tract (UTIs), it can also occur due to physical trauma, kidney stones, vigorous exercise, sexual intercourse or menstrual blood mixed into the urine. Hematuria may indicate a more serious medical condition, such as cancer or kidney disease.

There are two kinds of hematuria: microscopic and gross. Microscopic hematuria can be detected only on a urine test. Gross hematuria is visible to the naked eye and can show up as pink, red or brown urine.

If you see blood in your urine, it is important that you consult a medical professional right away to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. While UTIs are the primary cause of blood in the urine, there may be a different issue that requires medical attention.

Published October 2022.

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