A test called a urinalysis can detect whether there is blood in your urine. A urinalysis checks a sample of your urine for different cells, chemicals, and other substances, including blood. Most causes of blood in your urine are not serious, but sometimes red or white blood cells in your urine can mean that you have a medical condition that needs treatment, such as kidney disease, urinary tract infection or liver disease.
Your health care provider may have ordered a urinalysis as part of a routine exam. You may also need this test if you have seen blood in your urine or have other symptoms of a urinary disorder. These symptoms include painful urination, frequent urination, back pain and/or abdominal pain.
A simple urine test can be done in your doctor’s office. You will be asked to pee into a clean cup called a “specimen cup.” Only a small amount of your urine is needed (about two tablespoons) to do the test. Some of the urine is tested right away with a dipstick — a thin, plastic strip that is placed in the urine. The rest is examined under a microscope.
There are a variety of factors that can cause red or white blood cells to be present in the urine. Many are not cause for concern. Small amounts of blood in the urine may be due to certain medicines, intense exercise, sexual activity, or menstruation. If larger amounts of blood are found, your health care provider may request further testing.
Increased red blood cells in urine may indicate:
- A viral infection
- Inflammation of the kidney or bladder
- A blood disorder
- Bladder or Kidney Cancer
Increased white blood cells in urine may indicate:
- A bacterial urinary tract infection. This is the most common cause of a high white blood cell count in the urine.
- Inflammation of the urinary tract or kidneys