What causes Blood in the Urine in Women?
Blood in the urine in women is always an alarm signal. Any changes in the color and in the amount of the urine may be the result of some serious disease. Normal urine is light yellow without any admixtures. Daily urine is 1.2 – 1.5 liters. If you noticed some blood in the urine, visit a doctor.
There are many causes of blood in the urine in females and only a specialist can make an accurate diagnosis and choose the optimal treatment.
Do not follow the advice of your friends or relatives. If you do not take proper measures to find out the reason of blood admixture in the urine, it can lead to serious consequences for your health.
What causes blood in the urine in women
What is hematuria in women? Hematuria is blood in the urine, namely red blood cells. There two types of this condition:
- Macrohematuria: blood is detected visually, the urine becomes pink or reddish;
- Microhematuria: the presence of red blood cells can be detected microscopically.
Blood in the urine is a typical sign for many pathological processes. The most common causes of blood in the urine are the following:
- Urinary stone disease: due to the metabolism dysfunction, stones appear in the urinary tract. The stones prevent proper urine flow and often lead to inflammatory diseases of the urogenital system. Under the influence of certain factors, such as excessive physical load, psychological and emotional stress, excessive water intake or the use of diuretics, a stone may start his movements down the renal ducts, injuring the mucous membranes. Additionally to blood in the urine, patients usually complain about the stabbing pain in the lower back;
- Glomerulonephritis is the inflammation of the glomeruli (the part of the kidney that filters blood). This pathology often develops as a consequence of streptococcal tonsillitis. The typical symptoms of glomerulonephritis are hematuria, high blood pressure and swelling. If you noticed these symptoms, it is necessary to visit a nephrologist or urologist. If left untreated, glomerulonephritis may lead to renal disease;
- Pyelonephritis is inflammation in the renal pelvis caused by bacterial infection. Most often the causative agent is E. coli. Bacteria usually reache the kidney ascending from the lower urinary tract. Kidney stones, cystitis, tumors in the bladder and renal duct contribute to the development of this condition. Typical patients’ complaints are fever, intoxication signs (weakness, chills, nausea), dull pain in the lower back. Blood can appear in the urine due to the renal duct obstruction with a concrement, tumor or haemorrhagic cystitis;
- Tumors injure the tissues and vessels causing the appearance of blood in the urine. In this cases, clots of blood are characteristic. Very often, tumors do not develop any other symptoms of the disease for a long time;
- Traumatic injuries: admixtures of blood in the urine may appear as a result of urethra, bladder, renal duct and kidney injuries; traumas in the urogenital system are characterized by painful sensations in different parts of the body and diuresis disturbances;
- Bladder infection: many women suffer acute cystitis which can transform into a chronic condition if to treat it improperly. In haemorrhagic cystitis women suffer pain in the lower abdomen and have the urine with blood admixture. Patients can have fever, weakness and urgency of urination;
- Urethritis: blood may appear in the urine due to the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the urinary tract; this disease is accompanied by pain and burning, aggravated during urination;
- Bladder endometriosis is tissue growth on the bladder wall which is also among the causes of blood in the urine in women. The symptoms of the disease are heaviness, pain in the lower abdomen aggravated during the period, urgency of urination, and hematuria;
- Hematuria in pregnant women. The etiology of this condition is not known yet. Probably, it can be explained by hormonal modifications on the early stages of pregnancy and mechanical impact of a fetus on the kidneys and urinary tract on the later stages. Usually, hematuria disappears shortly after delivery;
- Pathologies in the vascular system of the kidneys: varicose veins, renal vein thrombosis, renal artery stenosis;
- A long-term use of certain peroral contraceptives: sometimes this method of contraception has a side effect, namely congestion and reduced tone of the vessel wall which causes inflammation and hematuria. If you have these symptoms, consult your gynecologist; probably, you need to change the contraceptives;
- Certain drugs and foods change the color of the urine. For example, if you eat too much beetroot, you may notice reddish color of the urine, but it is not blood. However, only microscopical examination can exclude hematuria.
Diagnosis of the diseases provoking hematuria
As there are a lot of causes of hematuria, only complete medical examination can accurately detect the reasons of blood in the urine in women. As soon as you noticed this serious symptom, consult a urologist or nephrologist. Examination is very individual, but most often the following diagnostic methods are used:
- Complete blood count: the amount of formed elements, hemoglobin level, ESR. This test is necessary to detect the inflammation and exclude anemia;
- Common urine test: color, urine concentration, presence of salts, protein, blood formed elements (leukocytes, erythrocytes), presence of urinary cast;
- Biochemical blood test: to examine kidney functions. The level of BUN, creatinine and electrolyte ratio is detected;
- Should kidney stone disease be suspected, a kidney, ureter and bladder X-ray is performed. Ultrasound examination is used to detect the stones;
- Should endometriosis and tumors in the bladder be suspected, cystoscopy is performed;
- To check renal arteries, duplex scanning is performed. It helps to assess the velocity of the blood flow in the kidneys and early detect anomalies in the vessels;
- Upon suspecting glomerulonephritis, blood pressure is measured and swellings are checked.
First of all, the therapy should be oriented towards the major disease which provoked blood in the urine. After detecting the cause of blood in the urine in women, treatment should be started immediately. Some time later, hematuria will be reduced and after a complete treatment course it will disappear. The treatment is chosen depending on the etiology:
- In pyelonephritis, cystitis and urethritis the therapy is oriented towards eliminating the infection. A doctor will prescribe antibacterial and anti-inflammatory drugs. In pyelonephritis, it is very important to eliminate the cause of the obstruction (a stone or a polyp);
- To cure glomerulonephritis, it is very important to restore the function of the glomeruli. Patients are prescribed anti-inflammatory, cytostatic and glucocorticoid drugs. It is critical to follow a special diet and observe all the recommendations of a doctor;
- In urinary stone disease, patients should adjust their diet and the stones are removed surgically;
- A sample of tumors in the urogenital system is sent for histological examination. If necessary, surgical treatment is indicated.
If you found some blood in the urine, you should not delay your visit to a doctor. Most of the diseases accompanied by hematuria are successfully treated on the early stages.