Visible blood in the urine, or gross hematuria, is a symptom that you should never ignore. Most of the time, hematuria is caused by a problem with the kidneys, bladder or urethra. Occasionally, blood in the urine can be caused by strenuous exercise. Do not assume that this symptom is caused by exercise, however; see your doctor for an evaluation to rule out serious health problems.
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Bicycling and Hematuria
Intense exercise can, in some cases, cause blood in the urine. According to MayoClinic.com, the reason for this is not clear. Possible causes may be dehydration, injury to the bladder or a breakdown of red blood cells. While runners are most commonly affected by this condition, if you are riding your bike strenuously, you may see blood in your urine. Other possible causes for urinary bleeding after bicycling include injury to your urethra, or a blow to your kidneys if you fall off of your bike.
Other Causes of Bleeding
More commonly, urinary bleeding is caused by a problem with the urinary system. Bladder infections, kidney stones, kidney disease or cancer of the urinary organs can cause gross hematuria. Sometimes, medications, such as certain antibiotics or blood thinners, may cause blood in the urine. Illnesses such as strep throat can affect the kidneys and cause bleeding. If you have a bleeding disorder like sickle cell anemia or hemophilia, you may experience blood in your urine.
In many cases, what you think is blood in the urine may actually be blood from elsewhere. If you see blood after using the toilet, it may be coming from your bowels or, if you are a woman, your vagina. If you are a man, prostate problems can cause blood in your semen, which may look like blood in your urine. If you have eaten beets or taken certain medications, your urine may be stained red and look like blood.
Any time you see blood in your urine, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Seek emergency care if you are experiencing severe pain, fever, vomiting, blood clots in your urine or an inability to urinate. Also seek care if you have fallen off of your bicycle or had some other accident that may have damaged or injured your bladder or kidneys and you experience bleeding.