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Cloudy urine during pregnancy

Updated on October 16, 2013

Cloudy urine during pregnancy can result from harmless causes and conditions, or it can indicate some serious underlying disorder that requires the immediate attention of a doctor.

Women tend to experience a lot of physical and mental changes right from the time of conception till delivery of the newborn. There may be hormonal, emotional, bodily, and even mental changes. One such change experienced by pregnant women is cloudy urine. This abnormality is usually temporary and mild. However, if the condition persists for many days, then affected women need to consult their health care provider.

Cloudy urine during pregnancy: Is it normal?

Urine color can range from being as clear as water to dark amber. Normal urine eliminated by a healthy person is generally transparent or somewhat yellowish in color, without any accompanying smell. Any change from these usual features can possibly indicate the presence of some medical disorder. In most cases, cloudy urine during pregnancy is also considered normal. It is often caused due to dietary changes, medication side effects, hormonal changes, and other mild factors.

On the other hand, when cloudy urine during pregnancy is accompanied by other abnormal symptoms such as frequent urination, burning sensations when passing urine, smelly urine, etc., then it can point to UTIs or bladder infections.

Cloudy urine during pregnancy can thus be normal, or signify the presence of harmful abnormalities. It is therefore essential for all affected women to consult a doctor whenever they experience cases of cloudy urine during pregnancy.

Causes of cloudy urine during pregnancy

Some of the common causes of cloudy urine during pregnancy are listed below:

  • Hormonal changes: It is one of the most prevalent causes of cloudy urine in pregnant women. Discharge of cloudy urine is associated with the balancing act amongst estrogen and other hormones arising due to pregnancy.

  • Dietary changes: It is another natural and widespread cause of cloudy urine in pregnant women. The intake of certain types of foods, particularly milk and dairy products, can result in abnormal reactions in the body or accumulation of chemicals, which when eliminated via urine give it a cloudy appearance. Other trigger foods include asparagus, beet, berries, and orange juice.

  • Proteinuria: It is a condition characterized by collection of protein in urine. Proteinuria can also point to the presence of a severe medical complication called preeclampsia. It refers to pregnancy-induced high blood pressure which exerts excess pressure on the kidneys causing it to release proteins into urine. Elevated protein levels in urine can eventually result in cloudy urine.

  • Sexually transmitted diseases: Gonorrhea is one of the main types of STDs that cause cloudy urine. The presence of sexually transmitted diseases can be harmful for both the fetus and the mother. It is therefore important for affected women to seek immediate medical care.

  • Intake of large meals before bedtime: Consumption of a large meal just before going to sleep can also result in cloudy urine, the next morning. It occurs due to increased production of phosphate crystals post digestion of food. Precipitation of these crystals imparts the cloudy nature to urine. It is a temporary and harmless condition which resolves on its own within two days.

  • Vaginal discharge: When urine gets contaminated with discharge from vagina, then it can also give rise to cloudy urine. Pregnant women may experience vaginal discharge due to normal or anomalous causes. Normal vaginal discharge is usually clear and odorless, whereas smelly and discolored discharge is considered abnormal and requiring the attention of a doctor.

  • Dehydration: It is one of the most common causes of cloudy urine in pregnant women as well as normal individuals. Lack of fluids in the body can cause the urine to become highly concentrated which is what gives it a cloudy look. Dehydration can occur due to many reasons such as reduced water intake, excessive exercising or sweating, etc. It is important for pregnant women to keep the body hydrated by drinking lots of water and other liquids. It is good for the developing fetus as well.

  • Consumption of vitamin supplements: There are many water soluble vitamins that do not get stored in the body. In fact, a major percentage of vitamin supplements gets eliminated from the body through urine. Hence, excess intake of vitamin medications can result in cloudy urine during pregnancy.

Treatment of cloudy urine during pregnancy

It is clear from the points discussed above that cloudy urine during pregnancy can be caused due to normal or anomalous reasons. It is therefore essential for pregnant women to consult a doctor in all instances of cloudy urine for correct diagnosis and relevant treatment, if any.

Women experiencing mild cases of cloudy urine can wait for a day or two and check if it disappears on its own. If it continues, then a visit to a doctor becomes necessary. However, if cloudy urine is accompanied by other abnormal symptoms like smelly urine, discomfort,bloody discharge, etc., then it becomes vital for pregnant women to immediately seek medical attention.

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