Noticing bloody or discolored urine, a condition known as hematuria, can be alarming. In most cases, your doctor will refer you to a urologist for further examination.
"As urologists, we are often tasked with discovering the source of blood in the urine," says Joseph Brito, MD, a Yale Medicine urologist, practicing at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London. "Though this can occasionally be related to benign causes, blood in the urine should never be considered normal," he says.
Although there are harmless causes of hematuria, including heavy exercise, infection, kidney stones, or trauma to the urinary tract, it’s important to know that hematuria is often the only sign of an underlying malignancy (cancer) such as a tumor in the bladder or kidney.
“Even if you notice blood in the urine on a single occasion, it should not be ignored,” urges Dr. Brito. At Yale Medicine's Department of Urology, doctors recommend that patients schedule an appointment whenever they notice blood in the urine. Swift and accurate diagnosis allows for timely treatment for any underlying issue and also offers patients peace of mind.