As if everything else you’re going through and all the weird stuff you’re experiencing during pregnancy weren’t enough already, you now also start to notice cloudy urine while pregnant.
The first thing that would probably come to your mind if you’re anything like me is “well, this must be bad news because I know that clear urine is a sign of healthy urine, so cloudy urine must be the opposite of that”.
Is this something you should be worried about? Does this mean that your health or that of the baby in your womb is at risk? Or is cloudy pee just one of those random weird things that happen during pregnancy that mean nothing at all and should just be ignored?
Let’s have a look.
Is Cloudy Urine During Pregnancy Common?
The short answer to this question is YES, cloudy urine during pregnancy is a fairly common occurrence among mothers-to-be, especially during the earlier part of a pregnancy.
Some pregnant women begin to notice this from day one and all the way until delivery, while others only notice it at random times throughout their pregnancy without it lasting for much.
It differs from woman to woman so there’s no telling for sure what you’re going to experience, but know that this is a very normal thing among pregnant women when proteins and other materials begin to pass through their urine1.
Is Cloudy Pee While Pregnant A Sign Of Something Wrong?
Just because you’re noticing cloudy urine when you look into your toilet after peeing does not necessarily mean that there’s anything wrong – health wise – with you or your baby.
Many pregnant women who used to notice cloudy urine went on to give birth to perfectly healthy babies when it was time to.
So, don’t panic at just the sight of cloudy pee, it doesn’t always mean there’s something wrong going on. For reassurance, double check with your doctor and they’ll be able to give you a definitive answer about whether or not there’s anything for you to worry about.
If you notice other symptoms during the same phase you’re noticing cloudy urine, though, you should talk to your doctor about it because these could be indications for a more serious underlying health or medical problem. Please don’t try to self diagnose this yourself at home, as this could put both your health and that of the baby inside you at risk.
Some of these symptoms include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Rapid and unexplained weight gain
- Swelling in hands
- Swelling in feet
- Swelling in face
- Burning sensation when peeing
- Abnormal smell when urinating
- Cramps (usually in the legs but could be in other parts of the body as well)
- Abdominal pain
- Back pain
What Causes Cloudy Urine In Pregnancy?
Obviously enough, the most ideal action you could take when you notice cloudy urine during your pregnancy, and especially if you notice this during your first trimester, is to notify your doctor about it. They’ll be able to do/request whatever tests they need done to rule out any major health concerns and get to the bottom of what’s causing this.
With that being said, the following are some of the most common causes that lead to the observation of cloudy like urine during pregnancy, assuming that other more serious medical problems and health concerns are ruled out.
The first thing you should make sure of when noticing cloudy urine during pregnancy is whether or not you’re drinking enough amounts of water throughout the day. Drinking anything below 8 to 10 glasses of water a day is not sufficient when you’re caring for two2.
If you notice that your urine is also dark in color in addition to it being cloudy, then dehydration is most probably the problem, especially if you begin noticing that the color of your pee is becoming brighter again after properly hydrating yourself over the course of the next couple of days.
If you drink enough water and still notice that your pee is dark in color and cloudy, then it’s not likely to be dehydration causing this.
2) Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Pregnant women are much more likely to experience a urinary tract infection (UTI) during their pregnancy than non-pregnant women, and UTIs are notorious for causing urine to become cloudy.
As a matter of fact, you’re most prone to developing a UTI between week 6 and week 24 of your pregnancy, considering how much the uterus grows and expands during this phase and how this growth sometimes prevents you from completely emptying your bladder.
UTIs are almost always associated with pain during urination, as well as feeling that you have to go to the bathroom to empty your bladder much more frequently than you normally do.
Most UTIs are relatively easy to treat, given proper supervision from a medical doctor and not missing any of your medication. Your doctor will specify a course of treatment based on antibiotics that you have to carefully stick to in order to see lasting improvement.
Note from Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN: “You should know that there is such a thing as “asymptomatic bacteriuria” in pregnancy, which is bacteria in the urine without other symptoms.
In other words, your urine can become cloudy with no other symptoms.
Your doctor will screen for this during your pregnancy because it can cause pregnancy complications even if you don’t feel like you have a UTI3.”
3) Hormonal Changes
Your body will go through all sorts of hormonal changes during pregnancy, and one of the results of these changes is often cloudy urine.
During this phase, one hormone your body will begin to form is called the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HGC), also commonly referred to as the “pregnancy hormone”.
HGC is the same hormone that a pregnancy test stick you pee on searches for to determine whether or not you’re pregnant.
This hormone, along with other hormones that increase in your body during your pregnancy (especially during the first three months) and new hormones being formed during this period, sometimes make their way into your urine and cause it to become cloudy.
This isn’t anything serious (most of the times) and usually takes care of itself on its own during months 3 to 6 of your pregnancy, as the levels of these hormones decreases and they don’t tend to make their way into your urine as much during your second trimester.
Are you taking any medication to treat any condition you have during pregnancy? If so, one of the side effects that some medications are known to cause is cloudy urine.
To make sure, do a quick research about the medication(s) you’re taking and what side effects they have, and specifically look for alteration in urine appearance among these side effects.
If you’re taking medication under the supervision of your doctor, it’s also a good idea to notify them about the cloudy urine that you’re noticing, and they’ll be able to determine whether or not this has anything to do with the medication you’re currently on.
The diet you follow and what foods you’re eating also play a big role in whether or not you experience cloudy urine from time to time, especially when making sudden dietary changes out of the blue.
It’s important that you follow a “pregnancy-friendly” diet throughout these entire 9 months, and that you stick to it without any abrupt changes.
I know, I know – the food cravings are a little bit too strong to resist at times, but it’s something we all have to face at one point or another and have no choice but to overcome.
Also, take the necessary time to learn about some common foods that you’re better off avoiding during pregnancy, such as dairy products and certain vegetables.
6) Protein Levels
Often times, excessive levels of protein in a pregnant woman’s urine causes this cloudy appearance4.
Too much protein in urine is often seen in women who are towards the later parts of their pregnancy, specifically between 4 and 9 months pregnant.
Excessive levels of protein in urine during pregnancy can sometimes be associated with health problems such as high blood pressure and kidney damage – two conditions that could put not only you at risk, but the baby inside of you as well.
Most of the times, this is something your doctor will be able to determine by taking a look at a urine sample of yours.
7) Sugar Levels
Sometimes, excessive levels of sugar in your urine will also lead to this cloudy appearance.
This is another reason why you should stick to a pregnancy-friendly diet and avoid large meals at once that are carbohydrate dense, because doing this will give your body a very difficult time processing all the sugar you throw at it in one go.
8) Vitamin Intake
Sometimes your vitamin intake may be a little bit off and may be what’s causing you to experience cloudy urine.
Yes, adequate vitamin intake is exceptionally important throughout your entire pregnancy, both for your health and well being as well as that of the baby you’re carrying – after all, there’s a reason why prenatal vitamins are always talked about and recommended.
But, there’s a difference between taking just enough vitamins and taking an excessive amount that becomes harmful to your body.
Excessive vitamin intake, especially when it comes to vitamin B and vitamin C, is often times responsible for the appearance of cloudy urine.
9) Vaginal Discharge
Women often notice a significant increase in vaginal discharge during pregnancy, which can lead to this appearance in urine when the two are mixed together.
Wrapping It Up
In conclusion, it should be stressed that talking to your doctor when you notice cloudy urine during pregnancy (or anything else unusual that’s going on in your body, whether that’s related to your pee or not) is always going to be the best route.
While we understand that you may feel shy about talking to your doctor about something you may consider to be “silly”, this is not the case at all.
Your doctor is more than likely to be impressed with your thorough observation to detail and will commend you for being responsible enough to inquire about this and find out whether or not it’s anything that’s affecting the baby you’re carrying.
So, no matter what changes you notice during pregnancy and regardless of whether or not you feel that bringing them up with your doctor is “ridiculous” or not – better safe than sorry!
You definitely don’t want anything you neglect now to reflect in a birth defect upon delivery or, even worse, a miscarriage altogether.
- How Does Your Urine Change When You’re Pregnant? https://www.everydayhealth.com/urine/how-does-your-urine-change-when-youre-pregnant/. Accessed June 20, 2019.
- Dehydration During Pregnancy. https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/dehydration-pregnancy/. Accessed June 20, 2019.
- Urinary tract infections in pregnancy: old and new unresolved diagnostic and therapeutic problems. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4379362/. Accessed June 20, 2019.
- Clinical Significance of Proteinuria in Pregnancy. https://journals.lww.com/obgynsurvey/Abstract/2007/02000/Clinical_Significance_of_Proteinuria_in_Pregnancy.24.aspx. Accessed June 20, 2019.