It is common to find mucus in your urine. It is typically thin, fluid, and transparent, or it may be cloudy white, or off-white. While these colors usually represent normal discharge, yellowish mucus can signal a health problem. Too much mucus could indicate a UTI or another medical condition, which you can evaluate using urine test strips.
Mucus may be present in the urine for many reasons, including those below:
The urethra and bladder create mucus naturally. Mucus travels along your urinary tract to help wash out invading germs and prevent possible issues, including urinary tract infections and kidney infections. You may see that the amount of mucus, and discharge, in your urine changes sometimes. That’s not uncommon.
Young women may experience mucus more often than other groups. That’s because menstruation, pregnancy, birth control medications, and ovulation may make mucus thicker and more obvious. This thicker mucus can appear to be coming from the urine when it is often from the vagina.
Mucus in urine can occur in men. Often, if mucus is noticeable in men, it’s a sign of a potential problem, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other infections.
No treatment is necessary unless you’re experiencing unexpected changes in your urine lasting beyond a day or two. If you’re experiencing changes in urine color or amount, see your doctor.
They can assess your symptoms and diagnose an underlying condition. Once a diagnosis is made, your doctor will work with you to treat the underlying cause.
Urinary tract infection (UTI)
UTIs are among the most common types of infections that doctors treat every year. Although anyone can get a UTI, they are much more common among females. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, about 40-60% of females will experience at least one UTI in their lifetime.
The symptoms of a UTI include:
Blood in the urine
Mucus in the urine
Burning sensation when urinating
Bacterial UTIs are treated with prescription antibiotics. You should also drink more fluids during your treatment. Not only is hydration key to your overall health, but it can also help flush your urinary tract system to prevent bacteria from spreading.
If oral medications aren’t successful or if your symptoms become more severe, your doctor may recommend intravenous antibiotics.
Sexually transmitted infection (STI):
Although STIs can cause a variety of symptoms, chlamydia and gonorrhea are the most likely to cause excess mucus in the urine, particularly in men.
A chlamydia infection can cause:
Whitish, cloudy discharge
A burning sensation when you urinate
Pain and swelling in the testicles
Pelvic pain and discomfort
Abnormal vaginal bleeding
Gonorrhea can cause:
A yellowish or green discharge
Vaginal bleeding between periods
Pelvic pain and discomfort
Since chlamydia and gonorrhea are bacterial infections, they are treated with antibiotics. For chlamydia, azithromycin is usually prescribed in a single, large dose. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe doxycycline, which is taken twice per day orally for approximately a week. Practicing safe sex can help you prevent future STI infections. This can also help prevent STI transmission to an uninfected partner.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS):
Bloating diarrhea, gas, constipation, and abdominal pain are all common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). another possible symptom of IBS that can occur is mucus in the digestive tract. This mucus comes from the large intestine or colon. After leaving the body through the anus, the mucus can attach to your stool and mix in with urine.
People with IBS who experience this may have a hard time pinpointing where the mucus comes from, and can mistake the excess fluid as secreting from their urinary tract.
IBS is a chronic condition and treatment focuses on symptom management. Your doctor may recommend the following dietary changes:
- Eliminating foods that can cause excess gas and bloating, such as broccoli, beans, and raw fruits.
- Eliminating gluten, a type of protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.
- Taking fiber supplements to ease chronic constipation
Some medicines are also used to treat this condition. They include:
- OTC or prescription anti-diarrheal medicine to control bouts of diarrhea
- Antispasmodic medicines to stop spasms in the intestines
- Antibiotics if you have an overgrowth of unhealthy gut bacteria
Ulcerative colitis (UC):
UC is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. To combat damage to the colon, the body may produce excess mucus, which passes from the body in the stool. Again, it can be mixed with urine in the toilet, giving the impression that there is too much mucus in the urine.
Additional symptoms of UC include:
Abdominal pain and cramps
Bleeding from the anus
Treatment for UC often involves medication to manage symptoms. Doctors commonly prescribe anti-inflammatory medications. Immunosuppressant medications can reduce the effects of inflammation on the body too. Your doctor may prescribe a combination of the two.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. If other treatment options have been unsuccessful, your doctor may recommend that all or part of your large intestine be removed.
Kidney stones are hard deposits that form inside the kidney and comprise various minerals and salts. The lifetime risk of getting kidney stones is 11% for males and 9% for females. Stones that remain in the kidneys do not cause symptoms. However, if they move into the urinary tract, they can cause increased mucus, as well as:
A persistent need to urinate
Blood in the urine
Not all kidney stones require treatment. In cases of large kidney stones, your doctor may use an extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy to break up the stone. This allows the smaller pieces to move through the tract more easily. Very large stones may require surgery.
Muces in urine can be a sign of bladder cancer, but this is not common. If muces in urine is a sign of cancer, it may be a complaint by other symptoms like blood in urine, abdominal pain, or weight loss. what is more, these symptoms are tied to many other conditions. The only way to know if your symptoms are a sign of cancer or another serious condition is to see your doctor for a diagnosis.
How to test mucus in urine?
A urinalysis involves collecting a sample of pee in a specimen cup, which is then analyzed for the presence of certain cells, bacteria, and other chemicals. Sometimes a sample is requested first thing in the morning because more concentrated urine is easier to analyze. Urine collection containers and instructions for male and female patients could differ to test mucus in urine.
There are three basic types of urine tests:
The lab will test the color and clarity of the urine, as well as the presence of any blood or foam.
The lab will dip a thin, plastic stick with chemicals into the urine. The stick will change color if a certain chemical is present at above-average levels.
Laboratory professionals will examine a small amount of urine under a microscope to check for things that can’t be seen with the naked eye, like red blood cells, pus cells, bacteria, and mucus levels.
Other mucus in urine tests may be necessary to rule out specific conditions. For example, a urine protein test can help you determine whether you have kidney stones.
Urine test strips and other home tests can offer peace of mind if there is mucus present in your urine. If you have further questions, contact a healthcare provider.