UTIs can cause pain, an urge to pee, and cloudy, smelly, and even bloody urine. Treatment should make these symptoms go away.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a very common infection. It can occur anywhere in your urinary tract, which includes your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Most UTIs are caused by bacteria and affect the bladder and urethra.
In this article, we’ll discuss how UTIs cause bleeding, also called hematuria, along with other symptoms and treatment.
A UTI doesn’t always cause symptoms. If you do have symptoms, you might experience:
- painful urination (dysuria)
- burning during urination
- passing small amounts of urine
- difficulty starting the urine stream
- frequent urination (frequency)
- constant urge to pee (urgency), even if you’ve already urinated
- pressure or pain in your abdomen, sides, pelvis, or lower back
- cloudy, foul-smelling urine
- bloody urine (red, pink, or cola-colored)
These symptoms show up in the early stages. But if the UTI has spread to your kidneys, you might also feel:
- flank pain (lateral lower back and sides of upper abdomen)
When you have a UTI, the bacteria infect the lining of your urinary tract. This leads to inflammation and irritation, causing red blood cells to leak into your urine.
If there’s a tiny amount of blood in your urine, it won’t be visible to the naked eye. This is called microscopic hematuria. A doctor will be able to see the blood when they look at your urine sample under a microscope.
But if there’s enough blood to change the color of your urine, you have what’s called gross hematuria. Your pee might look red, pink, or brown like cola.
If you menstruate, you might wonder if your bloody urine is caused by a UTI or menstruation.
Along with urinary bleeding, UTIs and periods share symptoms like:
- lower back pain
- abdominal or pelvis pain
- fatigue (in severe UTIs)
To determine which one you have, consider your overall symptoms. You’re likely menstruating if you have:
- bloating or weight gain
- sore breasts
- mood swings
- anxiety or crying spells
- changes in sexual desire
- skin issues
- food cravings
These symptoms aren’t typically associated with UTIs. Plus, if you have your period, you won’t see blood only when you pee. You’ll also have red or darker clumps of blood continuously accumulating on your underwear with menstruation.
The only way to stop UTI bleeding is to treat the UTI.
A doctor will request a urine sample first. Depending on the results of the urinalysis, they may prescribe:
Since a majority of UTIs are caused by bacteria, the most common treatment is antibiotic therapy. This medicine will help to destroy the bacterium that’s causing the infection.
UTIs are often treated with one of the following antibiotics:
Be sure to follow the doctor’s instructions and finish your medicine, even if you feel better. The UTI could persist if you don’t complete the treatment.
The best antibiotic and length of treatment depend on several factors, including:
- the type of bacterium found in your urine
- the severity of your infection
- whether you have recurring or persistent UTIs
- any other urinary tract issues
- your overall health
If you have a severe UTI, you might need intravenous antibiotics.
Some UTIs are caused by fungi. This type of UTI is treated with prescription antifungal medicine.
The first line of treatment is fluconazole. It can reach high concentrations in the urine, making it the preferred choice for fungal UTIs.
Home remedies can’t cure a UTI or stop bleeding, but they can support UTI treatment.
The following remedies can help relieve symptoms as the antibiotic and your body clear the infection:
Drinking plenty of fluids
While you’re being treated for a UTI, drink lots of fluids. This will make you pee more often, which flushes bacteria out of your body. The best choice is water.
To avoid worsening your symptoms, limit beverages that irritate the urinary tract. These drinks include:
- carbonated drinks, like soda
- artificially-sweetened beverages
Many people think cranberry juice can help, but the research is lacking. A 2012 review of studies determined that cranberry juice can’t prevent or resolve UTIs.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that benefit your gut. They’re often used to balance gut flora and aid in intestinal health.
But according to 2018 article in
However, scientists haven’t found that probiotics alone can treat UTIs. It’s thought probiotics are likely most effective when taken with antibiotics.
Get medical help as soon as you notice any UTI symptoms.
This is especially important if you have blood in your urine. Even if it only happened once or it’s a small amount, you should still visit a doctor.
When treated promptly, a UTI is easier to clear. Early treatment will help you avoid other complications.
It’s “normal for a UTI to cause bloody urine. It happens because the infection-causing bacteria in your urinary tract cause inflammation and irritation to your cells there. Your urine may look pink, red, or cola-colored.
If you have bleeding from a UTI, or if you have other UTI symptoms, see your doctor. You should stop peeing blood once your UTI is treated.