Mucus In Urine: Causes & Treatment

Your pee can say a lot about your health. 

The smell, clarity, and color could signal that your overall health is in excellent shape. 

Or it could be a tell-tale sign that you are developing a health problem. 

Substances in the pee – like mucus in urine – could mean that you have an underlying health issue. 

Although a little mucus in pee is normal, having too much consistent mucus can indicate a urinary tract infection, kidney stones, sexually transmitted disease, or other medical problems. 

If you are worried about your bathroom trips and urine mucus, you are in the right place.

This guide can answer all your questions about this type of substance in the urine, including the best treatment options. 

What is mucus in urine?

Mucus in urine is a slimy substance produced by the glands and membranes. The mucus membranes are located in the urinary bladder and urethra. 

When they produce the mucus, the substance gets mixed with the pee. Secretions such as these are typically fluid and thin. 

This slimy substance protects and lubricates specific areas of the body, such as the urinary tract. It can moisten and coat the urinary tract. 

It is normal to have some mucus in the urine. But, excessive mucus production can be a sign of a health problem.

Under brightfield microscopy, mucus threads are semi-transparent and look like hyaline casts. Mucus threads in urine often have poorly defined edges and ribbon-like strands. They can also have split or pointed ends and longitudinal striations. 

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What does rare mucus in urine mean?

The mucus present in urine is fluid-like and thin. It varies in quantity and is often off-white, white, cloudy, or clear. Yellowish mucus in urine can happen too. 

Rare mucus in urine is the one that changes color or is excreted in large amounts. Rare mucus in urine is when copious amounts of cloudy, pus-like, or thick mucus can be seen.

But, how the mucus looks will vary based on the health problem that’s causing it. For example, the symptoms of a urinary tract infection include mucus in pee and blood in the urine. 

Other health conditions can affect the bladder differently. They could change the amount of mucus the body produces.

Is it normal to have mucus in your urine?

Having a small amount of mucus thread in urine is normal. The urethra and bladder regularly produce mucous. 

This whitish, thick substance is necessary for lubrication. When the substance moves through the urinary tract, it flushes out the germs that could otherwise trigger an infection.

During ovulation and menstruation, it is normal for the body to discharge more mucous and vaginal secretions than usual. 

But, when the body creates frequent and large amounts of mucus, then this could be a sign of a health problem and is seen as rare mucus in urine. 

What does mucus in urine look like?

The mucus feels slippery and thick. It is the white stringy stuff in urine you see on the bottom of the toilet bowl. 

Pee that contains mucus typically looks cloudy. Mild to moderate mucus often looks transparent and thin. It can also be off-white or white. 

The white strings in urine are a bit clumpy and feel kind of like jelly lumps in urine. If you notice bloody mucus in urine, this could be a sign of a UTI. 

In order to know if the discharge in urine is normal, it is important to understand the characteristics of the urine color. 

Normal urine color varies from pale yellow to amber. The color of your pee changes based on how much water you drink, as fluids can dilute the yellow pigments in the pee. 

So, the more you drink, the lighter the urine color. With inadequate water intake, the color of the urine becomes more concentrated. 

Clear urine means you’ve been drinking too much water, and you need to cut back. 

Deep orange often means there is not enough fluid in the system. But, when combined with light-colored stool, it might indicate a problem with the bile duct.

Dark brown urine is a classic sign of dehydration, liver disease, porphyria, or a side effect of some medications. 

While cloudy urine could mean you have UTI, kidney conditions, or chronic disease. 

The mucous threads in urine are easier to spot when you have clear, yellowish, amber, or cloudy urine. The more concentrated the pee is, the harder it can be to spot the mucus. 

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Causes in men

Infections of the bladder, kidneys, and penis are common causes of changes in the urine. Genitourinary tract infections, such as urinary tract infections and prostatitis, are a typical cause of mucus in the urine of male patients. 

Here are some of the well-known causes of mucus in urine in men.

Bacterial prostatitis 

This acute infection of the prostate gland can trigger urethral discharge, which could leak out into the urine. When there is a bowel movement, the urine might look like there are white spots in it.

Urinary tract infection 

The white stringy stuff in the urine male is often caused by a urinary tract infection. UTIs affect about 20% of men in their lifetime. 

These infections can affect different areas of the urinary system. They can cause discharge and production of excess amount of mucus. 

Kidney stones 

A kidney stone is a deposit of salts and minerals in the kidneys. It can cause the production of mucus in the pee. 

Although kidney stones don’t typically trigger a mucous secretion, when the body flushes out the stones, that’s when mucus secretion happens.

Kidney infection 

This painful infection is caused by bacteria that travel from the bladder into one or both of the kidneys. In men, the infection can trigger a surplus of mucus in the urine.

Sexually transmitted infection 

Even though STIs can cause a range of symptoms, gonorrhea and chlamydia are the biggest contributors to large amounts of mucus in the pee, especially in men.

Irritable bowel syndrome 

This digestive disorder has a huge impact on the colon. It can cause thick mucus to form in the digestive tract. When the mucus leaves the system, you can notice the mucus mixing with urine in the toilet.

Bladder cancer 

In some cases, patients with bladder carcinoma might notice mucus in their pee. If the mucus is a sign of cancer, then it often comes with a range of other symptoms. 

This includes bone pain, lower back pain, weight loss, blood in the urine, or swollen feet.

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Causes in women

Women often have more mucus in urine than men. It helps expel invading germs and protect the urinary tract from infection. Here are some of the causes of mucus in urine in female patients.

Vaginal discharge 

Discharge from the vagina typically causes mucus in urine. Small to moderate amounts of discharge in women is normal and completely natural. It helps cleanse the reproductive system and prevent bacteria from invading the body.

Ovulation 

The density and color of the discharge will vary through menstruation and ovulation. The discharge can also have a subtle but not unpleasant smell. 

Right before ovulation, the body releases more estrogen, which helps the cervix create egg-white, fertile mucus. During ovulation, it is common to see mucus in the urine.

Pregnancy 

Mucus in the urine is common in pregnant women. The hormonal changes paired with the mineral or nutrient losses through the pee can give the urine a cloudy look. 

In the final stages of pregnancy, the glands and membranes produce more mucus. Pregnancy mucus often means that the body is preparing to give birth. 

Birth control medications 

Many hormonal contraceptives that contain progesterone and estrogen thicken the cervical fluid due to the hormones they contain. 

So, some women who take birth control meds can have more whitish discharge than those who don’t use the pills. This discharge can lead to mucus in the urine.

Vaginal yeast infection

The classic sign of a vaginal yeast infection is the white and thick discharge. It can come out during urination and create white particles in the pee. These particles can look very much like mucus.

Urinary tract infection 

UTI in women can cause an abnormal amount of mucus mixed in with the pee. UTIs are frequently caused by pathogens that originate in the digestive tract and tend to come with other vaginal infections.

Kidney stones 

When the kidney stones leave the kidneys, they go to the urinary tract. This can trigger mucus in the pee. That’s because the urinary tract could be producing more mucus to create lubrication and an easy passage. 

Kidney infection 

In women, this infection can cause an excess amount of mucus. The body creates more mucus to flush out the bacteria and cleanse the urinary tract.

Sexually transmitted infection 

Chlamydia can cause white discharge in female urine. It can also cause a surplus of mucus and burning sensations when urinating. 

Irritable bowel syndrome 

IBS is a highly prevalent gastrointestinal condition. It affects about 8% to 20% of the American population – 14% to 24% of women. 

Another symptom of IBS is mucus in the digestive tract. The mucus comes from the colon or large intestine. After leaving the body through bowel movement, it can mix with the pee. 

Bladder cancer 

Glandular cells in the inner part of the cervix can create and release fluids like mucus. Abnormal glandular cells in patients with bladder cancer can trigger excess mucus in the urine. 

Accompanying symptoms

A change in mucus can be accompanied by a host of symptoms. If you have a sexually transmitted infection, then you can also experience a burning sensation when you urinate, itching, or bad-smelling discharge. Bowel diseases can cause diarrhea, gas, bloating, constipation, and abdominal cramps. 

So, the symptoms will vary based on the health problem you have. Here are some of the accompanying symptoms of mucus in the pee:

  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Cloudy, red, or dark-colored urine
  • Bad smelling urine
  • Painful urination
  • Abnormal discharge
  • Stomach pain
  • Inflammation and irritation

Should you see a doctor? 

Some mucus in the urine is fine. You can find trace amounts of mucus secreted from the bladder and urethra membranes. 

But when you notice too much mucus in the pee, book an appointment with your doctor. The surplus of mucus could be a sign of a possible health concern. 

Talk to a specialist if you have frequent urination along with any of these symptoms:

  • Strong need to urinate
  • Painful urination
  • Blood in the pee
  • Dark brown or red urine
  • Pain in the groin or stomach
  • Trouble peeing or emptying the bladder
  • Fever

Diagnosis

Doctors can suggest a mucus in urine test, called a urinalysis. Depending on your current health problems or symptoms, the doctor will need to examine different aspects of the urine. 

This includes what the pee sample looks like to the naked eye and its microscopic and chemical properties. 

In order to determine whether the mucus in urine is within a normal range, experts need to check the urine sample under a microscope. 

Mucous urinalysis helps look for any tiny substances in the pee, like mucus, cells, crystals, bacteria, or other germs.

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Treatment

The treatment options vary based on the health issues you have. If you suspect a UTI, drink a lot of water. Hydration helps flush out toxins, bacteria, and germs from the system. 

Studies show that prescription antibiotics can be a good treatment plan for curbing UTI symptoms. 

Prescription medication can help to treat IBS symptoms. A specialized diet can also come in handy for managing the symptoms. If you have bouts of diarrhea, then doctors can suggest anti-diarrheal medication. 

How do I get rid of mucus in my urine?

According to case reports, some dietary changes can be helpful. Such as:

  • Using fiber supplements to help with chronic constipation. 
  • Avoiding foods that cause bloating and extra gas, like beans and carbonated drinks.
  • Limiting the gluten intake.

Conclusion

Small amounts of mucus in pee are normal. But, a surplus of mucus could be a sign of a health problem. 

If the mucus comes with other symptoms like frequent urination, pain, or burning sensations when peeing, talk to a doctor.

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Sources

  1. Farrell K, Tandan M, Hernandez Santiago V, Gagyor I, Braend AM, Skow M, Vik I, Jansaaker F, Hayward G, Vellinga A. Treatment of uncomplicated UTI in males: a systematic review of the literature. BJGP Open. 2021 Apr.
  2. Czajkowski K, Broś-Konopielko M, Teliga-Czajkowska J. Urinary tract infection in women. Prz Menopauzalny. 2021 Apr;20.
  3. Abou Heidar NF, Degheili JA, Yacoubian AA, Khauli RB. Management of urinary tract infection in women: A practical approach for everyday practice. Urol Ann. 2019 Oct-Dec.
  4. McRae MP. Effectiveness of Fiber Supplementation for Constipation, Weight Loss, and Supporting Gastrointestinal Function: A Narrative Review of Meta-Analyses. J Chiropr Med. 2020 Mar.

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