Finding blood in your urine is a cause for concern whether you’re pregnant or not but if you are expecting, it can, in some cases, be quite a symptom of a much more serious underlying cause.
Although the causes for finding blood in urine during pregnancy can be minor, hematuria (as it is technically known) should always be checked out by a medical professional. It is likely that you need further tests to rule out more serious conditions and problems with your pregnancy.
What does blood in urine during pregnancy look like?
As you would expect your urine is tinged with pink, red and brown flecks of blood. You may find that your urine is darker in color than usual, and also that it has a strong smell and quite hot to touch. This could be an indication that you have kidney problems, or a urinary tract infection although the latter doesn’t normally associate itself with blood in the urine.
Where does it come from?
There are a number of reasons as to why you might find blood in your pregnancy and usually, it will come from places such as the urethra, the bladder, the ureters, and the kidneys. It is the latter in which urine is made and if there is bleeding within or around the organ, there will be blood in your urine.
How is blood in urine during pregnancy diagnosed?
Sometimes you will be able to see the blood in your urine with the naked eye but this is less common. For the majority of cases, hematuria is diagnosed after a urine sample has been given and the blood spotted with the help of a microscope in the lab. A dipstick can also be used to diagnose certain conditions such as a UTI or urinary tract infection.
What causes blood in urine during pregnancy?
There are a number of reasons why you might experience this symptom during pregnancy. The first of which is a bladder infection, or a urinary tract infection which will also have symptoms such as hot / burning urine, trouble or pain when urinating, a fever and flu-like symptoms, abdominal pain and also blood if the problems left untreated or conditions become more serious.
Constant toilet trips when you are pregnant could be the reason behind your UTI combined with the change and rush of hormones. These result in changes in your urinary system and although some women can have an infection without any symptoms, the majority will have very painful symptoms indeed.
If you think you have a urinary tract infection while pregnant, you should seek medical advice. You may need antibiotics to treat it.
If you leave a UTI without treatment, the infection could move along to your kidneys causing a kidney infection. This is another reason why you may experience blood in urine during pregnancy and if you have been experiencing cystitis-like pain for a while, it is definitely time to visit your doctor.
As well as causing kidney infections, leaving a bladder or urinary tract infection untreated during pregnancy could also cause miscarriage and some women can present symptoms of this with blood, both in their urine and vaginally.
Constant kidney infections can cause further kidney concerns later on in life. Any damage that occurs cannot be reversed and with constant infections comes constant damage. It is important to seek and keep seeking medical advice if you are constantly suffer with infections of the urinary tract.
Although being pregnant doesn’t generally make you more susceptible to kidney stones, they are more difficult to treat during this time. This also presents itself with similar symptoms to bladder and kidney infections with severe abdominal pain, discomfort and difficult urinating, blood in urine during pregnancy and more.
Genetics can play a part in kidney stones and not drinking enough water will also increase your chances of suffering. You should also ensure you are consuming enough calcium.
Although it is important to exercise during pregnancy, strenuous exercise should be avoided because this can also lead to protein and blood in urine. There are also a number of genetic conditions which could increase your chances of experiencing blood while urinating such as kidney disease and sickle cell anemia. Certain prescribed and over the counter medications could also cause this problem including heparin, penicillin and aspirin.
Will it affect my pregnancy?
If you have a bladder or kidney infection and you leave it untreated, the condition could have a negative impact on your pregnancy causing miscarriage, stillbirth, a low birth weight and even early labor.
If you are pregnant and have any of the following symptoms, it is important that you seek medical attention to get the problem treated before it has a chance to get to a dangerous stage:
- Flu like symptoms, chills, fever
- Exhaustion, fatigue, severe tiredness
- Urine that is dark, hot, brown, smells foul, cloudy, contains blood
- Severe pain and pressure in the lower back and abdomen
- Increased urges to urinate, difficult in urinating, only small amount of urine being passed, pain during urination.
How to treat blood in urine during pregnancy
Hematuria is not actually a medical condition by itself. When you find blood in your urine, during pregnancy or otherwise, it is a symptom of something else. This means when looking for a treatment, further testing must happen for a complete and sure diagnosis. Self-diagnosis and treatment is not a good idea because it’s easy to confuse this symptom as one for the wrong medical condition.
If the cause is an infection, you may require antibiotics and other prescribed medication to get the situation under control. You should not ignore these symptoms – blood in urine during pregnancy can be a very serious symptom and should not be ignored.