Stress does not directly cause blood in urine. However, stress may make a person more prone to developing conditions that can cause it.

Blood in urine, or hematuria, is a urologic condition affecting at least 1 in 5 people. With hematuria, the blood can either be visible (gross hematuria) or only detectable through a microscope (microscopic hematuria).

Research has not confirmed the association between stress and blood in urine, but some studies show that stress plays a role in the development and worsening of urinary disorders.

This article explores whether stress can cause blood in urine and other possible causes of blood in the urine.

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Stress cannot cause blood in urine alone, but some studies also show that stress may negatively affect urinary function.

A 2019 rat study also found that psychological stress, which causes the release of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) hormone as part of the stress response, resulted in bladder storage dysfunction.

A 2022 review found that long-standing psychological stress can affect urinary function and worsen existing lower urinary tract dysfunction (LUTD), especially overactive bladder (OAB) and interstitial cystitis (IC)/bladder pain syndrome (BPS).

An older study from 2015 found a positive correlation between perceived stress and urinary incontinence symptoms among those with OAB and IC/BPS. Hematuria is present in about 41% of people with IC/BPS.

One 2018 case study reported a person with anxiety and depressive symptoms who developed gross and microscopic hematuria, which resolved after several psychotherapy sessions.

Many conditions can potentially cause blood in the urine. These include:

Other more serious conditions may also cause hematuria, including:

How stress affects urinary tract infections

Urinary tract health and stress have a bidirectional relationship.

Extreme and prolonged stress can elevate blood cortisol levels and suppress a person’s immune function. This can make a person susceptible to infections such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), which can cause hematuria.

Meanwhile, having a UTI may also cause or worsen stress. A 2019 study found higher stress levels among children and adults with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Similarly, a 2017 review of studies found that people with UTIs experience more psychological stress, which may worsen symptoms further.

The treatment for blood in urine depends on the condition causing it. A doctor may recommend observation for intermittent blood in the urine that does not cause any symptoms.

Doctors treat blood in urine caused by a UTI with a 7- to 14-day course of oral or intravenous (IV) antibiotics. Other conditions, such as hereditary diseases and kidney cancer, require prompt diagnosis and treatment.

A person should immediately contact a healthcare professional if they notice blood in their urine.

Most conditions that cause gross hematuria often require immediate medical care.

Every person may have different stressors and varied ways of coping with stress. Common coping strategies include:

  • identifying triggers and developing ways of avoiding them or managing them
  • learning to prioritize and manage everyday tasks and deadlines
  • performing relaxing activities such as deep breathing and meditation
  • exercising daily
  • carving out time for oneself
  • eating nutritious, unprocessed foods
  • getting enough quality sleep
  • talking about concerns with other people

A person may reach out to a mental health professional who can help identify a person’s stress triggers and create an action plan to manage and change them.

Learn more about stress reduction techniques.

The following are some questions people frequently ask about blood in urine.

Why do I suddenly have blood in my urine?

Many things can cause blood in urine, including sexual activity and urinary tract problems such as inflammation and infection. More serious conditions such as cancer and blood disorders may also cause blood in urine.

Why would I have blood in my urine but no infection?

Health conditions other than an infection may cause blood in the urine. These include trauma to the urinary tract, prostate enlargement, genetic blood disorders, and cancer.

Stress alone does not cause blood in urine, but it may contribute to some urinary tract problems that can cause it. Blood in urine may indicate an underlying health condition, and a person should not ignore them.

A person should see their doctor immediately if they notice blood in their urine. The treatment for blood in urine depends on the condition causing it and may include antibiotics or surgery.