What Causes Frothy Urine?

Many people are concerned about the look and appearance of their urine. There is every reason to worry when you notice something unusual about your urine. However, sometimes, it is just something temporary and not of major concern. When you pass foamy or frothy urine, it may be normal because physical factors for instance the speed of urination can influence this.

However, when you find that you are persistently passing frothy urine and it is visible over time, you may consider seeing a doctor. It may be a sign that you could be having a condition known as proteinuria. Increased level of protein in urine could indicate a serious kidney problem. A doctor may recommend that you have urine examination to check whether there are elevated levels of protein.

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Causes of frothy urine

In case you are releasing foamy urine, it may be due to something as simple as forceful urination or a complex issue such as urinary tract infection. When you have forceful urination, it is likely to generate bubbles thereby giving it a frothy or foamy appearance.

Sometimes, a chemical in the toilet for example, a toiler cleaner could react with urine and form a foamy appearance. This is something that can be rule out by urinating in a sterilized container to determine if bubbles or foam will appear.

Urine may also appear foamy when it is concentrated. During pregnancy or exercises, an individual may have mild dehydration, which makes the urine to be darker and concentrated. This may result in foamy appearance. Try to rehydrate and take fluids to prevent this problem. When you restore fluid balance, your urine will assume its pale yellow color.

frothy urine pee

When semen is left in urethra of a male partner following a sexual activity, and the bladder sphincter malfunctions, it means that the semen moves backward to the bladder and could make urine to be foamy. Some medicines may also cause foamy urine and this condition is known as retrograde ejaculation. In the event that medicines are causing frothy urine on a regular basis, consider seeing a doctor.

Among the common reasons why an individual may have frothy urine is due to a condition known as proteinuria. Proteinuria may be regarded as a cardinal sign of various renal diseases and it may lead to having foamy urine. Frothing occurs because albumin tends to have a soap-like effect, something that reduces surface tension of urine. Foamy urine may be a sign of having renal disease and therefore, a patient needs to be evaluated.

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Proteinuria leads to excess amounts of protein being excreted in urine. Having small amounts of protein in urine is normal but when it is in large amount, then that may be seen as abnormal. Proteinuria may occur after you have had intense exercise, taken supplements of protein, excess dietary intake, or diseases that cause damage to kidneys. The kidney filtering ability may be damaged by high blood pressure and diabetes, thus these conditions may lead to proteinuria.

Proteinuria may occur during pregnancy and could indicate a serious problem such as eclampsia. Eclampsia is progressive often leading to swelling of legs, high blood pressure, proteinuria, and headaches. Eclampsia needs immediate medical treatment because it could be fatal to both the mother and the unborn baby.

Having bladder infection or urinary tract infections such as bacteria may also be associated with foamy urine. When bacteria enter bladder and they multiply, a patient may have symptoms like frequent urge to urinate, burning with urination, or foamy appearance of urine. At times, you may notice a bloody look in urine. You may want to see a doctor if you have symptoms of urinary tract infection and they are accompanied by nausea, abdominal pain, back pain, and vomiting or fever.

People with vesicocolic fistula may also have frothy urine. This condition manifests when abnormal connection of bladder and colon occurs. Such connection allows gas, air, and bacteria to enter the bladder resulting in foamy urine and infections. Vesicocolic fistula may result due to inflammatory conditions including Crohn’s disease or surgical complications and tumor. A patient will need specialized imaging tests to diagnose this condition.

Any disease that affects the function of kidneys may result in foamy urine. Kidneys provide filtering of blood and release of urine carrying wastes. Common diseases that may cause damage to kidneys are diabetes, kidneys stones, high blood pressure, trauma, frequent infections of the kidneys, and some medicines or excessive use of drugs.



When you have foamy urine, you may want to ensure that you rule out some of the possible normal causes such as highly concentrated urine, rapid urination, chemicals in toilets, or semen in urine. Treatment is based on the cause of the problem.

A doctor will conduct tests of urine to find out the possibility of having higher amounts of protein or albumin in urine than normal. Remember that urine contains some little amount of protein. Diagnosis may also include measuring kidney function and its filtration rate, blood pressure, electrolyte levels, and other urinalysis procedures.


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