When you’re pregnant, it’s natural to feel concerned even with the slightest tinge of blood. It’s usually harmless and can often be treated easily. However, it’s always important to get to the root of the cause through the doctor to avoid indication of a serious health disorder. What are the Causes of Blood in urine during pregnancy that can be a sign of various medical conditions?
Causes of Blood in Urine During Pregnancy
Your kidneys or other parts of your urinary tract can allow blood cells to leak into urine. You also can have a prior health condition that causes your bladder to bleed.
Following are some of the health issues that might cause blood in urine during pregnancy.
1. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
During pregnancy, if you see blood in your urine, or your doctor detects blood during a routine urine test, it could be an indication of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
A UTI is typically a bacteria-induced infection in the urinary tract and is common during pregnancy. The growing baby puts pressure on the bladder and urinary tract thereby can trap the bacteria causing infection or causing urine to leak.
If left untreated, a UTI can pose a serious health risk to a pregnant woman and her developing foetus.
2. Kidney infections
Kidney infections occur when bacteria enter your kidneys through the bloodstream or spread infection from your ureters to your kidney(s).
Frequent urge to urinate, loin pain and burning while micturition, and extremely strong or bad-smelling urine are all symptoms of kidney infection and are more likely to cause fever and flank pain.
3. Bladder or kidney stones
The minerals from concentrated urine over time form crystals or small to big hard stones on the kidney/bladder walls.
Unless these stones cause blockage, it is painless. However, large stones can cause a blockage that often results in urine in blood and cause excruciating lower abdominal pain.
Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the kidneys’ filtering system. A diseased or inflamed kidney can also cause blood in urine during pregnancy. It can occur on its own or as part of another disease, such as diabetes. Antibiotics can quickly treat bacterial infections.
5. Accidental injury to the kidney
A blow or other kidney injury from some form of accident can cause evident blood in urine in pregnancy.
6. Inherited disorders
Rare blood disorders like sickle cell anaemia (hereditary defect of haemoglobin in red blood cells) or Alport syndrome (filtering membranes in the glomeruli of the kidneys) are known to increase the risk of urinary bleeding.
Certain types of drugs can cause blood urination during pregnancy. For example, blood-thinning medicines like heparin, cancer-treating drugs like cyclophosphamide and penicillin, anticoagulants like aspirin etc.
8. Strenuous exercise
Active exercise or a blow to the kidneys can also cause blood to show up in the urine. Strenuous exercise may result in trauma to the urinary bladder, dehydration or the breakdown of blood cells.
If you notice visible urinary blood after an intense workout, don’t assume it’s from exercising. Long-distance runners are especially prone to exercise-induced urinary bleeding. But anyone who works out vigorously can develop similar symptoms.
Best to consult your doctor to determine the root cause.
9. Bladder or kidney cancer
Cancer of the bladder or kidney can cause blood in urine especially in advanced stages of cancer. Unfortunately, there are no significant signs or symptoms in the early stages, when these cancers are more treatable.
The Bottom Line
Seeing blood in urine during pregnancy can be alarming. Although blood in urine is often harmless, however during pregnancy it can indicate a serious disorder.
Any blood in the urine during pregnancy can be an indicator of some serious health problem, even if it happens only once. Blood leaking into the urine can be caused due to several conditions. The treatment depends on the cause.
Ignoring blood in urine during pregnancy can lead to the worsening of serious conditions like cancer and kidney disease. Discuss the concern with the doctor to determine the cause of blood in urine and create a treatment plan.
This can ensure a safe and full-term pregnancy for you and your baby.