Finding trace amounts of mucus in your urine is not something that should concern you. However, if you begin to see mucus in excess, make an appointment to speak with your doctor. Mucus can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI) or other medical condition.
What is mucus in urine?
Mucus is a thick, often cloudy substance produced in multiple areas of the body. It can serve as a barrier or lubricant. Excessive mucus, or mucus in areas of the body where it is uncommon, can signal that something is wrong.
Excessive mucus in your urine is your body’s way of protecting you from some medical condition. It can help to protect you from potentially dangerous germs called microbes.
Since many factors can cause mucus to appear in urine, your doctor may look for other common symptoms or changes to determine the exact cause:
- Change in color – clear or yellow to dark, sometimes red-brown
- Clarity – your urine should be clear and not cloudy
- Odor – a strong smell is not usual in urine
- PH balance – this represents if the urine is acidic or alkaline in nature
- Glucose – sugar levels should remain low in urine output
- Nitrites – this is a specific bacteria that causes UTIs
- Protein – similar to sugar, protein is not typically found in urine output
It’s probably not an everyday occurrence for you to inspect your urine when you go to the bathroom, so mucus is easy to miss. However, if you experience any other symptoms like pain, burning, and urgency, it is important to check for mucus so you can get a diagnosis.
Aside from visually identifying mucus in your urine, a doctor will order labs to test your urine for abnormalities. Specialists will also view your urine sample under a microscope to see if mucus is present and, if it is, determine its cause.
The most common reason that mucus can appear in your urine is a UTI. It comes with a sense of urgency to use the bathroom or the need to urinate frequently. When you do urinate, there may be a burning sensation that lingers afterward.
A UTI is sometimes referred to as a bladder infection, since it can affect several parts of the urinary tract, from the urethra to the bladder. It is important to treat a UTI quickly before more permanent damage is done to your body.
While less common than a UTI, kidney stones are also a cause for mucus, or even blood, to be in your urine. Kidney stones that remain in your kidneys may not cause symptoms, but once they leave the kidney and enter the urinary tract, you may see mucus.
For those who are sexually active, another cause of mucus in urine may be STDs. Many STDs present very few visual symptoms, so mucus in your urine is a red flag to pay attention to. Redness and itching may accompany mucus in your urine.
Who can get it
Mucus can develop in anyone’s urine. Is a very common symptom associated with medical conditions that affect your urinary tract. Half of all women will experience a UTI at some point in their lives. Kidney stones are slightly more common in men, meaning that they may see mucus in their urine as well.
Young children are also very susceptible to UTIs, with girls more likely to develop them than boys. Older children may complain of pain or burning, leading you to discover mucus. It’s most often caused by bacteria on the lower part of the urinary tract because of the introduction of bacteria.
Treatments for mucus in urine
Treatment plans will vary from person-to-person and depend on what diagnosis you receive. Your provider will customize a treatment plan based on the severity of your symptoms and specific needs. In many cases, if your mucus in your urine is caused by an infection, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to heal and prevent further infection as a result of bacteria.
In the case of mucus in the urine caused by STDs, treatment may require a more specialized medicine. If mucus in your urine indicates kidney stones, you may require therapy that breaks up the stones so they can pass more easily. As a last resort, your doctor may schedule surgery for their removal.
All treatments will depend on the severity of symptoms and how long your diagnosis has continued without treatment. After treating your diagnosis, you may have to make lifestyle changes to prevent future problems. This may include drinking more water, following a healthier diet, and keeping up a better hygiene routine.
Possible complications and side effects
Some of the causes, such as UTIs and other infections, are easily treated with minimal side effects except typical side effects of antibiotics your doctor may prescribe.
If the mucus in your urine came from an STD like syphilis, for example, you could face serious complications related to the syphilis if left untreated. Bladder cancer, too, requires quick medical intervention.
Check with your doctor to be sure you understand what’s causing the mucus in your urine, and work together to select the best treatment plan that will minimize possible complications and side effects and get you feeling better soon.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
American Cancer Association: "Bladder cancer signs and symptoms."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Urinary Tract Infection."
Harvard Health Publishing: "Changes in urine – When to see a doctor."
Harvard University: "All about that mucus: How it keeps us healthy."
KidsHealth: "Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)."
MedlinePlus: "Kidney Stones."
MedlinePlus: “Mucus in Urine."
MedlinePlus: "Sexually transmitted diseases."
Michigan Medicine: "Urine Test."
National Association for Continence: "What Causes a Urinary Tract Infection and How Do You Treat It?"
National Kidney Foundation: "Kidney Stones."
Test Result: "Mucus in Urine."
UCSF Health: "Urinalysis."