What causes cloudy urine?

Cloudy urine is a common symptom that typically indicates an underlying urological issue. The MediFind Medical Team has summarized 10 potential causes of cloudy urine below in order from most likely to less likely based on our data. Learn more about how MediFind works here. You can also enter your symptoms into MediFind’s Symptom Checker to receive more customized results.

Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections are generally caused by bacteria entering the bladder, urethra, or kidneys. The bacteria causes an infection that may result in pus or blood entering the urinary tract, resulting in cloudy, foamy, or discolored urine. Women are more likely than men to develop urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infections are typically treated by a primary care doctor. Find a primary care doctor near you here.

Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when a person is not drinking enough water compared to what his or her body needs. Dehydration can often occur in people who sweat heavily from excessive heat or physical labor, or individuals who are vomiting or have diarrhea. Dehydration is treated by a primary care doctor. Find a primary care doctor near you here.

Vulvovaginitis

Vulvovaginitis is swelling of the vulva and vagina, which is commonly caused by a bacterial infection. Yeast infections or certain chemicals from products like soaps or other feminine washes may cause vulvovaginitis. Vulvovaginitis may lead to cloudy urine, as well as itchiness, discolored discharge, or painful urination. Vulvovaginitis is usually treated by an OB/GYN. Find an OB/GYN near you here.

Urethritis

Urethritis is the inflammation of the urethra, a tube that carries urine out of the body. Some cases of urethritis can be caused by the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea, while other cases are caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Urethritis can cause cloudy urine, as well as frequent or painful urination. Urethritis is usually treated by a urologist. Find a urologist near you here.

Retrograde Ejaculation

Typically during ejaculation, semen moves through the urethra and out of the penis. During retrograde ejaculation, semen moves backwards into the bladder. During urination, the combination of urine and semen may appear cloudy. Retrograde ejaculation is treated by a urologist. Find a urologist near you here.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection that can affect both males and females. Some people with chlamydia may not show any symptoms, while others may experience cloudy urine, a burning feeling during urination, or unusual discharge. Chlamydia is usually treated by a primary care doctor. Find a primary care doctor near you here.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is another common sexually transmitted infection. Symptoms of gonorrhea usually appear within a week of infection, however some men may not experience symptoms for about a month. Cloudy urine is a common symptom of gonorrhea, along with painful or frequent urination. Gonorrhea is usually treated by a primary care doctor. Find a primary care doctor near you here.

Prostatitis

Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate, a gland next to the bladder in men. Prostatitis can be caused by a bacterial infection and can be acute or chronic. Men over the age of 50 are at a higher risk for developing prostatitis due to a more easily blocked prostate gland. Prostatitis is usually treated by a urologist. Find a urologist near you here.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can occur from the buildup of minerals in the kidney. Larger kidney stones can be very painful and may block the urinary tract, leading to an infection. Infections may lead to pus in the urine, which can present as cloudy urine. Kidney stones are usually treated by a urologist. Find a urologist near you here.

Diabetes

Diabetes may also be the underlying cause of cloudy urine. In some cases of diabetes, the health of the kidneys may be negatively affected and the body may attempt to remove excess sugar through urination, resulting in cloudy urine. Diabetes is treated by a primary care doctor. Find a primary care doctor near you here.

Understanding the Results

These results are based on the most likely conditions for a 45 year old adult who is living in the United States. Our data shows that 96% of the time, this symptom is related to one of the 10 most likely causes. Location and age can also contribute to different results. Use our Symptom Checker to add your information and get your custom results.

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Differences in Age Groups

Although cloudy urine can occur in children, particularly from dehydration, cloudy urine is overall more likely to occur in adults. Urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia or gonorrhea are common causes for cloudy urine in adults.

Differences among Men and Women

There are several common conditions that can cause cloudy urine in both men and women, however women are more likely overall to experience cloudy urine. Women are much more likely to develop urinary tract infections that may present as cloudy urine.

Last Updated: March 16, 2022

Published By: Medifind Medical Staff