Please note: This information was current at the time of publication but now may be out of date. This handout provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education website.

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Am Fam Physician. 2006;73(10):1759

See related article on microscopic hematuria.

What is microscopic hematuria?

Microscopic hematuria (say: HEE-ma-tur-ee-uh) is a small amount of blood in your urine. The amount of blood is so small that it does not change the color of your urine. It can only be seen through a microscope.

What causes microscopic hematuria?

Some causes of microscopic hematuria are:

  • Bladder or kidney infection

  • Kidney stone

  • Swelling of your kidneys

  • Harmless conditions that may run in families

  • A tumor anywhere in your urinary tract, which may or may not be cancer

  • Heavy exercise just before giving a urine sample

  • Some medicines

What will my doctor do about the blood in my urine?

Your doctor will ask you questions about your medical history. Your doctor also may examine you to decide which test is right for you and if you are more likely to have a serious health problem.

Your doctor may take pictures of your urinary tract. These pictures are like x-rays.

Your doctor may send your urine to a lab for more tests.

You may need to see a special doctor who can use a small camera to look inside your bladder.

Your doctor may have you repeat some of the same tests six to 12 months later. This depends on your risk of getting a serious health problem.

If you have an infection, your doctor will give you medicine. After taking this medicine, the blood in your urine should go away.

What are some risk factors for a serious problem in my urinary tract?

  • Being older than 40 years

  • Smoking

  • Being in contact with certain chemicals at work (for example, leather dye, rubber, tires).

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