Skip to main content

Blood in urine

Blood in urine (pee) is not usually caused by anything serious, but you must get it checked out by a GP.

Urgent advice: Ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111 if:

You have blood in your pee, even if:

  • you do not have any other symptoms
  • it's the first time it's happened
  • there's only a small amount of blood
  • you're not sure it's blood

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

You can call 111 or get help from 111 online.

Cancer risk

Blood in pee 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

If you have blood in your pee, a GP will ask about your symptoms and may need to check inside your bottom (rectal examination), and your vagina if you're a woman.

They might also:

  • ask for a pee 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 pee 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. But do not self-diagnose. See a GP if you think it's blood in your pee.

Possible causes of blood in urine.
Other symptoms Possible cause
Burning pain when peeing, need to pee often, smelly or cloudy pee, high temperature, pain in sides or lower back Urinary tract infection (UTI)
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 pee if:

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

Page last reviewed: 24 June 2020
Next review due: 24 June 2023