Mucus in urine: Causes and treatment

mucus in urine
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni

Key takeaways

  1. Mucus in the urine is common and doesn’t indicate any underlying condition. 
  2. Persistent mucus in the urine along with the denser consistency can indicate conditions like UTI, STI, UC, or pregnancy. It can also indicate bladder cancer. 
  3. It’s good to get a medical consultation in case of persistent and dense mucus in the urine to avoid any medical complications and get the correct diagnosis along with the treatment at the right time.

Overview

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.  

Are you experiencing pain in the abdomen with the mucus in urine? Get your consultation now.

Causes of mucus in the urine

Some amount of mucus in the urine is not abnormal. The presence of the mucus is an indication of urinary tract health. However, greenish-yellow mucus or the presence of a lot of cloudy threads in the toilet bowl after peeing can indicate a urinary tract infection. 

In Women, the causes are attributed to mainly the following:

In Men, the causes are attributed to the following: 

  • Sexually transmitted (gonorrhea or chlamydia)
  • Kidney stones 
  • Prostatitis (can lead to urethral discharge that makes urine look cloudy)
  • Retrograde ejaculation (pushes semen into the bladder instead of exiting from the penis during a man’s orgasm, and sticky discharge can be mixed with urine.

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 : 

  1. Changes in the mucus color with the urine. 
  2. Burning sensation while passing the urine.
Are you sexually active and noticing mucus in the urine? Get a consultation with our virtual healthcare providers now.

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. 

Treatment: 

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 
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Gas or bloating  
Is your stomach bloating along with the mucus in the urine and stool? Get the virtual consultation now with your doctors online.

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: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • 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 : 

Are you experiencing similar symptoms of fever, nausea, and mucus in your urine? Get an online consultation now with your doctors online.

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. 

8. Pregnancy 

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. 

What are the complications of untreated symptoms?

An abundance of mucus in urine can be alarming and indicate an underlying condition that requires immediate evaluation and treatment. For instance, an untreated urinary tract infection may spread to the kidneys, developing into a kidney infection(acute pyelonephritis). Therefore, if you’re experiencing mucous threads in urine or abnormal amounts of mucus in urine, getting a urinalysis and speaking to your physician is strongly recommended.

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 

  • Ultrasound 
  • Stool sample 
  • Urinalysis

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.

FAQs about mucus in the urine

Is it normal for mucus to be in urine when you have a cold?

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.

What are the risks of having mucus threads in my urine?

Having mucus threads in your urine now and then is normal, as mucus travels along your urinary tract and helps to flush out germs. However, large amounts of mucus threads in your urine can indicate an STI, kidney infection, kidney stones, or other health conditions. That is why it is essential to see a healthcare provider to diagnose and treat the cause. 

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  1. George, V. K., et al. “The effect of ranitidine on urine mucus concentration in patients with enterocystoplasty.” British journal of urology 70.1 (1992): 30-32.
  2. Zarin Keihani Doust, M. D., et al. “Diagnostic value of the urine mucus test in childhood masturbation among children below 12 years of age: A cross-sectional study from Iran.” Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences 41.4 (2016): 283.
  3. Khoury, Antoine E., et al. “Stone formation after augmentation cystoplasty: the role of intestinal mucus.” The Journal of urology 158.3 (1997): 1133-1137.

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