What Cloudy Urine Means

When You Should Call Your Doctor

urine collection cups
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How do you know when you urine is normal? Normal urine is always a light yellow or straw yellow color. Is abnormal urine a sign that something is wrong with you? Change in urine color or consistency can indicate a possible health issue. If you do notice such a change, it's usually a good idea to talk to your doctor about it.

When Your Urine Is Cloudy

The color and clarity (transparency) or cloudiness (turbidity) of urine can be clear signals of a number of urinary system disorders. If you have urine that is cloudy, and it is accompanied by an unpleasant odor, it usually indicates that you have a urinary tract infection (UTI).

 For women, in particular, cloudy urine can occur because a woman’s anatomical structure lends itself to E. coli formation in the bladder. E. coli are the culprit in the majority of urinary tract infections.

Cloudy urine can also indicate:

  • sediment from a distended bladder
  • blood in the urine, caused by an infection of the kidneys or bladder
  • gonorrhea
  • kidney stones
  • late-stage prostate cancer or prostate enlargement

Cloudy urine and bloody urine are also common after treatments for prostate cancer.  

Other causes of cloudy urine include the presence of bacteria, mucus, epithelial cells, white or red blood cells, fat, phosphates, or pus (also known as pyuria).

If you experience cloudy urine or any other type of abnormal urine color, you should see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Especially if you notice your pee has had a cloudy color and/or consistency over a period of multiple bathroom visits, and over the span of multiple days or weeks.

If you notice cloudy pee and it is accompanied by sharp pain and/or blood, call your doctor immediately.

Other Signs of an Issue

Cloudy urine isn't the only urine change that might cause you to do a double take. Depending upon the causes, urine can have blood in it, or it can turn red, clear, orange, blue, black, green, or dark yellow.

As mentioned above, the color of healthy urine is light yellow.


Urine - Abnormal Color. NLM-NIH. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003139.htm.