Symptoms A-Z

Bright Red (Bloody) Urine Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your bright red (bloody) urine symptoms, including 10 causes and common questions.

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  1. 10 Possible Bright Red (Bloody) Urine Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

10 Possible Bright Red (Bloody) Urine Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced bright red (bloody) urine. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Urinary tract infection

A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. Urinary tract infections are usually caused by infections by fecal bacteria.

Symptoms of urinary tract infections include pain with urination (dysuria), cloudy urine (pyuria), feeling the urge to urinate, needing to urinate more frequently, blood in the urine (hematuria), inability to control the bladder or pain in the lower abdomen. Infections of the upper urinary tract may cause fever and chills, nausea and vomiting, and flank pain.

Treatment includes antibiotic medications, pain medications, and intravenous fluids.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), pelvis pain, sudden urgency to urinate, signs of urinary tract inflammation, urinary changes

Symptoms that always occur with urinary tract infection: signs of urinary tract inflammation

Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit


Urethritis is an infection of the urethra, which drains urine out of the body from the bladder. The urethra may be involved alone or with other structures in an overall urinary tract infection.

Urethritis is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in itself, but the same bacteria and viruses that cause STDs can also infect the urethra. Another common cause is the E.coli bacteria, found in feces.

Most susceptible are sexually active women, but anything that allows bacteria (especially E. coli) to travel into the urinary tract can cause an infection.

The most common symptoms are burning on urination and a cloudy discharge.

Diagnosis is made through urine test and a swab taken from the urethra. A urethritis patient should be tested for sexually transmitted diseases as well.

Treatment involves antibiotics, if the urethritis is caused by bacteria. Taking cranberry supplements can also be helpful, as long as the patient is not also taking the blood thinner called warfarin.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: painful urination, penis pain, fluid leaking, pink/blood-tinged urine, cloudy urine

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Kidney stone

A kidney stone is a stone made up of various possible materials that forms in the kidneys. Factors that increase the risk of forming kidney stones include high levels of calcium, uric acid, and oxalate in the urine, low levels of citrate in the urine, abnormal urine pH, low urine volume, certain urinary tract infections, and certain genetic conditions.

Pain is usually experienced in the abdomen or flank, depending on the location of the stone. A diagnosis is made by imaging and urine studies.

Treatment options include hydration and medications to facilitate spontaneous stone passage and various procedures to remove the stone.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: abdominal or flank pain, nausea, abdominal pain that comes and goes, diarrhea, pelvis pain

Symptoms that always occur with kidney stone: abdominal or flank pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Kidney infection (pyelonephritis)

A kidney infection, or pyelonephritis, is actually a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that begins in the urethra or bladder and spreads to the kidneys.

The infection is caused by bacteria that either travel into the urethra or spread from an infection elsewhere in the body.

Women, especially pregnant women, are most susceptible. Anyone who has had a urinary tract blockage, or uses a catheter, or has a weakened immune system is also at risk for a kidney infection.

Symptoms include fever; chills; back and abdominal pain; and frequent, painful urination. If there is also nausea and vomiting and discolored, foul-smelling urine, take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Left untreated, pyelonephritis can cause permanent damage to the kidneys. Bacteria can also enter the bloodstream and cause a life-threatening infection elsewhere in the body.

Diagnosis is made through urine test, blood test, and sometimes imaging such as ultrasound, CT scan, or x-ray.

Treatment includes antibiotics and sometimes hospitalization.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, pelvis pain, back pain, vomiting

Symptoms that never occur with kidney infection (pyelonephritis): mid back pain from an injury

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Benign prostatic hypertrophy (bph)

The prostate is a gland in men that helps produce semen, the fluid that contains sperm. Over many years, the cells of this gland have a tendency to become enlarged (or hypertrophy). Fortunately, this enlargement is not itself dangerous. As the name "benign" implies, BPH is not prostate cancer and does not increase the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, BPH is rarely harmful, usually more of an inconvenience than anything else.

The problems it does cause result from compression of the urethra, which passes through the prostate as it carries urine out of the body. An enlarged prostate can obstruct the flow of urine making it difficult to empty the bladder, which in turn leads to frequent urination and nighttime awakening to urinate.

BPH is a chronic, progressive disease, meaning that the symptoms are mild at first and slowly get worse over many years. Serious complications can occur when there is significant obstruction of the urinary tract, though this is relatively uncommon.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: sudden urgency to urinate, waking up regularly to pee at night, frequent urination, constant but weak urination stream, feeling of not getting everything out when urinating

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Bright Red (Bloody) Urine Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having bright red (bloody) urine

Acute prostatitis

Acute prostatitis is a sudden-onset bacterial infection of the prostate gland in men.

Bacteria can spread to the prostate through a urinary tract infection, or through a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. Infection can also start after a medical procedure such as a urinary catheter insertion.

Most susceptible are younger or middle-aged men with a urinary tract infection or STD (sexually transmitted disease;) a pelvic injury from trauma or from bicycling or other sport; an enlarged prostate; or a recent prostate biopsy.

Symptoms include pain and difficulty when trying to urinate; pain on ejaculation; pelvic and abdominal pain; fever; chills; and nausea and vomiting.

These symptoms should be evaluated by a medical provider, because untreated prostatitis can lead to bacteremia of the blood ("blood poisoning,") prostatic abscess, and infertility.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, urinalysis, blood tests, and a physical examination which usually involves a digital rectal examination. Prostatitis does not cause prostate cancer.

Treatment is done with antibiotics, usually as an outpatient.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: penis pain, fever, urinary changes, painful urination, chills

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Bladder cancer

The bladder is a hollow organ with a muscular wall that stores urine until it is passed from the body. Bladder cancer refers to the out of control growth of cells within the lining of the urinary bladder. It is the sixth most common cancer among adults in the U.S.

Initial symptoms include blood in the urine, increased urinary frequency, and pain during urination, although these symptoms are nonspecific and can be due to other problems. Later symptoms may include back pain, difficulty urinating, bone pain, and foot swelling.

Treatment often involves a combination of surgery, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiation, and supportive care.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: abdominal pain (stomach ache), constipation, pelvis pain, side pain, frequent urination

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Prostate neoplasm

The prostate gland sits under the bladder, near the rectum (end of the large intestine), and it makes the fluid that carries sperm. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States. It is different from other cancers because small areas of cancer within the prostate are actually very common, especially in older men.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: frequent urination, waking up regularly to pee at night, painful urination, constant but weak urination stream, feeling of not getting everything out when urinating

Urgency: Primary care doctor


Rhabdomyolysis is a syndrome most commonly resulting from muscle injury following extreme exertion such as endurance exercise or weight lifting or following a severe accident. Sometimes rhabdomyolysis may result from medications - most commonly medications to treat elevated cholesterol such as statins. Severity can range from mild to life threatening kidney disease from muscle enzymes entering the circulation.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, being severely ill, change in urine color

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Interstitial nephritis

Interstitial nephritis is a disorder of the kidneys that results when the spaces between the kidney tubules become swollen and inflamed. These spaces are also known as the interstitium. The tubules are the structures of the kidney responsible for filtering fluid.

The chronic form of interstitial nephritis seriously affects the way your kidney works. The kidney is responsible for filtering waste and excess fluid from the blood and excreting it into the urine.

Symptoms include nausea,(

Treatments for interstitial nephritis include adjusting troublesome medication, alleviating underlying causes, steroids, and dialysis.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, loss of appetite, joint pain, side pain, fever

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Bright Red (Bloody) Urine

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Do you feel pain when you urinate?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Are you sexually active?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out why you're having bright red (bloody) urine

Bright Red (Bloody) Urine Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced bright red (bloody) urine have also experienced:

  • 12% Painful Urination
  • 6% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
  • 5% Pink/Blood-Tinged Urine

People who have experienced bright red (bloody) urine were most often matched with:

  • 50% Kidney Stone
  • 33% Urethritis
  • 16% Urinary Tract Infection

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Bright Red (Bloody) Urine Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having bright red (bloody) urine