Why Does The Urine Color Change During Pregnancy And When To Worry?

check_icon Research-backed

Image: Shutterstock

IN THIS ARTICLE

A change in urine color in pregnancy is among the many physical, emotional, and hormonal changes the body undergoes. Many factors may lead to a change in the urine color during pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant women should observe the changes in their urine color and report it to their healthcare provider if they notice anything unusual.

Read this post to know about the normal color of urine, the color of urine during pregnancy, possible causes of a change in urine color during pregnancy, and the signs you need to see a doctor.

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?

Urine color changes during pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

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.

1. Dehydration:

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:

Pregnancy supplements may lead to urine discoloration

Image: Shutterstock

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 might cause dark-colored urine (7).

6. Kidney stones:

Kidney stones may cause urine color changes in pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

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).

7. Hematuria:

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?

Blood tests may help diagnose the underlying cause.

Image: Shutterstock

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What causes dark urine during pregnancy?

The dark color of urine might signify dehydration (10). You may not worry unless the urine is accompanied by bleeding or pain. It is better to consult the doctor for any guidance.

2. Is a urine test necessary during pregnancy?

Yes. Getting your urine checked during pregnancy can help determine conditions such as UTI, gestational diabetes, or preeclampsia (11).

Normal urine is yellowish in color. Changes in urine color in pregnancy are usually harmless and not a cause for concern. Common causes may include hormonal changes, dietary inclusion of some colored fruits and vegetables, vitamins or other supplements. In addition, dehydration due to morning sickness may concentrate urine and alter its normal color. However, seek medical advice if you observe other symptoms such as the presence of blood, stomach ache, or pain while urinating, as they may indicate underlying conditions or even a kidney stone.

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

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. Urine – abnormal color; U.S. National Library of Medicine (2017)
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
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
10. What The Color of Your Pee Says About You; Cleveland Clinic
11. What tests will I have during pregnancy?; Tommys
Was this article helpful?
thumbsupthumbsdown
The following two tabs change content below.

Rebecca Malachi

Rebecca is a pregnancy writer and editor with a passion for delivering research-based and engaging content in areas of fertility, pregnancy, birth, and post-pregnancy. She did her graduation in Biotechnology and Genetics from Loyola Academy, Osmania University and obtained a certification in ‘Nutrition and Lifestyle in Pregnancy’ from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU). She has been into health and...
View Profile

Dr. Anita Gondy

(MD, FACOG)
Dr. Anita Gondy is an Ob/Gyn at The Ob-Gyn Center in Las Vegas. In practice since 1998, Dr. Gondy began her medical training at Rangaraya Medical College in Kakinada, India and completed studies at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, where she also did an obstetrics and gynecology residency. She is also a Fellow member of The American College...
View Profile