Cloudy Urine During Pregnancy: Causes & Remedies
By Dr. Kenosha Gleaton, OBGYN
Pregnancy brings many bodily changes, some more common than others. It’s common for pregnancy to cause increased urination, but is it normal to have cloudy urine during pregnancy? Read on to find out.
What Does Cloudy Urine Look Like?
It can be alarming to notice a change in the color, odor, or appearance of your urine. One example of this is cloudy urine. As opposed to normal urine, which is light yellow in color and transparent, cloudy urine can be foggy, milky, hazy, and may be a darker yellow color.  Cloudy urine is not transparent, meaning you can’t see through it.
Is Cloudy Urine During Pregnancy Normal?
When you’re pregnant, it’s easy to be worried about every small change you notice in your body. Frequent urination is a common symptom of pregnancy and occurs as a result of increased blood volume in the body. [2-3] With increased urination, it is normal to experience some occasional changes in the appearance of your urine. If you experience cloudy urine one day and don’t the next, there is likely nothing to worry about.  However, you should always speak with your provider if you have questions or concerns about your health. It is especially important to speak with a provider if you notice repetitive cloudy or discolored urine, or experience concurring symptoms such as headache, blurry vision, abdominal pain, swelling, pain while urinating, blood in your urine, etc. 
Causes of Cloudy Urine During Pregnancy
So what causes cloudy urine? There are many different factors that may cause or contribute to cloudy urine, including :
- Dehydration: This is especially common in pregnant people, especially those experiencing extreme morning sickness. 
- Certain foods, such as high fruit and vegetable intake.
- Vaginal discharge
- Infection: Such as a urinary tract infection (UTI), sexually transmitted infection (STI), vaginitis, etc.
- Preeclampsia: A serious condition that can occur around the halfway point of pregnancy. Other symptoms include headaches, high blood pressure, blurry vision, swelling, and shortness of breath. 
- Other underlying conditions or problems, such as diabetes, chyluria, and kidney disease.
- Certain medications or antibiotics: Some medications can also influence the appearance of your urine. Speak with your provider about what medications or supplements you are taking.
It’s important to let your healthcare provider know if you experience any unusual symptoms or notice recurring cloudy urine. Your provider can test a urine sample and conduct additional testing to get a better idea of what may be causing your cloudy urine.
Is Cloudy Urine a Sign of Pregnancy?
While cloudy urine can certainly appear during pregnancy, you should not take it as a sign that you are pregnant. There are plenty of other symptoms more commonly associated with pregnancy, such as sore breasts, a missed period, fatigue, morning sickness, and others. 
If you believe you may be pregnant, try using at-home pregnancy test strips and visiting your healthcare provider.
How to Treat Cloudy Urine During Pregnancy
Depending on the cause, there are many ways to treat cloudy urine. Some prevention and treatment options include :
- Staying hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is essential for staying hydrated during pregnancy. Blood volume increases tremendously during pregnancy, which also increases your need for water. You can also support hydration with pregnancy-safe hydration drink mix.
- Reducing alkaline levels: Alkaline is the primary cause of cloudy urine. You can reduce alkaline levels by increasing vitamin C intake and eating a balanced diet of meats, grains, and cheeses in addition to fruit and vegetables.
- Treat underlying conditions or infections: Speak with your doctor about getting your urine and/or blood tested. If you do have an infection or condition, such as a UTI, diabetes, or STI, there are treatment options that can help.
- Living a healthy lifestyle: A healthy lifestyle can improve many other areas of your health. To do this, eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly. Avoid the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
When to Seek Professional Help
You should always consult a professional if you are experiencing new, worsening, or concerning symptoms. It’s normal to notice a difference in your urine on occasion, as the foods we eat, hydration levels, medications, and more can all impact your urine. If you notice persistent cloudy urine or any concurring symptoms, contact your provider. Read over some of the danger signs of pregnancy →
Explore Pregnancy Must-Haves from Natalist
When you’re pregnant, it’s easy to be worried about every small change you notice in your body. You want to be the healthiest version of yourself to promote a healthy life for your child. At Natalist, our mission is to reduce the historical shame, misinformation, and outdated product offerings women experience on their path to parenthood. This includes everything from prenatal vitamins for women, to postnatal vitamins, and everything in between. No matter where you are on your pregnancy journey, we are here to help. Find evidence-backed, high-quality, and plastic-neutral products on our website, or keep reading the Natalist blog to learn more about reproductive health.
- Cloudy Urine. Cleveland Clinic. September 2021. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/21894-cloudy-urine
- Chen HJ, Hsiao SM, Yang CF, et al. Overactive Bladder during Pregnancy: A Prospective Longitudinal Study. Medicina (Kaunas). 2022;58(2):243. Published 2022 Feb 6. doi:10.3390/medicina58020243
- Am I Pregnant? Cleveland Clinic. July 2022. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9709-pregnancy-am-i-pregnant
- Mulyani EY, Hardinsyah, Briawan D, Santoso BI, Jus'at I. Effect of dehydration during pregnancy on birth weight and length in West Jakarta. J Nutr Sci. 2021;10:e70. Published 2021 Aug 27. doi:10.1017/jns.2021.59
- Preeclampsia. Cleveland Clinic. October 2021. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17952-preeclampsia#symptoms-and-causes
Dr. Kenosha Gleaton is board-certified in gynecology and obstetrics and is the Medical Advisor of Natalist. She received her MD from MUSC and completed her residency at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC.
Dr. Gleaton is passionate about women, health equity, and mentoring. She is the CEO of The EpiCentre, an OBGYN spa-like practice, and is a Clinical faculty member of Charleston Southern University. She is also a member of the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, and the American Association of Professional Women.