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Increased red blood cells in urine in women

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 25.02.2021
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Elevated erythrocytes in the urine of women are an important diagnostic sign that can indicate various pathological conditions, increased stress on internal organs and systems, impaired adaptation processes, and much more.

Causes of increased red blood cells in urine in women

The main reasons for the appearance of an increased level of red blood cells in the urine are the same in both men and women. All reasons can be conditionally divided into several groups:

  1. inflammatory processes of the kidneys and urinary organs, schistosomiasis; [1]
  2. oncological diseases of the bladder and urinary tract; [2]
  3. violation of hormonal levels;
  4. intoxication of the body (including general poisoning, toxicosis of pregnant women);
  5. increased load on the kidneys, disruption of the normal functional state;
  6. urinary stones ;
  7. trauma: penetrating or blunt;
  8. hemorrhagic cystitis;
  9. endometriosis ;
  10. nephrological disease: IgA nephropathy , glomerulonephritis;
  11. Post-procedural bleeding, such as transurethral surgery
  12. violation of the blood coagulation system, anticoagulant therapy;
  13. arteriovenous malformation / angiomyolipoma. [3]

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Normal performance

Normally, there should be no red blood cells in the urine. In women, no more than 1-3 erythrocytes are allowed in the preparation (single). [4]

Raising and lowering of values

If traces of erythrocytes are found in a woman's urine, this may indicate an increased level of glucose in the blood, the development of diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus. This may be one of the signs of a temporary increase in blood glucose that develops during pregnancy. Attention should be paid to the functional state of the kidneys, perhaps they are experiencing increased stress, and require additional protection and support. Also, a similar picture may be a consequence of hormonal imbalance, often develops as a result of insufficient production of vasopressin (a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, which contributes to vasoconstriction, increased blood pressure). The function of vasopressin entails a process in which the kidneys transfer some of the purified fluid from the urine back into the blood.

Erythrocytes in the urine of a pregnant woman

A pregnant woman should normally not have red blood cells in her urine. If they appear, this indicates the development of an inflammatory process, a violation of the normal functioning of the kidneys, liver, a violation of hormonal levels, in particular, a decrease in the level of vasopressin. It can also be a sign of toxicosis. [5],  [6],  [7], [8]

In urine, leukocytes and erythrocytes in women

If leukocytes are found in the urine, this is a sign of an inflammatory process, since it is leukocytes that are the cells that primarily migrate to the inflammation focus. An increase in the number of erythrocytes also indicates the development of a pathological process. It can be both inflammatory and non-inflammatory. Often the number of red blood cells increases against the background of impaired blood function. The detection of leukocytes and erythrocytes in urine, especially in women and children, is a negative sign and requires a detailed diagnosis.

Red blood cells and protein in urine in women

Protein in the urine indicates the development of kidney pathology. Red blood cells can be a sign of inflammation. In women, this can also be a sign of gynecological diseases, endocrine dysfunction. It is worth noting that it is especially important to control these indicators during pregnancy, since at this time the body is in a state of adaptation, the load on the kidneys, liver, and other organs increases significantly, and intoxication of the body develops.

Unchanged red blood cells in urine in women

The appearance of unchanged erythrocytes in the urine is often observed in diseases of the kidneys and urinary tract. In women, a similar picture is also observed against the background of pregnancy, toxicosis, after childbirth, and this is a negative sign, which indicates that the kidneys cannot cope with the load. It can also be a sign of toxicosis in pregnant women, it can indicate the development of poisoning. A similar picture is observed with hypertension, any other diseases associated with vascular tone, circulatory system. In more severe cases, this clinical picture may indicate the development of malignant tumors and severe diseases of the urinary tract, including the kidneys (pyelonephritis, glomerulonephritis, nephritis, renal tuberculosis).

Altered red blood cells in urine in women

Altered erythrocytes often appear in urine as a result of poisoning, toxicosis in pregnant women. Usually, a similar picture develops against the background of heavy metal poisoning. Depending on the number of such red blood cells, and the level of changes, one can judge the nature of the pathological process: from a mild inflammatory process to severe renal failure.

At the same time, the appearance of altered red blood cells in the urine in combination with pronounced polyuria indicates the development of severe renal failure. So, normally, from 65 to 80% of the fluid drunk should be excreted with the kidneys. If more than 2 liters of urine are secreted, this condition is called polyuria. This indicates an inability of the kidneys to concentrate urine, as a result of which excessive amounts of it are excreted.

Single erythrocytes in urine in women

The appearance of single erythrocytes in the urine requires re-diagnosis, especially in women, due to the proximity of the reproductive organs. This may be a sign of an inflammatory process, dysfunction, gynecological diseases. But also red blood cells can accidentally get into the urine, for example during menstruation, as a result of improper toilet of the external genital organs. Mandatory re-analysis is required to confirm or refute the diagnosis.

Red blood cells in urine in older women

If erythrocytes appear in the urine of older women, this is a negative sign that may indicate a violation of the functional state of the kidneys, an increased load on them. This may be a sign of degenerative processes, inflammation, the development of infection, and may also indicate a violation of the concentration ability of the kidneys, which occurs in connection with the development of chronic kidney disease. At the same time, in parallel, a violation of the normal ratio between the amount of daytime and nighttime urine can be noted (it changes towards an increase in nighttime urine output). [9] The prevalence of asymptomatic microhematuria ranges from 2 to 30%, depending on the definitions used and the age and sex of the population studied. [10] Vitamin D deficiency correlates with hematuria in women, especially after menopause. [11]

Red blood cells in urine after childbirth

After childbirth, red blood cells in the urine may persist for some time. This is a negative sign, so recovery must be monitored. This may be the result of blood entering the urine (from the uterus, vaginal discharge, remnants of amniotic fluid). But also  increased red blood cells in the urine of women  may indicate the development of inflammatory and degenerative processes in the kidneys, hemolytic uremic syndrome. [12] This is often a sign of bleeding, or an increased risk of bleeding. In addition, this may indicate an intense hormonal change, a change in the functional state of the body. [13], [14]

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