Blood in urine

Blood in urine (pee) isn't usually caused by anything serious but you must get it checked out by a GP.

See a GP if you notice blood in your urine, even if:

  • you don't have any other symptoms
  • it's only happened once
  • there's only a small amount of blood
  • you're not sure it's blood

Blood in your urine may be bright pink, red or dark brown.

Blood in urine must be checked out because it can be a sign of cancer. This is easier to treat if it's found early.

What happens at your appointment

The GP will ask about your symptoms and may need to examine your bottom (rectum), or vagina if you're a woman.

They might also:

  • ask for a urine sample or arrange a blood test
  • prescribe antibiotics if they think you have an infection
  • refer you to a specialist for tests

Causes of blood in urine

Blood in your urine could come from anywhere in the urinary tract – the bladder, kidneys or urethra (the tube that carries pee out of the body).

If you have other symptoms, this might give you an idea of the cause. Don't self-diagnose – see a GP if you think it's blood in your urine.

Other symptoms Possible cause
Burning pain when peeing, need to pee often, smelly or cloudy pee, high temperature (fever), pain in sides or lower back urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Very bad pain in sides, lower back or groin that comes and goes, unable to lie still, feeling sick kidney stones
Older men (common in over-50s) finding it difficult to pee, needing to pee suddenly and often, waking up to pee in middle of the night enlarged prostate

When it might be something else

It may not be blood in your urine if:

  • you've recently eaten beetroot – this can turn your urine pink
  • you're taking a new medicine – some medicines can turn urine red or brown
  • you're bleeding from your bottom instead
  • it's happening during your period

Page last reviewed: 07/04/2017
Next review due: 07/04/2020

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