Blood on Urine Dipstick Test

Is it Something Serious?

Urine dipstick tests are inexpensive, quick, and easy to use. But they are not the ideal method for detecting blood in urine. In a good number of cases people who test positive for blood on a dipstick test do not have any serious underlying disease. Yet, since in a small percentage of cases it could be something as serious as cancer, further testing is a must.
Some common reasons for a false –positive dipstick test for blood are:


  • Dehydration
  • Exercise
  • Contamination of the urine sample with blood from vagina/ anus
  • Hemoglobin in urine
  • Myoglobin in urine.

Hemoglobin is the colored pigment present in red blood cells (RBCs). Myoglobin is a pigment in muscle cells. They can be found in urine for many reasons such as drug side effects, bleeding disorders, viral infections, sickle-cell disease, and muscle trauma. Your doctor can determine if the cause is something serious from a careful review of your symptoms and history.

To know the causes of a true positive dipstick test for blood, see blood on urine microscopy.

What to Do Next?

Whether the dipstick finding is true or not can be confirmed on “urine microscopy”. It is a very common test often done as a part of routine health check-up. If blood is really present in your urine, a significant number of red blood cells will be seen during microscopic examination. Red blood cells seen on microscopy need to be taken very seriously. Your doctor may ask you to get several repeat tests done to confirm the finding. You may be referred to a doctor specializing in urinary diseases (urologist) if your doctor thinks that you are at risk of serious urological diseases.


When to Seek Medical Attention?

If your urine dipstick test is positive for blood, it’s a must to get a urine microscopy done. Also contact your doctor if you have any acute symptoms such as fever, pain, or difficulty passing urine. It’s worthwhile to consult a doctor anytime if you are too anxious about a symptom or test result.


Who Is The Right Doctor to Treat Me?

The initial evaluation may be done by a family physician. If a serious cause is  
suspected, you will need to see a urologist.


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