Mucus is a jelly-like fluid with a dense consistency naturally produced by the body for different purposes including lubrication and protection. The presence of mucus in normal and small amounts is common and does not indicate any underlying medical condition. In case of serious medical conditions like UTI, STI, UC, or Pregnancy, you might notice unusual amounts of mucus. Getting yourself checked for a medical consultation is good if it stays persistent and becomes denser or thicker with time.
What is mucus?
Mucus is the transparent or white liquidity texture present in the body for various important reasons, including moisture, protection, and lubrication in the digestive process. It can also be termed as “phlegm” if present in the respiratory tract in response to an infection.
Its production in the body is normal in the usual amounts with a transparent to white color. In the case of an underlying medical or pathological condition, it changes its viscosity and becomes denser, says Dr. Richard Honekar. It also changes the color in case of bacterial infection in the body.
Causes of mucus in the urine
It is usually normal for the mucus to be seen in the urine or cervical area in usual amounts and in a white or transparent color. If it is denser than usual or changes in color, it is good to get yourself checked with the healthcare provider to know the underlying cause.
Urine color, frequency, nature, and mucus can tell a lot about your health. Any deviation from the normal color, frequency, and volume can indicate the underlying medical condition.
Mucus, with the occurrence of a medical condition, can change and become denser than normal. The causes of mucus in urine can be:
1. Regular Discharge
It’s totally normal to have mucus discharge in the urine normally. It will appear as the white transparent sticky material in your urine with a specific consistency.
In women, having mucus in the urine can also indicate changes in hormones as well as the normal menstruation cycle and birth control effects depending on the age of the woman.
In men, it can indicate normal functioning if it’s in the normal amount; if it exceeds the limit of usual and stays for more than three days, it’s good to get yourself checked for the medical condition as it might be an indication of an underlying problem affecting the normal fertility of men.
What is the treatment?
If the mucus in your urine is in a normal amount and does not change its color, there is no specific treatment for that as it doesn’t indicate any medical condition.
2. Urinary tract infection
Urinary tract infections can be caused by bacteria, leading to mucus and changes in the urine. The prevalence of UTI is the same in older men and women, while the probability changes with the changes in Age. The probability of the UTI changes in the young sexually active individuals.
As per the National Institute of Health, Sexually active women tend to have more Urinary tract infections from spermicidal contraceptives, while the women who are less active sexually have less probability of having urinary tract infections.
The common symptoms you will experience with the CTA will be :
- Changes in the mucus color with the urine.
- Burning sensation while passing the urine.
What is the Treatment for UTI?
Urinary tract infections can only be treated after they are diagnosed by the healthcare provider. Getting the medical consultation at the right time for the correct diagnosis is beneficial. Over-the-counter medication like Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Advil (ibuprofen) can work for pain in the genital area or stomach discomfort.
3. Sexually transmitted infections
Sexually transmitted diseases are one of the leading causes of changes in the mucus in the urine of young individuals due to involvement in sexual activity. Sexually transmitted diseases include chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Both can present with symptoms like pain in the genital areas along with a red or pink color in the urine. It can cause the urine and the mucus to be darker in color and denser comparatively. It’s usually red in case of chlamydia and yellowish/cloudy in case of gonorrhea.
STI can only be diagnosed and treated by the healthcare provider. It’s good to get yourself checked and start the medication for the Sexually transmitted disease.
4. Irritable bowel syndrome
As the name indicates, it’s a disorder that affects the body’s digestive system.
Irritable bowel syndrome affects the mucus produced in the digestive system, which then can be released with the stool. When the mucus in the stool gets mixed with the urine, one tends to think that the mucus is present in the urine.
Symptoms of IBS include:
- Mucus in the stool
- Abdominal pain
- Gas or bloating
How can IBS Treated?
Your healthcare provider will suggest dietary changes to your normal intake for better intake and to decrease the chances of gut flora growing more and causing digestive problems. Foods enriched in fiber will increase the digestion problem and decrease the irritation of your IBS.
Over-the-counter pain medication can be helpful for stomach pain and cramping. Antispasmodic medications like Buscopan (hyoscine butylbromide ) will be prescribed for the bloating and spasms in the stomach.
5. Kidney stones
Kidney stone is a serious medical condition that can be caused by the accumulation of salts and minerals in the kidney. They won’t hurt and stay asymptomatic till they stay inside the kidney. Once the stones from the kidney travel to the urethra or ureters, they can cause extreme pain, and broken fragments can be seen when passing the urine.
Not just the stones in the urine; mucus is often observed with kidney stones. other symptoms are:
- Persistent blood in the urine
What is the treatment for it?
Usually, there is no treatment for the smaller kidney stones. They will break by themselves and will pass in the urine. For the larger ones, you might need extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, a procedure where the stones are broken down into smaller pieces to pass from the urine.
Symptoms will subside eventually after all the accumulation and stones pass by the urine.
6. Ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis is also a digestive system condition where ulcers are produced majorly in the last part of the digestive tract. Like IBS, it won’t release in the urine but in the stool. It will get mixed with the urine, and you might think it’s the urine carrying excessive mucus.
Ulcers in ulcerative colitis can irritate the digestive system, where the body will respond by making excessive mucus, which will be excreted through the body when passing the bowel.
Symptoms of UC include :
What are the treatment options for UC?
UC can be moderate to severe. Your healthcare provider will prescribe you the UC medication, including over-the-counter pain medications, antibiotics for infections, and anti-inflammatory medication for the betterment of the body’s response to the ulcers.
Immunosuppressants will also be prescribed to the patient with severe UC to manage the response of the body in the production of excessive mucus for UC.
7. Bladder cancer
Excessive and persistent mucus in the urine can be a sign of bladder cancer, but it’s very rare. Urine gets stored in the urinary bladder before its excretion and will be excreted out whenever you pass the urine.
Not only mucus, but it will be paired with abdominal cramps, blood in the urine, and gradual weight loss. Holding urine might become a problem for people with cancer in the bladder.
What is the treatment?
It can only be diagnosed and treated with the healthcare provider’s support.
You will be suggested to get the ultrasound and imaging tests done for diagnostic purposes.
Pregnancy comes with a lot of signs and symptoms, which include noticing mucus in the urine. They can be observed in the first to third trimesters in the pregnancy and will be gone till the late pregnancy.
Tests for mucus in the urine:
Healthcare providers suggest Urinanalysis, which is the test involving the sample collection of the urine, which will be tested in the lab for the results.
Tests for mucus in urine will include
- Stool sample
Your lab results will indicate any underlying condition causing mucus in the urine, and treatment will be according to that.
When to see your doctor
Mucus in the urine or stool is usual, and small amounts in common and don’t need a medical consultation if the mucus changes its color and becomes thicker while staying persistently in the urine and stool; it’s good to get yourself checked by the healthcare provider.
No, it’s not. You don’t get the mucus when you get a cold or flu. If you are, getting yourself checked with the healthcare provider is beneficial to get the correct diagnosis and treatment.
White strings can be caused due to kidney stones, UTI, STI, or ulcerative colitis, causing white strings in the urine. Getting a medical consultation for any query related to mucus in your urine is good.