When you are pregnant, you are going to experience a variety of physical/mental changes as a result of all those extra hormones. Some of these symptoms will stay with you throughout your entire pregnancy, up until the time you give birth. One of these changes is the appearance of your urine. Sometimes, it may appear cloudy which causes some women to be concerned. You typically don’t have to worry too much about it, as it’s often a result of changes in your hormones and your diet. However, if your urine is cloudy very early or very late in your pregnancy, you may wish to contact your physician. Below you will find more information about what causes changes in the appearance of your urine while you are pregnant.
Is Cloudy Urine During Pregnancy Normal?
Normal urine samples have no odor and are either clear or slightly yellowish in colour. If there is any change at all in these characteristics, it typically indicates that there is some underlying medical issue. If you do have cloudy urine during pregnancy and no other underlying medical issues, then it’s nothing to be too worried about. Following are two of the most common reasons you might have cloudy urine while you are pregnant.
In most cases, the reason your urine appears cloudy during pregnancy is because of the hormonal changes that your body is experiencing. After the placenta is formed, your body produces a hormone known as hCG, which double every few days. This process continues for about 11 weeks. In some cases, these hormones will cause your urine to take on a cloudy appearance. If your urine is cloudy due to hormones, it’s not something to get overly stressed about. The problem will most likely resolve by the end of the first trimester.
2. Changes in Dietary Habits
Another common reason that your urine may become cloudy in appearance is making any sudden changes in your diet. Cloudy urine could be caused by consuming lots of dairy products, asparagus, and/or orange juice. Try keeping a food diary and eliminate food groups until you see some improvement. In addition, having a large meal before you go to bed could cause your urine to become cloudy. This is because during the digestive process, phosphate crystals are pulled from your food into your urine. This is also a temporary issue and will typically resolve without requiring medical intervention.
Serious Causes of Cloudy Urine During Pregnancy
On the other hand, there are some more serious underlying problems that could be causing your urine to appear cloudy.
If you notice that your urine appears cloudy and it also has a strong odour, you may be dealing with a bladder infection. Another indication that this might be the case is urinating more often. About 2 to 4 percent of women develop UTIs while they are pregnant. Therefore, it’s a great idea to discuss this with your physician. If you do have an infection, you may also experience mucus in your urine, painful urination, discomfort in your abdominal region, and a dull pain in your pelvic region. Your physician will prescribe medication to treat the infection.
2. High Protein Level in Urine (Proteinuria)
This condition is most likely to develop during your third trimester, but can also have an effect on you during early pregnancy. It is a condition which occurs due to high protein levels in your urine. In some cases, it indicates that you may be at risk for preeclampsia, which is a very serious, life-threatening condition.
If you are not drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day, you may notice your urine taking on a cloudy appearance. When you are dehydrated, your urine takes on a darker shade of yellow. If you notice changes in your urine and you’re not drinking enough water, increase your fluid intake- this should resolve the issue. However, if you think that your dehydration may be the result of an underlying medical condition, you might want to consult your physician.
Increasing your water intake is great advice for everyone- whether pregnant or not. This will help keep you hydrated and your kidneys flushed out. in addition, you may also want to consider drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry supplements. This is a well- known home remedy for treating/preventing a bladder infection.
4. Kidney Stones
Another potentially serious reason your urine appears cloudy is kidney stones. This is the result of the pus in your urine. If you do have kidney stones, you might want to get in touch with your physician right away. After all, passing the stones through your urine can be quite painful and could tear your ureters or even block your urinary tract.
There are certain medications that can cause your urine to become cloudy. If you are on any medications, you might want to go through them and read the fine print to find out if cloudy urine is listed as a side effect. In addition, if you do see your physician, make him/her aware of any medications you are taking before or during your pregnancy to be proactive about avoiding side effects.
Your urine could be cloudy due to vaginal discharge caused by an STD, such as gonorrhoea. If this is the case, you should definitely see your physician for proper treatment.
When Should You Worry?
Regardless of the cause, any time you see a change in the appearance or odour of your urine, it’s a good idea to consult your physician. After all, you don’t want to assume that nothing is wrong and later have regrets.
When you notice that your urine is cloudy, the first thing to do is figure out what could be causing it. Of course, you can consider the above causes, but you also might want to visit your physician to pinpoint the issue and receive the necessary treatment.
Typically, the first course of action is going to be antibiotics. However, this may not always be the case because some antibiotics are not safe for women who are pregnant. No matter what, try to avoid panicking if you experience cloudy urine- it is quite common and should not really have an effect on the baby.
If cloudy urine is the result of more serious conditions, such as an infection, there will more than likely be some other symptoms as well such as cramping, foul odours, abdominal pain, incontinence, back pain, or a burning sensation. If you experience any or all of these, you’ll want to see your physician as soon as possible.