Normal healthy urine is typically clear and devoid of varied pathogens or foreign matter. White particles in urine can be a symptom of a variety of different conditions. For example, pregnant women tend to experience the elimination of protein and white leukocytes in urine as a side effect of the hormonal and biological changes in the body. However, it is important to see a doctor if such white particles in urine persist or are present in abnormal quantities during pregnancy.
Some of the common conditions which may cause the elimination of white particles in urine are discussed below.
Causes of white particles in urine
White particles in urine may be caused due to:
- Urinary Tract Infection/ UTI: The urinary system is made of the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and the urethra. Sometimes, the urinary system may suffer from infections by bacteria, etc. and cause urinary tract infections. Bacteria, especially E. coli and other gram negative bacteria, can infect the urinary system either via direct entry into the body via the urethra when passing urine, or from the bloodstream. Women are more prone to developing UTIs than men due to their genital anatomy characterized by close proximity of the vagina and the anus.
- Patients with UTIs may experience removal of white particles in urine, burning sensations when urinating, painful urination, and frequent urination, etc. It is best to seek immediate medical attention if you detect abnormal particles in urine and get the UTI treated immediately. Else, the infection can spread to the bladder and the kidneys and result in harmful complications.
- Parasitic infections: The urinary tract is also vulnerable to attack by parasites causing infections like schistosomiasis and filariasis. These parasites look like worms; they get eliminated from the body with urine giving it the appearance of unclear urine with white particles floating in it. Other urinary tract parasitic infections such as trichomoniasis are marked by mucus threads removal in urine, which again makes urine look like as if white particles are suspended on it.
- Kidney problems: When white particles present in urine look like granules of sand, then it may be a symptom of kidney stones. People with a history of kidney stones are more likely to suffer from this kind of abnormal urine. Recurrent episodes of kidney stones will not just harm the kidneys, but will also damage other areas of the urinary tract, leading to different symptoms and health complications. Seek immediate medical attention if you see sand granule-like white particles in urine.
- Sediments: The presence of sediments in urine indicates the occurrence of phosphate particles in alkaline urine. The condition is really common and not a cause for worry. In most cases, the white debris may just be tract lining/wall cells that get detached and eliminated from the urinary system. It is possible for sediments to also occur due to yeast and fungal infections of the urinary tract.
- Bacterial vaginosis/BV: It is a condition caused due to the proliferation and spread of certain bacteria that are naturally present in the vagina. Affected women may suffer from a variety of symptoms including excessive grayish or white vaginal discharge, which may mix with urine and result in white particles in urine; the vagina may give off a fishy and foul odor; and itchiness around the vagina.
- It is important to consult a doctor and treat BV as not doing so can lead to development of more serious health complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Retrograde ejaculation: The disorder is marked by passage of semen into the bladder instead of the penis during ejaculation. This will result in presence of white particles in urine, which in fact is semen. The condition is more common in men who have undergone some type of prostate surgery. Retrograde ejaculation may also be a sign of not opening of the lower sphincter muscles during ejaculation or of defective closing of the urinary tract upper sphincter muscles. Consult a doctor for treatment.
- Monilia infection: The vaginal tract natural has small quantities of yeast presence. However, it is possible for such yeast to sometime grow and multiple rapidly, thereby causing Monilia yeast infection. The infection typically occurs due to changes in the vaginal tract pH levels. Affected women may experience varied symptoms, including white discharge which looks like clumps of cottage cheese; excessive discharge from the vagina. Such discharge may mix with urine and cause white particles in urine; and Itchiness, redness, and burning sensation around the vaginal region.
- Treatment of Monilia yeast infection does not involve complete removal of the yeast. It is focused on curbing and overcoming the rapid yeast overgrowth with antifungal medications which may be given in the form of tablets, suppositories, and/or vaginal creams.
- Other causes: White particles in urine may also be caused due to varied underlying conditions like STDs which may occur along with urinary tract itchiness and pus in urine; candidiasis and other fungal infections; bladder cancer; and polyps.
Treatment of white particles in urine
As mentioned above, white particles in urine can occur due to varied causes. Hence, patients need to visit a doctor for diagnosis of the underlying cause and relevant treatment.