Blood in urine (haematuria)

This page outlines the most common reasons for blood in the urine (pee). This guide should not be used to self-diagnose your condition. It's important to see your GP for a proper diagnosis.

Common causes of blood in urine 

Finding blood in your urine, or a discolouration that looks like blood, can be very frightening and must be investigated by a doctor. It's not usually a sign of anything life-threatening, but it can be.

If you notice bright red blood in your urine, or if your urine has turned red or brown because it has blood in it, see your GP.

If there is blood in your urine (pee), it will likely have come from somewhere within the urinary tract – the kidneys, bladder or the tubes that urine passes through.

The medical name for blood in the urine is haematuria.

Common causes of blood in urine include:

  • a bladder infection (such as cystitis) – which typically also causes a burning pain when you urinate
  • a kidney infection – which may also cause a high temperature and pain in the side of your tummy
  • kidney stones – which may be painless, but can sometimes block one of the tubes coming from your kidneys and cause severe tummy pain
  • urethritis  – inflammation of the tube that carries urine out of the body (urethra); it's often caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as chlamydia
  • an enlarged prostate gland – this is a common condition in older men and nothing to do with prostate cancer; an enlarged prostate gland will press on the bladder and may also cause problems such as difficulty urinating and a frequent need to urinate
  • bladder cancer – this usually affects adults aged over 50 (but not exclusively) and can also cause you to urinate more often and more urgently, as well as pain when urinating
  • kidney cancer – this also usually affects adults aged over 50, (but not exclusively)  and can cause persistent pain below your ribs and a lump in your tummy
  • prostate cancer – this is only seen in men, usually aged over 50 (but not exclusively), and usually progresses slowly; other symptoms can include needing to urinate more often and urgently, and difficulty emptying your bladder

Seeing your GP 

You should see your GP if you notice bright red blood in your urine, or if your urine has turned red or brown.

Your GP will ask about your symptoms and carry out a physical examination. This is to help find out what is causing the change of colour or blood in your urine.

For men, this may include a rectal examination (to examine the prostate gland). Women may have a vaginal examination.

They will also arrange blood/and or urine tests to look for signs of an infection. If they think that an infection is likely, they may prescribe some antibiotics before you get your results.

You will be referred to a specialist if your symptoms don’t get better with treatment, or if the cause is not easily identified.

This is to investigate further what is causing your symptoms, and to exclude the possibility that cancer might be a cause.

Is there definitely blood in your urine? 

It's worth considering whether you have recently eaten beetroot, as this can colour the urine pink and cause unnecessary alarm.

Some medicines, such as the antibiotics nitrofurantoin and rifampicin, can also turn your urine red or brown.

Check that the blood is actually coming from your urine and not your back passage or vagina (if you're a woman).

The information on this page has been adapted from original content from the NHS website.

For further information see terms and conditions.

Health conditions A to Z

Search by health condition or symptoms

Or find conditions beginning with …

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.