Cloudy Urine During Pregnancy

Cloudy urine during pregnancy can arise due to certain mild conditions or causes. It may also signify the presence of severe underlying conditions that require urgent medical treatment. It is therefore essential for all pregnant women to seek medical attention whenever they experience cloudy urine.

Beginning at conception, expectant women may undergo various mental and physical changes that can continue till childbirth. Pregnant women may experience emotional, hormonal, physiological, and mood changes. One of the abnormal changes that occurs during pregnancy is cloudy urine. In most cases, it is minor and short-lived. However, persistent cases of cloudy urine during pregnancy have to be checked by a doctor.

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Cloudy urine during pregnancy: Normal or abnormal

The color of urine can vary between watery clear to dark yellowish-brown. The urine of a healthy individual is mostly transparent and a bit yellowish. It may not emit any odor. When any kind of deviation from these typical urine characteristics is noticed, then the affected person may be suffering from some health abnormality. Most cases of cloudy urine during pregnancy is caused as a side effect of medications, changes in the diet, hormonal alterations, and other minor causes. Therefore, cloudy urine in pregnant women is usually thought to be normal.

It is however important to note that occurrence of other abnormal symptoms such as putrid smelling urine, pain or burning sensations during urination, etc., along with cloudy urine is not normal. They may be associated with an underlying case of bladder or urinary tract infections.

Hence, cloudy urine during pregnancy can have normal as well as abnormal causes. Pregnant women who experience cloudy urine for more than two days must visit a doctor for correct diagnosis and prompt treatment.

Causes of cloudy urine during pregnancy

Cloudy urine during pregnancy may be commonly caused due to the following factors:

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  • Changes in the hormonal balance: During pregnancy, estrogen along with varied other pregnancy-associated hormones come together and try to balance each other. This often causes cloudy urine during pregnancy.
  • Eating big meals before sleeping: The process of digesting food results in formation of phosphate crystals. Excessive eating causes the formation of a large number of phosphate crystals, which later precipitate and get eliminated from the body via urine. This gives urine a cloudy appearance. Hence, intake of large meals before bedtime can cause cloudy urine the following morning.
  • Changes in the diet: Cloudy urine during pregnancy can also arise due to certain dietary changes. Consumption of some types of food items, such as dairy and milk products, can lead to anomalous responses in the body which can then cause a buildup of chemicals. Such excess matter is removed from the body via urine which is what gives it a cloudy look. Other foods that can cause cloudy urine during pregnancy are asparagus, berries, orange juice, and beet.
  • Intake of vitamin supplements:A lot of us take vitamin supplements for additional nutrition. However, most water soluble vitamin pills, such as vitamin B and vitamin C, do not stay in the body. A major chunk gets eliminated via urine, which gives it a cloudy appearance. Hence, intake of vitamin supplements during pregnancy can also result in cloudy urine.
  • Proteinuria: Elevated levels of protein in urine is known as proteinuria. It can arise due to varied conditions such as kidney malfunction, UTIs, etc. It can also be caused due to a serious pregnancy complication called preeclampsia which is characterized by hypertension and kidney malfunction. Compromised kidney functionality leads to excess protein in urine, which then results in cloudy urine during pregnancy.
  • Vaginal discharge: Vaginal discharge can be normal or abnormal. Clear discharge is usually not serious, while discolored and smelly vaginal discharge may have serious underlying causes. Contamination of urine with any type of vaginal discharge can result in cloudy urine during pregnancy.
  • STDs or sexually transmitted diseases: There are many types of STDs that can cause cloudy urine, especially gonorrhea. The presence of STDs during pregnancy can result in serious consequences for both the mother and the child. Hence, all cases of STDs have to be immediately treated.
  • Dehydration: It is one of the most prevalent causes of cloudy urine during pregnancy. Dehydration can also cause cloudy urine in non-pregnant women. Low or depleted levels of fluids in the body can cause the urine to become excessively concentrated, which in turn can lead to elimination of cloudy urine. Dehydration can occur due to low intake of water, excessive perspiration, strenuous exercising, etc. It is essential for pregnant women to drink lots of water and other liquids and keep themselves amply hydrated.

Treatment of cloudy urine during pregnancy

  • As cloudy urine during pregnancy can have mild or severe causes, pregnant women should seek medical attention for diagnosis and treatment.
  • It is especially important to consult a doctor when experiencing persistent instances of cloudy urine during pregnancy, or when the anomaly is accompanied by other symptoms like painful urination, etc.
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