Mucus is a gelatinous, yellow colored colloid that is found to be present in different tissues of the body such as the lungs, the large intestines, etc. The mucous membranes produce the mucus. The intestinal tracts are lubricated by the presence of mucus in the inner walls of the intestines which shields them and also facilitates easier excretion of fecal material.
The urine generally has a clear look to it. However, the presence of mucus in urine can give a cloudy look. The occurrence of mucus in urine can be a symptom of various abnormalities of the immune system, the excretory system and/or the reproductive system. Mucus in urine may also indicate the presence of underlying conditions such as urinary tract infection, cystitis or calculi.
Causes of mucus in urine
One may sometimes detect traces of mucus in the feces and it is usually thought to be normal. However, the presence of mucus in urine is definitely nor normal. It is important to undergo a complete diagnosis to determine the cause of mucus in urine.
A few possible causes of mucus in urine are listed below:
- UTI or urinary tract infection: This is one of the most common causes of mucus in urine. The urinary system is made of different parts such as the kidneys, urethra, bladder and ureters. Bacterial infection of the urinary tract may occur when bacteria pass onto the urinary system via the bloodstream or when there is contact of skin with bacteria during urination. In the latter case the bacteria generally enter the urinary tract via the urethra and then spread to other regions of the urinary system. The urinary bladder is most vulnerable to bacterial infections though other areas can also get infection. One of the most common signs of urinary tract infection is the sensation of pain or burning during urination.
- STD or sexually transmitted diseases: When the urinary system is infected by sexually transmitted organisms like Chlamydia or gonorrhea, then it can result in mucus in urine. Such urine that contains mucus is eliminated from the body via the urethra. When the urinary system is infected by sexually transmitted diseases, then it results in urine that is cloudy, unclear and more yellowish than usual.
- IBS or irritable bowel syndrome: IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder that results in short-term abnormalities of the large intestine. Irritable bowel syndrome can cause increased manufacture of mucus by the mucous membranes present within the intestines. Such increased quantities of mucus may occasionally be eliminated from the body via the urethra and make its presence felt in the form of mucus in urine.
- Ulcerative colitis: It is condition that causes damage to the mucus membranes of the intestines leading to increased production of mucus by the intestinal membranes. Individuals with ulcerative colitis experience clear and unique signs and symptoms that indicate the presence of ulcers and also inflammation of the intestinal mucous membranes. The ulcers tend to secrete yellowish mucus which can travel into the urinary system and eliminate via the urethra. This can be seen as mucus in urine.
- Urachal cancer: It is an uncommon form of cancer in which one may detect the abnormal growth of cells in the urinary bladder. This can then lead to increase urine outflow. Most of the tests conducted for the presence of urachal or bladder cancer have detected the presence of mucus in urine. Hence, when doctors notice mucus in urine, they also recommend testing for bladder/urachal cancer.
- Kidney stones: Individuals affected by kidney stones generally experience mucus in urine as one of the symptoms along with putrid smelling urine. Hence, mucus in urine can also be considered as an indication of the presence of kidney stones or of other abnormalities that cause urinary blockage. People with urinary system obstruction disorders may also experience signs such as severe cramps and pain in the pelvic and abdominal area. Surgery is usually used as the last option to treat kidney stones.
Treatment of mucus in urine
- When any individual notices the urine to be cloudy and/or the presence of mucus in urine, then it is important to immediately consult a doctor. The doctor will recommend several tests to verify the cause of mucus in urine and also to rule out the presence of life threatening conditions.
- The symptoms of mucus in urine can become elevated due to dehydration. Hence, it is important for the affected person to hydrate oneself by intake of large quantities of water. This will also facilitate the flushing out of infections affecting the urinary tract.
- Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and abstaining from alcohol will be needed to recover from urinary tract infections or other causes of mucus in urine. Also, a healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables will help boost the immune system to fight off the infection.
- One also has to maintain complete personal hygiene, especially of the genital area, to get rid of mucus in urine. One should wear loose undergarments to allow the area to breathe.
- Individuals affected by mucus in urine should always wear a condom during sexual intercourse to avoid passing on the infection to the partner.