Men's health: top causes of blood in the urine

Written by: Mr Sam Datta
Edited by: Laura Burgess

In men, there can be a range of different possible causes of blood in the urine whether that’s from a urinary tract infection (UTI), problems with the prostate or cancer. We spoke to one of our leading consultant urologists Mr Sam Datta about the commonest causes and how blood in the urine is investigated for a diagnosis.

What are some of the most common causes of blood in the urine?

There are two different types of blood in the urine; non-visible haematuria, which can be detected with a dipstick test at your GP surgery, or visible haematuria. The second type, where you actually see blood in the urine is the reason why most people worry.

There is a one in five chance of blood in the urine being caused by cancer, which could be from the kidney, ureter (pipes from the kidney) or the bladder. The other possible causes of blood in the urine could be the kidney (kidney stones, infection), prostate or trauma.

Who does this most commonly affect?

Blood in the urine can affect both men and women of any age. It tends to occur in adults, and it is not so common in children. The worry is when it occurs in people who smoke or those who are exposed to chemicals, heavy metals, or industrial smoke. Those in the above 50s age group are also at risk.

What other symptoms may be present?

Patients either present with pain or without. When it presents as painless blood in the urine, it is more worrying as a sign of cancer. The pain could be caused by an infection, blockage, or by kidney stones.

There are other symptoms that can come with a kidney infection, such as burning when urinating and pain in the loins. Prostatitis may present as a burning sensation or throbbing pain between the legs too.

When should someone go to the doctors or hospital about blood in their urine?

Anyone who sees blood in their urine should visit their doctor as it may be indicative of cancer and an earlier diagnosis is really important. If your GP detects invisible blood in the urine using a dipstick, they will repeat the test in three or four weeks to check if it still there. If two dipstick tests are positive, then you should be referred to a specialist for further testing.

Can this clear up on its own?

Yes, blood in the urine can clear up on its own, but this depends on the cause. If it is a kidney stone, for example, the stone may pass and you clear the blood, or the infection is treated. But if it’s cancer, it won’t go away.

How will the cause be diagnosed?

Blood in the urine is usually diagnosed by a dipstick test or seeing it physically. Your doctor will send off your urine sample to a laboratory and there will be a report to say if there is blood present.

What are the most common investigations of blood in the urine?

Investigations include a physical examination, flexi cystoscopy or prostate examination. Another common investigation is a CT urogram where special dye enters into and looks at the urinary system to show if anything is wrong with kidneys, bladder and ureters.

Mr Datta specialises in treating prostate cancer, kidney stones, UTI, blood in the urine and bladder problems. Book an appointment with him via his Top Doctor’s profile here for his expert medical opinion in your case.

By Mr Sam Datta

Mr Soumendra Datta is a highly skilled and dedicated consultant urologist based in Colchester and Chelmsford who specialises in lower urinary tract dysfunction and kidney stones. He is a leading expert in all aspects of the bladder, kidneys and urological conditions which affect men’s genitalia and prostate, and has particular expertise in laser surgery for prostate enlargement. When it comes to urinary stone disease, Mr Datta is highly trained and experienced in treating this condition with minimally invasive surgery and working towards the prevention of stones.

Within his range of specialist treatments, Mr Datta is skilled in both medical and surgical management plans for his patients’ condition, providing top-quality care for each and every one. He also provides paediatric urology services and care for women’s urological conditions.

Mr Datta received his first medical qualification in 1997, at the renowned University College London (UCL), where he graduated with an intercalated degree in neuroscience and a distinction in medicine and surgery. He undertook his basic training on the Hammersmith surgical rotation before going on to accomplish higher surgical training on the Imperial urology rotation. Mr Datta went on to become a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, graduating in 2012 as an urological surgeon with a masters and doctoral theses. Mr Datta is currently a consultant urological surgeon at Springfield Hospital, Ramsay Health Care and East Suffolk and North Essex NHS, where he is also the clinical director for urological and vascular surgery.

Besides his practice, Mr Datta devotes his time to research, including research into urinary tract stones and their prevention. He also contributes to the field of urology through the teaching and training of future urological specialists and is qualified in medical education. Mr Datta pursues this profession today as the undergraduate tutor for urology at Colchester Hospital and holding senior lecturer posts at Anglia Ruskin University and Queen Mary University of London,

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