During pregnancy, there are so many changes that take place inside your body, from your hormones being slightly off kilter to the little human growing inside your belly.
Every month brings on many changes and if you are a first-time mom-to-be, invariably something else to worry about.
Like cloudy urine during pregnancy – what causes it and could it be a health problem?
Urine is a good indicator of our overall health, from the color to the consistency and the smell. The general rule of thumb is that healthy urine is clear, but some women might notice cloudy pee when pregnant.
There are many reasons for this, and while some can be treated quickly, either with a change of diet or more liquids, others might need medication or even close observation throughout the pregnancy.
A normal urine sample is clear, or it might have a slightly yellow or gold color and be odor-free. However, if this changes, it could mean there is an underlying problem.
Before you panic, it is important to remember that your urine might be cloudy, especially in the morning because it has been lying in your bladder all night.
But if other symptoms are showing up with the cloudy urine, like a burning sensation, discomfort or pain in the abdominal or back area, an unpleasant smell, and even incontinence, you have to make an appointment to see your GP or gynecologist as soon as possible.
Two common reasons your urine might become cloudy, especially in the first few months of being pregnant is because of your hormones and the food you are eating.
Yep, those pesky hormones cause havoc during your pregnancy.
Your body produces hCG after the placenta is formed and this causes a change in hormone levels, the rise in hormone levels in turn cause your urine to become cloudy.
This will happen over the next few weeks, usually settling down by the end of your first trimester. If there aren’t any other symptoms accompanying it, you don’t need to worry because it will clear up on its own.
Sudden changes in your diet could also result in your urine changing color and it even developing a slight odor.
Too much dairy, orange juice and asparagus will certainly cause this. The good idea is to keep a food diary and eliminate any foods that might trigger this or aggravate it. Also, the diary can help you battling with morning sickness.
Another reason could be you have a large meal before going to bed, and it could result in cloudy urine because of phosphate crystals that are extracted through the urine. Again, this is a temporary condition and will resolve itself without medication or a visit to your doctor.
If you have eliminated the possibilities as mentioned above and your urine is still cloudy, has changed consistency and had an odor, there might be an underlying health problem that will need a visit to your healthcare provider.
Proteinuria or High Protein in Urine usually happens in the last trimester as a result of high concentrations of protein in your urine.
It is important to have a look at it because proteinuria is considered an early warning sign of preeclampsia, a serious condition that can be fatal if not treated.
Another possible reason for cloudy urine during pregnancy is a UTI or Urinary Tract Infection. This is associated with a need to wee more often along with a burning sensation.
UTI affects 2-4% of pregnant women, and while it might not be life-threatening, it is incredibly painful, and you will need prescribed medication to treat it.
Dehydration affects people in so many ways.
If you aren’t getting enough water during the day (at least 8-10 glasses), there is a good chance you will notice a cloudy appearance to your urine during pregnancy. A good indication of dehydration is if your urine is darker in color.
Upping your water intake might help. However, dehydration itself could be caused by an underlying health issue, which will need a visit to your doctor.
Aargh! Kidney stones, the closest pain to childbirth a man might experience.
Kidney stones can change the appearance of your urine, causing it to be cloudy because of the pus in the urine. If you notice this with an odor, it is a possible sign of kidney stones, and you need to see your doctor to get rid of them.
The pain associated with them is excruciating and they can tear against the ureters and block your urinary tract. Interestingly enough not having enough liquid, as in being dehydrated can lead to kidney stones.
Some medicines can change the appearance of your urine.
Although not necessarily harmful, it might be a good idea to check the side effects, if any, of the medication to make sure it’s not that. It is worth mentioning any medicines you might be taking to your doctor before or during pregnancy.
Another reason for cloudy urine is because of vaginal discharge, which can be due to sexually transmitted diseases including gonorrhea. If you think this might be the case, you have to make an appointment with your doctor to treat it effectively.
As a rule of thumb, if you notice a change in your urine for a day or two with no secondary symptoms then there isn’t anything to worry about.
But if it persists and you experience cramping, pains, burning, itching or anything else that doesn’t feel "right", it is best to see your doctor, especially when it comes to an expectant mom and her unborn baby.
If at any point something doesn’t feel right or you are concerned, it is best to see your healthcare provider. A relaxed mom-to-be equals a happy pregnancy and a happy baby.
Amy Duncan is the founder of KindMommy, a blog where she's providing helpful information about pregnancy and many useful tips for young parents. Besides writing, Amy loves to cook and travel with her friends and family. You can also find Amy on Twitter (@AmyKindmommy).