Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Normal urine is clear and has a straw-yellow color. When the urine does not have its characteristic clear appearance, it is often referred to as cloudy, turbid, or foamy urine. Cloudy or foamy urine may occur occasionally due to mild dehydration; when it occurs in the absence of symptoms and goes away rapidly, it is usually of little consequence. Certain conditions can cause excess protein or crystalline substances in the urine, causing it to persistently appear cloudy or foamy. Infections anywhere in the urinary tract (UTIs), including the bladder or urethra, in both men and women, can cause blood and pus to appear in the urine, giving it a cloudy appearance. Additionally, many of the numerous causes of blood in the urine can yield a cloudy or murky appearance to the urine due to the presence of blood. In women with vaginitis (such as yeast vaginitis or sexually transmitted infections [sexually transmitted diseases, STDs] like gonorrhea), the vaginal discharge, if present, may sometimes contaminate the urine sample, making the urine appear cloudy.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Causes of Cloudy Urine
Bladder Infection (Cystitis)
Bladder infection is an infection of the bladder, usually caused by bacteria or, rarely, by Candida. Certain people, including...
Dehydration is the excessive loss of body water. There are a number of causes of dehydration including heat exposure, prolonged...
Gonorrhea In Women
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection transmitted during sexual contact. In women, symptoms include a yellow vaginal discharge,...
Interstitial Cystitis (IC)
Interstitial cystitis (IC)/painful bladder syndrome (PBS) is an inflammatory disease of the bladder that can cause ulceration and...
Kidney Failure (Symptoms, Signs, Stages, Causes, and Treatment)
Kidney failure can occur from an acute event or a chronic condition or disease. Prerenal kidney failure is caused by blood loss,...
Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)
Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) usually is caused from bacteria that have spread from the bladder from a UTI (urinary tract...
Kidney stones are solid masses of crystalline material that form in the kidneys. Symptoms of kidney stones can include pain,...
Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate Gland)
Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Causes of prostatitis include STDs, bacteria from urinary tract...
Schistosomiasis (snail fever), a disease caused by parasites, causes a variety of symptoms and signs, such as cough, rash and...
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra. E. coli, a type of bacteria that...
Vaginitis refers to inflammation of the vagina. Vaginitis can be caused by infections, menopause, or poor hygiene. Symptoms of...
Other Causes of Cloudy Urine
- Bladder Stones
- Calcium Pyrophosphate Crystals
- Goodpasture's Syndrome
- Nephrotic Syndrome
- Retrograde Ejaculation
- Uric Acid Crystals (Hyperuricemia)
Examples of Medications for Cloudy Urine
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