Urine Color During Pregnancy: Why It Changes And When To See A Doctor

Urine Color During Pregnancy

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Among the many bodily functions that change during pregnancy, urination is one. This is one parameter that you can assess independently and report the changes to your doctor for appropriate analysis. In this MomJunction post, we will help you understand why urine color changes during pregnancy and what can you do about it.

What Color Is Normal Urine?

While the color of urine differs for every person, it usually falls under the yellow spectrum (light, transparent yellow to slightly darker yellow). The hydration levels, food, drugs and also the presence of hemoglobin will influence the color of urine. Abnormally colored urine may be cloudy, dark, or even red (1).

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What Color Is Pregnancy Urine?

The color of urine during pregnancy is dependent on hydration, diet, medications, and the woman’s health condition. The change in color is mostly due to the concentration of urochrome (end-product of hemoglobin breakdown) (2).

Apart from this, pregnancy has its set of problems that could cause changes in urine color.

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Why Does The Urine Color Change During Pregnancy?

Several reasons could lead to a change in the urine color of pregnant women.

1. Dehydration:

During the first trimester, you are more likely to experience nausea and vomiting, also referred to as hyperemesis gravidarum. It results in dehydration, which results in dark-colored urine, passed in small amounts (3).

2. Prenatal vitamins and supplements:

The different vitamins and supplements you might take during pregnancy could be other reasons for dark urine. In the case of vitamin or supplement overdose, there could be blood in the urine (4).

3. Diet:

Dietary change is the first thing you focus on during pregnancy. Some specific fruits and vegetables such as beetroot and asparagus alter the color of urine (5).

4. Urinary tract infections:

Pregnant women are more vulnerable to urinary tract infections, which might include infections of the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra. The signs of UTI include frequent urination, burning sensation in the lower abdomen, and passing blood and mucus in the urine, all of which make bright colored urine (6).

5. Kidney disease:

Kidneys filter and excrete wastes from the body. Any infections or disorders in the kidneys will cause dark-colored urine (7).

6. Kidney stones:

Though a rare condition during pregnancy, kidney stones interfere with the normal functioning of the kidneys and cause abdomen pain, nausea, and vomiting along with blood in the urine (8).

7. Hematuria:

This is a condition where the red blood cells increase excessively in the body. The blood, therefore, leaks into the urine giving it a dark brown to red tinge (9).

Whether or not you should see a doctor will depend on the color of the urine, plus any other uncomfortable symptoms you experience.

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When Should You See A Doctor?

Check with your doctor if you see a persistent change in urine color or if there is blood in urine, severe pain while urinating, and frequent urination. Your doctor will check your health history and may recommend a urinalysis and blood tests.

The urinalysis will check for red blood cells, protein levels, bacteria, and any other foreign compounds that maybe are present in the urine. Blood tests can determine the levels of liver enzymes and kidney functioning. The results would provide a clue as to why there is a change in urine color.

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Understand that change in urine color during pregnancy is harmless, and indicates risk only if associated with other symptoms. If you suspect the color change is due to dehydration, consume plenty of water and see if you can resolve the problem. There is no reason for panic or alarm and visiting a doctor helps if nothings seem well.

Have you noticed any change in urine color while you were pregnant? Tell us about your experience in the below comment section.

References:

1. Urine – abnormal color; U.S. National Library of Medicine (2018)
2. Urinalysis; College of Science and Mathematics James Madison University
3. Morning sickness; Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER((2018)
4. Prenatal Multivitamins; Regents of the University of Michigan (2018)
5. Red, brown, green: Urine colors and what they might mean; Harvard Health Publishing (2018)
6. Blood in urine; National Health Service (NHS) (2017)
7. Susan Hou M.D; Diagnostic Tests in Renal Disease; Loyola University Medical Center
8. Kidney Stones in Pregnancy; University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) (2014)
9. Hematuria; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Health

 

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Rebecca Malachi

She is a Biotechnologist with a proficiency in areas of genetics, immunology, microbiology, bio-engineering, chemical engineering, medicine, pharmaceuticals to name a few. Her expertise in these fields has greatly assisted her in writing medical and life science articles. With 8+ years of work experience in writing for health and wellness, she is now a full-time contributor for Momjunction.com. She is passionate about giving research-based information to readers in need. Apart from writing, she is a foodie, loves travel, fond of gospel music and enjoys observing nature in silence. Know more about her at: linkedin.com/in/kothapalli-rebecca-35881628
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