Mucus in Urine
Mucus is a yellowish, gelatinous colloid which occurs in various parts of the body such as the large intestines and lungs. All of us have coughed up mucus while suffering from a cold. Mucus is produced by the mucous membranes, and the interiors of the intestinal wall are covered with mucus. It guards the intestinal tract, greases it, and thus allows for the easy elimination of stool. Hence, finding mucus in stool is generally not considered to be abnormal. However, the presence of mucus in urine can signify the presence of several health complications.
Urine is usually transparent. The occurrence of mucus in urine can give it a cloudy appearance and may indicate the presence of anomalies of the excretory system, the immune system, or the reproductive system. It may also point to underlying diseases such as cystitis, UTIs, or kidney stones. Individuals who experience mucus in their urine must consult a doctor for diagnosis and effective treatment.
Causes of Mucus in Urine
A few causes are listed below:
1. Urinary Tract Infections or UTIs
A UTI is one of the most widespread causes of mucus in urine. The urinary tract is made up of different organs like the kidneys, urethra, ureters, and the bladder. Infection of the urinary tract by bacteria or other pathogens may occur when such organisms enter the urinary system during urination or through the bloodstream. Bacteria gain entry via the urethra and then move to other areas where they proliferate and thrive. The entire urinary system is susceptible to infections, especially the bladder. In addition to mucus in the urine, UTIs can result in varied symptoms such as pain, burning sensations during urination, and the increased urge to urinate.
2. Kidney Stones
Individuals affected by kidney stones are most likely to experience foul-smelling urine along with mucus in urine. Hence, doctors will also check for the presence of kidney stones or other urinary system blockages when mucus is detected in urine. Obstruction disorders of the urinary system and kidney stones may also cause other symptoms such as pain in the pelvis and abdomen, extreme cramping, etc. The last treatment option for kidney stones is surgery.
3. Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs
Urinary system infections by various kinds of STDs like Chlamydia or gonorrhea can also cause mucus in the urine. Additional symptoms include unclear or cloudy urine that is abnormally yellowish.
4. Urachal Cancer
This is an uncommon type of cancer that is identified by the occurrence of abnormal cells or a tumor in the bladder. Most diagnostic tests conducted to investigate the presence of urachal or bladder cancer have also found the occurrence of mucus in urine. Hence, all instances of mucus in urine involve additional tests for urachal cancer. (Additional symptoms include increased desire to urinate on a frequent basis.)
5. Ulcerative Colitis
Patients of ulcerative colitis experience damage of the intestinal mucous membranes that results in increased production of mucus by the intestinal mucous membranes. Signs and symptoms of this disease are quite specific and include swelling of the intestinal membranes as well as the presence of ulcers in the intestine. The ulcers also release mucus which is then transferred to the urinary system. This mucus finally gets removed from the body via the urine.
6. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
This is a gastrointestinal disorder that results in short term abnormalities of the large intestine. This disease can cause the intestinal membranes to produce excessive quantities of mucus, which is eventually eliminated from the body via the urine.
Treatment of Mucus in Urine
All individuals who experience mucus in their urine must consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and prompt treatment of the underlying causes.
You may also follow these self-care guidelines to get rid of mucus in your urine:
- Good personal hygiene is an absolute must. One of the best ways to get rid of mucus in urine is by maintaining a clean groin region. Make sure to fully clean the genitals after urination. UTIs tend to flourish in the hot and moist environment of an underwear. Hence, use cotton underwear to allow the area to ‘breathe.’
- Mucus in urine can be caused by severe dehydration. In such cases, patients may drink fluids to increase the fluid content in the body. When you increase the daily intake of water, the body can make additional urine which can then help in removal of pathogens or foreign bodies occurring in the urinary tract and bladder. Water also aids in the overall maintenance of the health and immune systems. The recommended level of daily water intake is about 2000 ml.
- Add fruit juices and fresh fruits to the diet. These can provide additional vitamins to the body as it tries to fight off the underling conditions or infections that are causing mucus in urine. Oranges are abundant in vitamin C, while cranberry juice is helpful in the elimination of urinary tract germs. Fresh vegetables and fruits will also help in strengthening the immune system so that it can effectively fight off future infections.
- Patients of UTIs and other diseases that result in mucus in the urine can benefit by abstaining from alcohol. Some other lifestyle changes, including quitting smoking, will also help.
- Avoid sex when affected by mucus in urine. If you can't, then use a condom. An underlying infection can aggravate during sexual intercourse, particularly if it is unprotected, and sex can result in migration of the pathogens or the infected mucus to your partner. Additionally, it can lead to increased irritation of the infected areas.