What is microscopic hematuria (microscopic blood in urine)?
Microscopic means that something is so tiny that it cannot be seen with a naked eye. You can see it only with a microscope.
Hematuria is the blood in urine. If you have microscopic hematuria, it means that you have red blood cells (blood) in your urine, but you can’t see the blood when you urinate with your eyes.
What are the common causes of microscopic hematuria?
Some common causes of microscopic hematuria are:
- Kidney infection
- Urinary tract infection
- Enlarged prostate
- Swelling in the kidneys
- Cystic kidney disease – a disease that runs in families
- Sickle cell anemia
- A tumor in your urinary tract
- Prostate cancer
Read more about causes of hematuria.
How will your doctor diagnose microscopic hematuria?
Your doctor will ask for a urine sample. The sample of urine will be tested in a procedure called urinalysis to check for the presence of red blood cells. He or she may also check for other things that can explain the cause of blood in the urine. For example, white blood cells in the urine are generally indicative of an infection in the urinary tract.
If you have blood in your urine, your doctor will ask you a set of questions to find out what might have caused it.
A nurse or the assistant of your doctor will give you an antiseptic wipe to clean yourself and a urine collection bottle that has been sterilized. You will be directed to the bathroom. You should first wash your hands with soap and warm water and then collect the sample in the sterilized bottle.
For women: Use the antiseptic wipe to clean your vagina by wiping yourself from front to back a few times before urinating. Use a clean wipe or a clean portion of the wipe each time you wipe the vagina.
For men: Use the antiseptic wipe to clean the head of your penis. If you’re not circumcised, you should pull the skin back behind the head of the penis to make sure it is cleaned properly.
Mostly, if the cause of blood in your urine is not serious, urine tests (and blood tests) are sufficient to provide necessary information about the cause. But in some cases, more tests may be needed if the cause of the peeing blood isn’t clear.
Your doctor may ask for an ultrasound or an intravenous pyelogram (this is similar to an X-ray). A special tool called cytoscope or an endoscope is used to look inside the urinary tract. A urologist who is specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to urinary tract generally performs these tests.
What will my doctor prescribe if I am diagnosed with microscopic hematuria?
When the cause of the blood in your urine is diagnosed, your doctor will start treatment for you. He or she will recommend tests after some time to check again if the blood is gone from the urine. If urine is still detected, your doctor will continue the treatment and/or conduct more tests to rule out any other possibilities as the need may arise. If a general physician is treating you, he or she may refer you to a urologist.