Red blood cells can enter the urine from the vagina in menstruation or from the trauma of bladder catheterization (a procedure used to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions). A high count of red blood cells (RBCs) in the urine can indicate infection, trauma, tumors, or kidney stones. If red blood cells seen under microscopy look distorted, they suggest kidney as the possible source and may arise due to acute inflammation of the kidney, typically caused by an immune response (glomerulonephritis). Small amounts of red blood cells in the urine are sometimes seen in young healthy people and usually are not indicative of any disease. Often, the urine looks normal to the naked eye. But when checked under a microscope, it contains a high number of red blood cells. In some cases, the urine is pink, red, or the color of tea, which you can see without a microscope.
Most of the causes of blood in the urine are not serious. For example, heavy exercise may cause blood in the urine, which often goes away in a day.
Other, more serious causes include:
- Kidney infection or disease
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Enlarged prostate (men only)
- Kidney or bladder stones
- Certain diseases (like sickle cell anemia and cystic kidney disease)
- Injury to the kidneys
Some medications cause blood in the urine. And many people have it without having any other related problems.
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