Medical Q&As

Haematuria - blood in urine?

I really need to know if this is serious. This morning I woke up and there was blood on my boxer shorts and on the bed from the top of my penis, not loads just a little bit. I am living in Australia at the moment and would appreciate any medical advice on this.

It would be important to visit a doctor and have this matter checked out. Presumably this blood leaked out with some drops of urine. Blood in the urine is known as haematuria and should never be ignored. However, it need not always be serious. Haematuria can happen as a result of urinary infection. Another scenario to consider is that the urine might be red but the colouration could be due to medication or certain foods. For example fresh beetroot can give the urine a red colour. Some people develop haematuria after heavy exertion such as manual labour or strenuous sports such as cycling and rowing. More significant causes of haematuria would include diseases of the kidneys but in those situations there would usually be additional signs of disease such as protein in the urine, elevated blood pressure readings and abnormal blood tests of kidney function. Blockages or stones anywhere along the urinary tract from the kidneys to the urethra can cause blood in the urine. Sometimes a person can pass a small kidney stone relatively painlessly. The stone can abrade the surface of the urethra as it passes through thereby causing a small amount of blood to ooze into the urine. This is because stones tend to have a rough granite-like surface that can easily scrape the delicate lining of the urethra. In summary haematuria should always be medically assessed but it need not always be serious.