Everything You Need to Know About Cloudy Urine

After urinating, if you notice something suspicious in the toilet bowl, don’t rush to flush your concerns away (and the contents). Even if murky pee isn’t always a problem, you should still be aware of what’s in your toilet bowl because there’s a risk that something more serious is going on.

No matter what colour it is, normal, healthy urine is typically transparent. On the other hand, cloudy urine might have a whitish, flaky, or greenish appearance. According to S. Adam Ramin, M.D., urologist and medical director of Urology Cancer Specialists in Los Angeles, it is primarily described as murky—as in you can’t see through it.

So if you’re wondering, “Why is my urine cloudy?,” read on. Continue reading to learn the possible cause of and remedy for your hazy urine.

Cloudy Urine Causes


You can get dehydrated when your body is losing more water than it is taking in, which can result in less diluted, murky urine. In most cases, early dehydration can be reversed by drinking additional water.

Dehydration can cause additional symptoms, such as:

  • Thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Decrease in urination
  • Dry skin
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle cramping
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

Urinary Tract Infections

According to Dr. Ramin, urinary tract infections (UTIs), commonly known as bladder infections, can result in cloudy urine. One of the most typical causes of hazy urine is urinary tract infections. Usually, a pus or blood release into the urinary tract causes the urine to appear hazy. White blood cell accumulation may also be a sign that the body is attempting to get rid of invasive microorganisms.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services reports that women are more likely than men to develop UTIs. In actuality, 50–60% of women will have a UTI at some point in their lives.

Other typical UTI signs include:

  • Pain, burning, or stinging when you pee
  • A strong urge to pee all the time, but peeing doesn’t bring relief
  • Cloudy, bloody, or discolored urine
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Pressure, cramping, or pain around your bladder/pelvis
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever


Dr. Ramin claims that in males with prostate infections, the prostate may begin secreting fluid that may be milky or white and milky in colour. “Consequently, men’s urine occasionally appears hazy when they have prostate infections.”


Vaginitis, an inflammation of the vagina that can cause discharge, itching, and pain, is another type of infection that can cause cloudy urine. Yeast infections, trichomoniasis, and bacterial vaginosis are the three most prevalent kinds of vaginitis. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an overabundance of the bacteria that are normally present in your vagina, which throws off the balance. In most cases, a fungus that occurs in nature is what causes yeast infections. Trichomoniasis is a parasitic infection that is frequently spread through sexual contact.

These are some additional crucial vaginitis warning signs and symptoms:

  • Change in color, odor or amount of discharge from your vagina
  • Vaginal itching or irritation
  • Pain during sex
  • Painful urination
  • Light vaginal bleeding or spotting

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Cloudy urine can be a symptom of some common sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, like gonorrhea and chlamydia.

White blood cells, which are produced by the immune system in response to these illnesses, combine with urine to give it a cloudy appearance.

Other signs of STIs besides cloudy urine include:

  • Genital itching
  • Genital pain
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pain during ejaculation
  • Pain during urination
  • Sores on genitals
  • Foul-smelling discharge from genitals

Using protection while engaging in sexual activity is the best way to stop the spread of STIs. Regular STI testing can aid in early diagnosis and treatment for patients.

Kidney infection

Kidney infections, a serious form of infection in the kidneys, can result from UTIs. Kidney damage that is permanent can result from an untreated kidney infection. According to Dr. Ramin, kidney infections do occasionally result in cloudy urine.

UTI symptoms may or may not be present, as well as the following symptoms of a kidney infection:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Pain in your back, side, or groin
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Cloudy, dark, bloody, or foul-smelling pee
  • Frequent, painful urination

If someone exhibits these symptoms, they should visit their doctor as soon as possible to ensure a proper diagnosis and course of action. Early UTI treatment can ease discomfort and reduce complications.

Kidney Stones

According to Dr. Ramin, kidney stones can also make the urine appear cloudy. Larger stones can block the urinary tract and result in a UTI, but smaller stones may pass through the body without any problems. The most typical sign of kidney stones passing is excruciating pain below the ribs, usually on one side or in the lower back. The groin or lower abdomen may also experience pain.

Additional signs include:

  • Pain during urination
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Bloody, or dark-tinged urine
  • Foul-smelling urine

Some kidney stones will naturally pass through the urinary tract without the need for treatment.


According to Dr. Ramin, some patients with cloudy urine may also have proteinuria, which is characterized by higher levels of protein in the urine. Innocuous symptoms like dehydration or strenuous exercise can be the cause, as can more serious conditions like kidney disease or immune disorders. Protein leaks into the urine in patients with proteinuria who “typically have some kind of kidney failure, diabetes out of control, or high blood pressure out of control,” according to Dr. Ramin.

What is the specific types of food?

Even though it happens less frequently, some foods can cause cloudy urine.

According to Dr. Ramin, beets in particular can cause urine to appear cloudy pink or red.


Dr. Ramin claims that some antibiotics and chemotherapies can also cause cloudy urine.

How to treat cloudy urine

According to Dr. Ramin, cloudy urine is only a symptom and not a disease. Therefore, once someone has cloudy urine, we need to figure out where the source is.

To check for bacteria or other germs in a urine sample, a urologist will typically perform a urinalysis with a urine culture. If bacteria are present in the culture, Dr. Ramin explains, “we will then prescribe antibiotics that are specific to the bacteria that are present in the urine.”

Dr. Ramin says that occasionally we find that there is no infection. “So, if there is protein in the urine, a urinalysis can tell us whether it is present or not… We need to investigate and determine the cause if there is a high level of protein in the urine. As previously mentioned, these patients frequently experience some form of kidney failure, as well as chronically high blood sugar or high blood pressure, all of which cause protein to leak into the urine.

There are other tests that could be performed in addition to a urine culture and urinalysis to determine the cause of your cloudy urine. According to Dr. Ramin, these examinations might involve ultrasounds of the pelvis, prostate, or kidneys. He continues, “Occasionally, we may need to perform a CT to obtain better imagery and comprehend the circumstance.” He also adds that urologists occasionally perform cystoscopies to actually look inside the urethra, prostate, and bladder to identify the problem.

How to avoid cloudy urination?

According to Dr. Ramin, staying hydrated is the best way to avoid cloudy urine. Drink a lot of liquids, including electrolytes and water.

However, he cautions, “it’s very important that they see a medical professional to make sure it’s not a sign of something more serious” if a person experiences cloudy urine for an extended period of time.

When to see a doctor

According to Dr. Ramin, you are probably fine and don’t need to see a doctor if your cloudy urine was an isolated incident that went away on its own and you are not experiencing any other symptoms.

Dr. Ramin advises patients to visit a doctor if the condition persists and they notice cloudy urine every time they urinate over the course of a day or two. The author also adds that “if you’re having other symptoms like burning when urinating, urgency when urinating, frequent urination, pain in the pelvic area, fevers, and/or blood in the urine, those are all signs that they should immediately seek medical attention.”

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