Urine is generally a clear, sometimes yellowish, waste product. The presence of white particles in urine may be indicative of certain underlying diseases like bladder cancer, polyps, and yeast infection, etc. It is therefore important for patients to seek immediate medical attention when they experience white particles in urine for more than 2 to 3 days.
Causes of white particles in urine
Some of the common causes, and associated symptoms, of white particles in urine are listed below:
Urinary tract infections: UTIs or urinary tract infections occur due to infection of the urinary tract by E. coli, gram negative bacteria, or other pathogens. Bacteria or other germs can enter the urinary system via the bloodstream or directly from the urethra when passing urine.
The infection can damage the tissues of the tract and result in white particles in urine. Patients may also suffer from burning sensations during urination, painful urination, cloudy urine, smelly urine, and frequent urination, etc.
Women are more susceptible to UTIs than men due to their genital anatomy. It is important to treat UTIs as soon as possible because the infection can spread to the bladder, kidneys, and other urinary system tissues, thereby causing serious health complications. UTIs are generally treated with antibiotics and other medications.
Monilia infection: Monilia is a type of yeast that is naturally present in the vaginal tract. Different conditions, including a change in the pH levels in the vaginal canal, can trigger the condition for the overgrowth of this yeast thereby resulting in a Monilia infection.
Affected women experience a whitish discharge from the vagina with cottage cheese like matter. This abnormal discharge mixes with urine and appears as white particles in urine. Patients may also suffer from symptoms like vaginal itching, vaginal redness, cloudy urine, and burning sensations in and around the genitalia.
The aim of treatment is to curb the overgrowth of the yeast with medications and not eradicate it completely. This is because of the beneficial effects of the yeast when it occurs in small amounts in the vaginal canal.
Kidney problems: The kidney is one of the most important organs of the body. It is susceptible to a variety of diseases such as glomeruli dysfunction, kidney infection, kidney stones, etc. All of them may cause white particles in urine as a symptom.
Patients may suffer from additional symptoms like weight loss, appetite loss, pain in flanks, abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, painful urination, and chills, etc. When the white particles in urine are tiny sand-like granules, then they are kidney stones.
Untreated cases of kidney diseases can be life-threatening. Kidney stones are treated with medications, shock wave therapy, or surgery. Antibiotics and other drugs can help treat kidney infections.
Pregnancy: White particles in urine can also be triggered due to the different physical, hormonal, and biological changes that occur across the body during pregnancy. It can also be a sign of preeclampsia, which is a severe condition. Pregnant women need to seek immediate medical attention if white particles in urine continue for 2 days or more, especially if accompanied by hypertension and proteinuria.
Bacterial vaginosis: The overgrowth or proliferation of bacteria that is naturally present in the vaginal canal is referred to as bacterial vaginosis or BV. The exact cause for the multiplication of bacterial population is not known, but bad personal hygiene is regarded to be one of the triggers.
Affected women may suffer from unusual vaginal discharge; this tends to mix with the urine and appears as white particles in urine. Additional symptoms of BV include itching in and around the vaginal region, foul smelling urine, and pelvic discomfort.
The condition is treated with antibiotics and other medicines. Non-treatment of BV can trigger the onset of severe complications like pelvic inflammatory disease.
Retrograde ejaculation: The passage of semen into the bladder instead of into the penile tube is known as retrograde ejaculation. The semen gets mixed with urine in the bladder and gets removed as white particles in urine.
Retrograde ejaculation occurs due to inefficient closing of the upper sphincter muscles, or incomplete opening of the lower sphincter muscles, during ejaculation. Men with prior instances of any kind of prostate surgery may also be at risk to the condition.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases: A variety of sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, etc., are marked by abnormal vaginal discharge which then mixes with urine to cause white particles in urine. STDs can occur due to unsafe sex with an infected partner. Consult a doctor for treatment.
Sediments: The cells in the linings of the urinary tract walls as well as other kinds of dead cells tend to get removed from the body along with urine. Phosphate sediments that are white in color also occur in urine. Consult a doctor if these sediment-type white particles in urine are accompanied by other adverse symptoms.