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Reasons urine is cloudy: What Causes Cloudy Urine in Women and Men?


What Causes Cloudy Urine in Women and Men?

Cloudy urine can be caused by many different medical conditions, ranging from relatively benign to severe. These conditions can include dehydration, a urinary tract infection, sexually transmitted infections, kidney stones, diabetes, and others.

Sometimes cloudy urine indicates an increase in protein, crystalline substances, blood, pus, or other chemicals in your urine. Medical professionals use other language to describe cloudy urine. They might use words like milky, foamy, turbid white urine, or the term albinuria. (1)

Dehydration — Especially Risky in the Young and Elderly

Many people know that darker-colored urine is a sign of dehydration, but cloudy urine can also indicate that you’re not getting enough water.

It’s particularly risky for young children and older adults to become dehydrated. You’re also at increased risk for dehydration during hot weather or if you’ve been exercising strenuously, vomiting, experiencing diarrhea, or have had a fever. (2)

In addition to cloudy urine, these signs can accompany dehydration:

  • Dark urine
  • Less-frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

If you start to experience diarrhea, disorientation, vomiting, or bloody or black stool, seek medical attention immediately for dehydration.

Mild to moderate dehydration is treated by drinking more fluids like water. But severe dehydration may require treatment in which intravenous (IV) fluids are administered at a doctor’s office or emergency room in addition to oral rehydration.

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7 Common Causes of Cloudy Urine

Written by Stephanie Watson

Medically Reviewed by Murtaza Cassoobhoy, MD on May 28, 2023

  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Dehydration
  • Kidney Stones
  • Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)
  • Retrograde Ejaculation
  • Blood in the Urine
  • Prostate Problems
  • More

If you notice that your urine looks cloudy instead of its usual clear, yellowish color, it could be due to infections, kidney stones, or other changes in your health. Sometimes pain or other symptoms go along with it. The sooner you learn the cause, the quicker you can get the treatment you need.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) happens when bacteria get into your bladder, kidneys, or urethra. That’s where urine comes out. Along with cloudy urine, you’ll notice symptoms like:

  • Burning or pain when you pee
  • A need to go more often than usual
  • Leaking urine
  • Smelly or bloody urine
  • Pain in your lower belly

Your doctor will likely suggest antibiotics to clear up the infection. Finish all the pills that they prescribe to make sure all the bacteria get killed.

Call your doctor if you:

  • Get a fever higher than 100.5 F
  • Have chills
  • Feel pain in your lower belly or flank
  • Are nauseated or throwing up

Your urine can turn cloudy when you don’t drink enough. A lack of fluid makes urine more concentrated. It will also turn a darker color.

You can solve this problem by drinking more water every day. When you get enough fluids, your urine will be clear and light yellow in color.

Call your doctor if you:

  • Feel dizzy or faint
  • Get confused
  • Have a fast heartbeat
  • Are breathing hard

Kidney stones are crystals that form in your kidneys out of minerals and salts in your urine. Large stones can make urine back up in your bladder or another part of your urinary tract. They can cause pain, sometimes severe. You might hurt on your side and lower back, or when you pee.

Your urine could get cloudy or have blood in it. It could also be smelly or look red, pink, or brown.

Some other symptoms you might have are:

  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting

Some kidney stones come out on their own in your urine. Doctors can do a noninvasive procedure to break up stones that are too big to pass through urine. Sometimes, people need surgery to remove stones.

Call your doctor if you:

  • Have severe pain in your back or side
  • Feel nauseated or throw up
  • Have to go all the time
  • Have a burning sensation when you pee
  • Notice urine that is pink or red

STIs are viral or bacterial infections you catch from a partner during sex. Infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea cause a milky discharge from the penis or vagina that can turn the urine cloudy.

Other signs that you have an STI are:

  • Green, yellow, or bloody discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Pain or burning when you pee or have sex
  • Itching around the penis or vagina

Call your doctor if you have symptoms of an STI. Antibiotics can cure infections caused by bacteria. If a virus caused your STI, medicines can treat the symptoms.

Normally when a man has an orgasm, semen travels out of their body through their penis. In retrograde ejaculation, semen backs up into the bladder. This causes a dry orgasm without any fluid. The urine is cloudy right after an orgasm because it contains semen.

Retrograde ejaculation happens when the muscle at the opening of the bladder doesn’t close tightly enough. Nerve problems from diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), or medicines are possible causes.

You may not need treatment for this condition unless you want to start a family and you can’t get your partner pregnant. Your doctor can suggest medicines to keep your bladder closed during sex.

Call your doctor if little or no semen comes out when you have an orgasm and you want to have a child.

Cloudiness is sometimes due to blood in the urine. Blood can stain the yellow urine red, pink, or brown.

Blood in your urine could mean you have a UTI, kidney stones, or an enlarged prostate. Rarely, it can be a sign of cancer in your urinary tract. See your doctor to get this symptom checked out.

Call your doctor if your urine looks red or pink, especially if you also have pain, fever, or other symptoms.

The prostate gland adds fluid to sperm in men. This gland wraps around the urethra, the tube that urine travels through as it moves out of the body.

Any swelling of the prostate can block the flow of urine. Blood or debris can then build up in the trapped urine and turn it cloudy.

When urine is cloudy due to prostate problems, you might also have symptoms like:

  • Pain or burning when you pee
  • Dribbling or trouble starting to urinate
  • An urgent need to go, or frequent urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain when you ejaculate
  • Fever and chills

Your treatment depends on what’s causing the problem. You may get medicines to treat an infection or to shrink your swollen prostate.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have to pee all the time
  • You get up during the night to pee
  • When you pee, urine dribbles out
  • You see blood in your pee or semen
  • It hurts when you pee or have an orgasm
  • You have pain in your lower back, hips, groin, or upper thighs


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Cloudy urine: causes and treatments


  • 1 Cloudy urine: causes and how to deal with the problem
    • 1. 1 Cloudy urine: concept and cause
    • 1.2 Why does cloudy urine occur?
    • 1.3 Cloudy urine problems
    • 1.4 Diagnosis of cloudy urine
    • 1.5 Treatment of cloudy urine
    • 1.6 Medicines for cloudy urine
    • 1.7 Folk treatments cloudy urine
    • 1.8 Diet in the treatment of cloudy urine
      • 1.8.1 Basic principles of nutrition
      • 1.8.2 What can you eat?
      • 1.8.3 Drinking regimen
      • 1.8.4 What should be avoided?
    • 1.9 Preventing cloudy urine
    • 1.10 When should you seek medical attention for cloudy urine?
      • 1.10.1 Call your doctor immediately if:
    • cause cloudy urine?
    • What symptoms may accompany cloudy urine?
    • What are the treatments for cloudy urine?
    • How to prevent cloudy urine?
    • Can home remedies help cloudy urine?
    • Can cloudy urine be a health hazard?

Turbid urine is a symptom of a malfunction in the urogenital system of the body. The article will talk about the causes of cloudy urine and the need to see a doctor to identify possible diseases.

One of the most common symptoms of diseases of the urinary system is a change in the color of the urine. Kidney, bladder, or urethral problems often show up as cloudy urine, which can be a sign of a serious problem.

Cloudy urine is due to the accumulation of various elements such as protein compounds, mineral crystals, cells or bacteria. Some diseases of the urinary system, such as infections or kidney stones, can cause cloudy urine, as well as other symptoms such as pain, burning, or painful urination.

However, cloudy urine may also be due to other factors, such as changes in diet, use of certain medications, or increased alcohol consumption. To find out the cause of turbidity of urine, it is necessary to diagnose and consult a specialist in time.

Cloudy urine: concept and cause

Cloudy urine is a change in the normal color of the urine, which becomes cloudy, singing and visible as a solid particle. This may indicate various health problems such as a urinary tract infection, kidney or bladder disease that require medical attention. In addition, it may be due to lifestyle changes such as diet or fluid intake.

In addition, cloudy urine may be associated with a specific lifestyle. For example, high protein intake or lack of fluids can cause phosphate deposits to form in the urine, which also causes it to become cloudy. People who play active sports or work in hot weather may also experience changes in their urine. The rough work of the kidneys, associated with an excessive load on the kidneys, leads to a disruption in the process of actual filtration of urine, which causes blockage and turbidity.

Why does urine become cloudy?

Cloudy urine can be caused by a variety of reasons, ranging from a simple lack of fluid in the body to serious diseases of the kidneys and urinary tract.

One of the main causes of cloudy urine is a metabolic disorder in the body. This may be due to an unbalanced diet, intense physical exertion, thyroid dysfunction, and other causes.

Diseases of the urinary system can also cause cloudy urine. These can be diseases such as cystitis, pyelonephritis, glomerulonephritis and others. In these cases, the urine becomes not only cloudy, but may contain blood, protein, and other impurities.

In some cases, cloudy urine may be associated with exhaustion of the body or malfunction of organs. For example, if you have diabetes, your urine may become cloudy due to high blood sugar levels.

  • It is important to understand that cloudy urine is not normal and needs attention from a doctor.
  • Finding out the cause of cloudy urine is important for the correct treatment of the disease and the preservation of health.

Cloudy urine problems

Cloudy urine can be a sign of a number of urinary problems. It may indicate the presence of proteins, red blood cells, and other substances that are not normally excreted in a healthy body.

One of the main problems associated with cloudy urine is an increased risk of urinary tract infections. Patients who experience this phenomenon often experience discomfort during urination, feel pain and may observe changes in the color of urine.

Cloudy urine can also be a symptom of chronic kidney failure. This condition of the body is characterized by the fact that the work of the kidneys deteriorates over time, which can lead to dangerous complications.

Many of the problems associated with cloudy urine may not appear immediately. Therefore, in case of repeated cases of observed changes in the color of urine, a specialist should be consulted to identify the cause and prescribe the necessary treatment.

Diagnosis of cloudy urine

In case of changes in the color and transparency of urine, it is necessary to consult a urologist or general practitioner. To diagnose turbidity of urine, a general urine test is performed, which allows you to determine the presence of pathological processes in the urinary system.

It is important to note that turbidity of urine can be a symptom not only of urological diseases, but also of other pathological conditions, such as liver disease, diabetes mellitus, urinary tract infections, and others. Therefore, the doctor conducts extensive diagnostics to determine the source of the problem and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Treatment of cloudy urine

Cloudy urine can be a sign of various diseases of the urinary system. Treatment depends on the cause , therefore, a consultation with a urologist is necessary to make an accurate diagnosis and select an individual treatment regimen.

One of the first steps in treating cloudy urine is to drink enough water to dilute the urine and pass it out more easily.

If you have a urinary tract infection antibiotics are prescribed to help eliminate the pathogen and improve the functioning of the urinary system.

  1. In cases where turbidity is due to urolithiasis , treatment is aimed at reducing the size of the stones by taking diuretics and a special diet.
  2. Kidney disease that can lead to cloudy urine is treated with medications that help protect kidney tissue, restore function, and prevent swelling.

The use of folk remedies and especially self-treatment in case of cloudy urine is not recommended , as incorrect methods of treatment can aggravate the situation and lead to complications. It is necessary to consult a doctor and strictly follow his recommendations.

Medicines for cloudy urine

Cloudy urine can be a sign of various diseases and conditions in the body. Treatment should be aimed at eliminating the underlying cause. One of the methods of treatment is taking medications.

In advanced or chronic urinary tract infections, medications may be used to relieve symptoms. An example of such a drug is drotaverine, which relieves spasms of the smooth muscles of the urinary tract.

Swelling and imbalance of body fluids can lead to cloudy urine. In this case, diuretics are prescribed, for example, furosemide. They increase the excretion of fluid and reduce swelling.

In each case, the treatment of cloudy urine should be carried out under the supervision of a physician, after diagnosis and identification of the cause of this phenomenon. Self-medication can lead to worsening of the condition and the development of complications.

Folk remedies for cloudy urine

There are many folk remedies for cloudy urine that can help resolve this problem without medication. One of the most common ways is to drink plenty of water. To get rid of the accumulation of toxins and improve kidney function, you should drink at least two liters of water a day.

In addition, drinking cranberry juice helps. It has diuretic properties and can improve the condition of the urinary tract. Also useful is the use of decoctions of herbs, such as St. John’s wort, nettle, birch buds. These herbs have diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Another folk remedy is the use of thermal procedures: a heating pad for the kidneys, mud wraps, etc. These procedures help improve blood circulation and speed up the elimination of toxins from the body.
  • Some patients use honey products to treat cloudy urine. Honey, aloe juice, propolis – all this has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to eliminate toxins and microbes from the body.
  • But it is worth remembering that folk methods of treating cloudy urine can be ineffective or even harmful and contraindicated in some cases. Therefore, before using any traditional medicines, it is best to consult a doctor.

Diet in the treatment of cloudy urine

Basic principles of nutrition

In the treatment of cloudy urine, it is necessary to monitor the quality and quantity of foods consumed. Try to exclude fatty and fried foods, salty and smoked foods, sweets and confectionery from the diet. The diet should be regular, in small portions throughout the day.

What can you eat?

When treating cloudy urine, foods rich in vitamins and minerals should be consumed. It is recommended to increase the intake of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean fish and meat, and low-fat dairy products. It is also useful to consume green tea, watermelon, cranberries and other foods that help cleanse the kidneys and genitourinary system.

Drinking regimen

Regular drinking of water is one of the important aspects in the treatment of cloudy urine. Try to consume at least 1.5-2 liters of fluid throughout the day. Preference should be given to non-carbonated water, green tea, freshly squeezed juices from vegetables and fruits.

What should be excluded?

To avoid aggravation of the situation in the treatment of cloudy urine, coffee, black tea, alcoholic beverages, carbonated drinks, fast food and other foods that can adversely affect the functioning of the kidneys and genitourinary system should be excluded from the diet.

Prevention of cloudy urine

Cloudy urine can be caused by various reasons, so it is important to take care of your health and take preventive measures to prevent its occurrence.

  • Drink enough water regularly to ensure proper hydration levels;
  • Avoid overeating, as overeating can lead to an increase in protein in the urine, which can cause it to become cloudy;
  • Avoid alcohol and other harsh substances that can damage the kidneys and impair urine quality;
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, to strengthen the immune system and reduce the chance of urinary tract infections;
  • Maintain genital hygiene to avoid infections and other possible problems;
  • Visit a doctor for regular check-ups and at the first sign of cloudy urine, a specialist should be consulted to identify and eliminate the causes of this condition.

It is important to understand that preventive measures are necessary to maintain the health of the urinary tract, including the prevention of cloudy urine.

When should you seek medical attention for cloudy urine?

Seek immediate medical attention if:

  • Cloudy urine accompanied by pain in the lower back, abdomen or urination;
  • There are blood, mucus, foam in the urine;
  • Feel painful, careful or frequent urination;
  • In addition to cloudy urine, you have kidney dysfunction (increased urine volume, loss of appetite, swelling).

See a urologist if:

  • Your urine is cloudy all the time and no home remedies are working;
  • You are currently being treated for a urinary tract infection;
  • you have a history of urinary or hereditary kidney disease;
  • You are taking medicines that affect kidney function.

If turbidity is not accompanied by any symptoms, but is simply present, general guidelines should be followed in observing what changes will occur during the next few big days. If cloudiness does not go away, if there is pain in the lower back or in animals, or if other symptoms occur, a doctor should be consulted to assess the condition and determine the need for treatment.

Related videos:


What can cause cloudy urine?

Cloudy urine can result from many factors, including urinary tract infections, kidney stones, prostatitis, bladder cancer, gynecological disorders, and excessive intake of protein, salt, and other substances that can affect urine color.

What symptoms can accompany cloudy urine?

In addition to being cloudy, urine may change color, become reddish, smell strongly, cause pain or discomfort when urinating, discharge from the urinary canal, etc.

What are the treatments for cloudy urine?

Treatment for cloudy urine depends on the specific cause. Antibiotics are often used to fight infections, remove kidney and bladder stones, and undergo surgery for bladder cancer or other tumors. It is also important to control the nutrition and water balance of the body.

How to prevent cloudy urine?

To prevent cloudy urine, it is important to monitor your health and have regular medical check-ups, control fluid intake, and avoid excess protein, salt, and other substances that can affect the color of your urine.

Can home remedies help cloudy urine?

Home methods may help in some cases, such as drinking large amounts of fluid to dilute urine, applying warm compresses to relieve pain, and caring for the genitals to prevent infections. However, it is important to remember that in some cases, such as bladder cancer, home remedies will not work and medical attention should be sought.

Can cloudy urine be a health hazard?

Cloudy urine can be due to serious conditions such as bladder cancer, so it is important to seek medical attention if it persists for a long time or is accompanied by other unusual symptoms. If not treated promptly, cloudy urine can cause further complications and threaten health.

Cloudy urine – reasons why urine is cloudy

The content of the article

  1. What color should urine be?
  2. Causes of cloudy urine
  3. Possible diseases
    1. 3. 1. Cystitis
    2. 3.2. Metabolic disorders
    3. 3.3. Urethritis
    4. 3.4. Prostatitis
    5. 3.5. Retrograde ejaculation
    6. 3.6. Glomerulonephritis and pyelonephritis
    7. 3.7. Presence of urinary stones
    8. 3.8. Liver diseases
    9. 3.9. Abnormal vaginal discharge, vulvovaginitis
    10. 3.10. Sexually transmitted infections
  4. What should I do if my urine becomes cloudy?

What color should urine be?

The normal color of urine is yellow of different shades: from light straw to rich, dark yellow. Such a scatter of options is explained by the presence of urochromes in the urine – special coloring substances, the amount of which determines the intensity of the shade. Urochromes are formed from bilirubin (a substance that colors bile). Together with bile, they first enter the intestines, and then, having been absorbed from it into the blood and oxidized, they are already in the bladder. The more urochromes in urine, the richer and brighter it will be.

Color intensity is affected by fluid volume and frequency of urination [1]. If, for example, you eat half a watermelon or drink a large amount of water at a time, in addition to changing the frequency of urging to the restroom, you can also notice a change in the usual color of urine. It can become much more transparent and watery than usual. On the contrary, a portion of morning urine after a night’s sleep may have a more saturated color than usual due to the fact that you have not been to the toilet for several hours. If the color is unusual and causes concern, this is a reason to immediately seek the advice of a specialist.

Causes of cloudy urine

“Healthy” urine is transparent, only slightly opalescent, pearlescent [2]. Turbidity in the liquid appears if pathological processes occur in the body, accompanied by other symptoms or without them.

Causes that cause cloudy urine, but are not diseases, include:

  • pregnancy and puerperium;
  • dehydration in hot weather, after visiting a bath or sauna;
  • excessive exercise;
  • Too much protein in the diet.

In addition, “stale” urine becomes cloudy, in which bacteria have already begun to multiply.

Transparency will return after the elimination of the cause that caused it. If it does not recover, it is possible that the clouding is caused by some pathology. This is an occasion to consult a specialist for diagnosis and selection of treatment tactics.

Possible diseases


In acute, chronic and recurrent cystitis, urine can change color, transparency, composition and other characteristics. This disease is characterized by cloudy urine of a neutral or alkaline reaction. When analyzing the fluid, a small amount of protein can be detected, the appearance of which is due to leukocytes, erythrocytes, their destruction products, an admixture of exudate, and destroyed cells of the mucous membrane of the urinary organs [3]. Sometimes with cystitis in the urine, mucus and pus can be detected, which also affects its transparency.

All these parameters return to normal with the complex treatment of the disease. In addition to antibiotics for the treatment of cystitis, your doctor may prescribe Phytolysin ® Paste, a natural medicine that is used to relieve the symptoms of cystitis [4].

Phytolysin Paste ® More

It contains natural herbal ingredients and can be successfully used in the complex treatment of cystitis. Due to the diuretic effect, the ability to wash out sand and small stones from the urinary tract and reduce the crystallization of the mineral components of urine, it also acts in the treatment of pyelonephritis – a possible complication of untimely or insufficient treatment of cystitis.

The multi-component natural composition includes nine plant components, as well as four essential oils. Phytolysin ® Paste is easy to use: just dilute a teaspoon in half a glass of water and immediately take the remedy [4].

Metabolic disease

With metabolic disorders and related diseases, for example, with diabetes mellitus or gout, urine can become cloudy due to the presence of salts and glucose in it. The ingress of bacteria into the urine reduces its transparency. In addition, patients with diabetes are more prone to diseases of the genitourinary system. According to studies, bacteriuria is much more common in women with diabetes than without it [5].


With an inflammatory process in the wall of the urethra, urine can also become cloudy. Moreover, this symptom does not depend on the cause that caused the disease, nor on its form – acute or chronic. Turbidity may be accompanied by a change in the smell of the liquid, the appearance of blood drops at the end of urination, and pus impurities [6, 7]. Often, dense threads can be seen in the urine container, which eventually settle to the bottom.


Along with frequent urination, nighttime urge to go to the toilet, pain in the groin and lower back, disorders of sexual function, cloudy urine with mucus is one of the characteristic signs of prostatitis [8].

retrograde ejaculation

Turbidity of this physiological fluid can be observed with retrograde ejaculation. With this violation, part of the sperm during ejaculation remains in the urethra and enters the bladder, causing a change in the transparency of the urine in it. This phenomenon can be caused by certain medications (eg, for high blood pressure, prostatitis, urethral diseases), diabetes mellitus, or medical interventions in the genital area [9].

Glomerulonephritis and pyelonephritis

In these diseases, the fluid contained in the bladder also becomes opaque [10]. The reason for this is the content in it of an increased number of erythrocytes, epithelium and protein.

Presence of urinary stones

Kidney stones or sand are crystals that form from minerals and salts. If large formations block the urinary tract, and smaller ones move along them with fluid flow, this can cause not only acute pain and the appearance of blood drops, but also turbidity, sometimes with an admixture of small stones [11].

Liver disease

Hepatitis and other liver diseases affect the clarity of urine. So, it can become dark, cloudy, sometimes with the inclusion of fat drops [12].

Abnormal vaginal discharge, vulvovaginitis

Physiologically, the urethra and vagina in women are located close to each other. That is why part of the secretions, especially if there are more of them than in a healthy state, can get into the urine and deprive it of transparency.

Most often, vulvovaginitis is caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. However, the causes of inflammation of the vulva and vagina can also be hidden in allergic reactions to hygiene products, soap, spermicides, washing powder or fabric softener. In addition, vulvovaginitis can cause a natural decrease in estrogen levels during breastfeeding or after menopause [13, 14, 15]. One of the symptoms of vulvovaginitis may be a change in the transparency of urine.

Sexually transmitted infections

Viral and bacterial infections transmitted from partner to partner during intercourse cause not only itching, redness, burning and showdown. Many STIs are accompanied by discharge from the vagina or penis. It is these secretions that enter the urine during urination, making it cloudy.

In addition to the above conditions, urine can become cloudy with oncology medications [16] and an overactive bladder [17].

What to do if urine becomes cloudy?

Changes in the color and transparency of urine are one of the first signs that it is time to make an appointment with a doctor. Before visiting a specialist, remember what you ate or drank during the day before the onset of an alarming symptom, whether there were injuries to the abdominal cavity. Write down and tell at the reception what medications you are taking and for what. To make the consultation as effective as possible, it is worth coming to the doctor’s office already prepared: take a general urine test and take the results with you. If necessary, the doctor will prescribe additional examinations for you, but he will be able to draw the first conclusions on the basis of ready-made tests.