Among the many things that change during pregnancy, urination is one. This is one parameter that you could 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 it could mean.
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 may influence the color of urine. Abnormally colored urine may be cloudy, dark, or even red (1).
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 could also cause changes in urine color.
Why Does The Urine Color Change During Pregnancy?
Several reasons could lead to a change in the urine color of pregnant women.
During the first trimester, you are more likely to experience nausea and vomiting, also referred to as hyperemesis gravidarum. It could result 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).
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 might 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 might cause abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting along with blood in the urine (8).
This is a condition where the red blood cells leak into the urine, giving it a dark brown to red tinge (9). This could be due to infections, stones, tumors, use of blood thinners, some metabolic disorders interacting with food intake, trauma, or blood vessel issues.
Whether or not you should see a doctor depends on the color of the urine, plus any other uncomfortable symptoms you experience.
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 may check your health history and recommend a urinalysis and blood tests.
The urinalysis will check for red blood cells, white cells, protein levels, bacteria, and any other foreign compounds that are present in the urine. Blood tests could help 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.
Understand that change in urine color during pregnancy is usually 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 the problem is resolved. There is no reason for panic or alarm, and visiting a doctor helps if something seems wrong.
Have you noticed any change in urine color while you were pregnant? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below.
2. Urinalysis; College of Science and Mathematics James Madison University
3. Pregnancy sickness (nausea and vomiting of pregnancy and hyperemesis gravidarum); Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (2016)
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