There are a variety of cloudy urine causes. If your urine color is cloudy, or looks like milky urine don't panic. It could be a sign of an illness, but there may be nothing to worry about. Keep in mind that cloudy urine is a symptom and not an illness by itself. We’ve listed some of the causes below. Please keep in mind that this does not cover all of the causes.
Food can cause a change in the consistency and color of your urine, although they are not the usual cause of cloudy urine.
Sperm or vaginal discharge can mix with urine and give it a cloudy appearance.
Blood in urine - When the amount of blood is microscopic, it may not show bright red or dark red but rather it may appear as cloudy urine. Even with microscopic blood in urine, the urine may appear slightly cloudy red or cloudy brown.
A urinary tract infection - a UTI can cause cloudy urine. The urinary tract infection may be accompanied with burning or painful urination.
A bladder infection (a more specific type of urinary tract infection), also known as Cystitis, may cause cloudy urine. Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder. The bladder infection may also be accompanied by painful urination, difficulty in urination and frequent urination.
Kidney stones may cause cloudy urine. They can cause pus in the urine, which gives your pee that milky or cloudy look. If you have kidney stones, the pain of the stones may lead you to see a doctor more quickly than the cloudy urine. Some people have described passing a kidney stone as the worst pain they’ve ever experienced. A kidney stone has jagged edges and, if large enough, can tear against the ureter as your body tries to pass it. It can also get stuck, blocking your urinary tract. The tearing can cause an infection, which in turn causes pus to be produced… causing your cloudy urine.
Gonorrhea may cause cloudy urine, but this is more likely a vaginal discharge that creates the appearance of cloudy urine. Keep in mind that Gonorrhea is a curable sexually transmitted disease.
One of the key symptoms of a urinary tract infection is when you notice cloudy urine with a foul urine odor. What causes urine to smell bad? Despite the causes of a urinary tract infection itself, the infection is accompanied by bacteria. That bacteria is what causes the cloudy urine to have a foul smell.
If you experience pain along with the cloudy urine, you may have a urinary tract infection or kidney stones. The UTI pain is a bit different from kidney stone pain. UTI pain is usually present during urination and makes it painful to pee. After you finish urinating, the pain usually subsides as well. The painful cloudy urine from a UTI may have a foul odor as well. Visit our UTI page for more information.
Kidney stone pain is agonizing on another level. When passing a kidney stone, it can be painful during urination as the stone with its jagged edges and sides passes through your urethra, but it will also hurt when you are not urinating. Kidney stone pain is more persistent until you pass the stone(s). The cloudy urine that accompanies a kidney stone may also have visible blood, but it will usually not have a strong urine odor.
If you start noticing multiple symptoms such as cloudy, painful, smelly urine, then there’s a pretty good chance you have a urinary tract infection.
Is there a difference in cloudy urine for men and for women? While many causes are shared across the sexes, there are a few that are unique for men or for women.
One cause of cloudy urine that is unique to men is when ejaculate is mixed with the urine. It’s not usually a case of semen leaking into urine, but rather semen remains in the urinary tract and is expelled at the next urination. Semen appears milky or cloudy, so as it mixes with urine, you’ll notice a cloudy yellow color to the urine. Semen in your urine should not be a common occurrence, so you may see it once in a while, but not every time you urinate.
Pregnancy is one area where men just can’t compete with women. With so many hormonal changes and other physical changes going on in the female body during pregnancy, it’s no surprise that there are some events that could cause cloudy urine. Cloudy urine in pregnancy is not uncommon. During pregnancy women may notice an increase in vaginal discharge, which mixes with urine and causes cloudy urine. You may also smell a stronger urine odor because of the discharge.
Cloudy pee can be a sign of very serious conditions, but that doesn’t mean you should immediately assume the worst. So, how do you know when you need to do something about it? It’s important to keep an objective view and watch for patterns. Make a note when you first notice the cloudy urine. How are you feeling at that time? What medications are you taking? What have you eaten recently? What is your sexual history for the last year? All of these can affect the consistency and color of your pee. So, if it’s cloudy, does that mean there’s a health problem? Not necessarily. Next thing you need to do is watch for the frequency of the cloudy urine. If it is a one-time event, it may be nothing. If, however, you notice your pee has a cloudy color and/or consistency over a period of multiple bathroom visits, and over the span of multiple days or weeks, then you might suspect a medical issue. While we don’t think you should freak out over a single episode, you also shouldn’t ignore the signs if it is a recurring event. You may want to act quickly, and visit a doctor even after the first time you notice cloudy pee if it is accompanied by sharp pain and/or blood with the urine.
First of all, curing cloudy urine really depends on the cause. Determining what causes should be your first priority. You probably don’t want to go about trying cures at random… unless you like random results.
If you suspect your diet has caused your pee to look white-ish or cloudy, the solution is pretty simple. Cut out some items from your diet, and check the results over the next few days. It’s better to try this approach when you’ve recently introduced something new into your eating routine, and when the cloudy urine is NOT accompanied by pain, or streaks of red. If it hurts when you pee, go see a doctor.
If your cloudy urine is caused by a urinary tract infection, or bladder infection, it is usually treated by simple antibiotics and clears up within a couple of weeks.
If your cloudy urine is caused by a kidney stone… you’ll usually know it, as the pain can be pretty intense. Depending on the sizes of the stones being passed through your urinary tract, there are different treatments. Here are just a few ways they treat them. Smaller stones usually have to be passed without any help, although your doctor may prescribe pain meds. When the stones are too large to pass naturally, they can break them up with an ultrasound treatment or a shock wave, if you will,… and then you pass the smaller kidney stones. Under more extreme situations, such as having a LOT of kidney stones, surgery can be performed to remove them. There’s even a method of shoving a catheter up you urinary tract to extract the kidney stones. Sounds like fun, right? In any case, once they have been passed from your ureter, the pus, and hence cloudy urine will stop soon after.
There are many possible causes of cloudy urine, but at this point, if it’s frequently cloudy, and unless you’re sure it’s because of food you’ve eaten, or because of ejaculate mixed in your urine, you should probably see the doctor and stop trying to diagnose yourself. Obviously, most of the above mentioned causes are serious, and if you have any of these symptoms, such as cloudy urine accompanied by pain or blood, you should see a doctor immediately.