Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Normal urine is clear and has a straw-yellow color. When the urine does not have its characteristic clear appearance, it is often referred to as cloudy, turbid, or foamy urine. Cloudy or foamy urine may occur occasionally due to mild dehydration; when it occurs in the absence of symptoms and goes away rapidly, it is usually of little consequence. Certain conditions can cause excess protein or crystalline substances in the urine, causing it to persistently appear cloudy or foamy. Infections anywhere in the urinary tract (UTIs), including the bladder or urethra, in both men and women, can cause blood and pus to appear in the urine, giving it a cloudy appearance. Additionally, many of the numerous causes of blood in the urine can yield a cloudy or murky appearance to the urine due to the presence of blood. In women with vaginitis (such as yeast vaginitis or sexually transmitted infections [sexually transmitted diseases, STDs] like gonorrhea), the vaginal discharge, if present, may sometimes contaminate the urine sample, making the urine appear cloudy.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
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Causes of Cloudy Urine
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Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
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Other Causes of Cloudy Urine
- Bladder Stones
- Calcium Pyrophosphate Crystals
- Goodpasture's Syndrome
- Nephrotic Syndrome
- Retrograde Ejaculation
- Uric Acid Crystals (Hyperuricemia)
Examples of Medications for Cloudy Urine
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