Medically reviewed on August 11, 2023 by Jillian Foglesong Stabile, MD, FAAFP. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Noticing blood in unusual places can be unnerving. If you’re dealing with a diagnosed UTI, you may ask, can a UTI cause bleeding? It may be helpful to know that a red, pink, or rusty color in your urine can be a normal side effect of urinary tract infection.
Blood in urine is a common UTI symptom known as hematuria.  However, there are occasions when blood in urine could indicate a more serious issue, as the symptom is associated with some other urinary conditions. 
If you notice visible blood in urine, it’s important to familiarize yourself with conditions that could cause this symptom. Don’t wait to find out how long a UTI can go untreated. Below, we’ll clarify normal UTI symptoms and when it’s time to reach out to your healthcare provider.
What Is Hematuria?
Hematuria, also called gross hematuria, refers to blood in urine that you can observe without the help of a microscope.
Normal, healthy urinary function produces urine that won’t carry any blood in it. Healthy kidneys detoxify and recirculate blood into the body, so hematuria is usually an indicator that some damage has been caused.  This damage is usually dealt to a urinary organ, like the bladder or its surrounding tissues. 
What Causes Hematuria?
Hematuria is associated with a variety of health conditions ranging from relatively mild and treatable to severe. Some of the most common causes of hematuria include :
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Urinary stones (including kidney, bladder, and ureteral stones)
- Kidney infection (pyelonephritis)
- Inflamed bladder (cystitis)
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney disease
- Bladder, kidney, or prostate cancer
- Sickle cell disease
- Certain medications
Even though it can feel nerve-wracking, hematuria is fairly common. As many as 30% of American adults will notice it at some point in their lives. 
However, since there are so many possible causes of hematuria, it’s important to contact a healthcare provider if you notice the color of your urine is off.
Who Is at Risk of Hematuria?
Several demographics are at higher risk of noticing blood in urine than the rest of the population :
- Adults over 50 years old
- People with a family history of kidney disease
- People with a family history of bladder, kidney, or prostate cancer
- Athletes and people who engage in team sports or vigorous exercise
- People who take pain medications in excess 
- Smokers 
If your healthcare provider has already diagnosed you with a UTI, it may not be necessary to worry too much about seeing blood in the urine. However, if you are undiagnosed and fall into any of the aforementioned categories, it’s recommended to reach out to a healthcare provider for treatment.
How Blood in Urine Is Treated
Because hematuria is a sign of a health condition, rather than a disease in itself, treatment plans will depend on your diagnosis. Moreover, if you experience any comorbid symptoms, like pain in your lower back and abdomen, it could be a sign of a more advanced illness. Besides learning how to relieve UTI pain, this usually requires more aggressive treatment. 
If you’re planning a consultation with your healthcare provider, knowing some of the ways hematuria is treated can help put your mind at ease amid physical discomfort:
- UTIs – UTIs are typically treated with antibiotics.3 If you have recurrent UTIs or UTI symptoms, you may need to work with your healthcare provider to make some lifestyle changes to limit your chance of reinfection.  Antibiotic resistance can occur if antibiotics are used too often, making them less effective at killing infection-causing bacteria.
- kidney stones – Depending on the size of your kidney stones, treatment may be as simple as drinking lots of fluids to flush them out.  However, some people need surgery and pain medication to remove larger blockages. 
- Kidney infection – Like UTIs, many kidney infections can be addressed with antibiotics.  In more complex cases, you may need surgery to correct structural abnormalities that could be contributing to infection. 
- Cystitis – Cystitis can be one of the more complicated causes of hematuria to treat. Protocols often depend on whether you’ve had it before, where you contracted it, and your health history.  However, they are generally treated with a course of antibiotics. 
- Enlarged prostate – Healthcare providers typically treat this condition with medication. Alpha-blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors may be used to help restore an enlarged prostate.  Sometimes surgery is necessary to treat this condition.
- Kidney disease – Kidney disease can be a complicated illness to treat, as it can affect many areas of the body. Recovery plans may involve diuretic medication, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, and medicines to help red blood cells (if necessary). 
- Cancer – Hematuria caused by cancer requires an assessment of where the cancer is located and how far it’s progressed.  Treatment may require medicine, surgery, radiation, or other therapies.  They’ll also monitor your condition to ensure you have the best chances for recovery possible. 
- Endometriosis – As a hormonal condition, hormone medication may be prescribed to curb the effects of endometriosis. 
- Sickle cell disease – Sickle cell-caused hematuria may be treated with antibiotics, pain medication, or the drug hydroxyurea, which supports the blood.  Bear in mind that sickle cell is a chronic illness that requires long-term treatment. 
Support Well-Being by Staying Informed With Everlywell
Keeping an eye on your health is essential, and when something like hematuria catches your attention, it’s helpful to know what tools are available to help you take the next step toward wellness.
The Everlywell at-home test kits can keep you in the know about your body’s well-being so you’re prepared when you visit a healthcare provider. From assessing your metabolism to keeping tabs on your sexual health, every test kit is data-protected and physician-reviewed so you get results you can trust.
See how Everlywell can give you a closer look at your physical well-being by visiting the online portal to book UTI treatment online today.
How to Relieve UTI Pain
How Long Can a UTI Go Untreated?
Bladder Infection vs. UTI: The Differences Explained
- Blood in urine (hematuria). Mayo Clinic. URL. January 7, 2023. Accessed July 13, 2023.
- Your kidneys & how they work - NIDDK. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. URL. Accessed July 13, 2023.
- Professional CC Medical. Blood in urine (hematuria): Causes, diagnosis & treatment. Cleveland Clinic. URL. Accessed July 13, 2023.
- Bladder cancer symptoms. National Cancer Institute. URL. Accessed July 13, 2023.
- Kidney stones. Mayo Clinic. URL. June 3, 2022. Accessed July 13, 2023.
- Kidney infection. Mayo Clinic. URL. August 6, 2022. Accessed July 13, 2023.
- Cystitis. Mayo Clinic. URL. August 16, 2022. Accessed July 13, 2023.