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Hematuria, or blood in the urine, can be alarming. While the cause is harmless in many instances, blood in the urine can indicate a serious disorder. Blood that you can see is called gross hematuria while blood that’s only visible under a microscope is called microscopic hematuria. Regardless of whether it can be seen or not, it’s important to determine the reason(s) for bleeding.


Gross hematuria produces pink, red or dark brown urine due to the presence of red blood cells. It takes little blood to produce red urine, and the bleeding usually isn’t painful. Passing blood clots in your urine, however, can be painful. Bloody urine often occurs without other signs or symptoms.

Risk Factors

Almost anyone, including children and teens, can have red blood cells in the urine. Factors that make this more likely include:

  • Age
  • A recent infection
  • Family history
  • Certain medications
  • Smoking
  • Prior radiation therapy

Various problems can cause a leakage of blood into urine:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Kidney infections
  • Kidney stones
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Inherited disorders
  • Kidney injury

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