Mucin in Urine: Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

It is a viscous substance produced by the membranes and glands to lubricate and protect certain parts of the body.

Mucin or mucus coats and protects the urinary tract, so a little mucus in the urine is normal.

But too much mucus that has changed in color or consistency may signify an underlying condition that may need treatment.

Read on to learn more about mucus in urine and find out what is and is not normal.

Causes of mucus in urine

There are many reasons why mucus can be present in urine, including:

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Mucus in urine can be caused by urinary tract infection, kidney stones, and ulcerative colitis .

As mucus moves through the urinary tract, it kills germs that might otherwise cause infection.

Mucus in urine is thin and fluid and is usually clear, white, or whitish. The amount of mucus in the urine can vary. However, large amounts of mucus or mucus that changes color can indicate an infection or another problem.

Sometimes women may think they are making more mucin in their urine, but it can come from the vagina.

Vaginal mucus varies in amount, color, and thickness at different stages of the menstrual cycle, as well as during pregnancy.

Urinary tract infection (UTI)

UTIs are among the most common types of infection treated by doctors each year. Both men and women can get UTIs, although they are much more common among women.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, at least 40 to 60 percent of women will experience at least one UTI in their lifetime.

Symptoms of a urinary infection include:

  • Mucus in urine
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Burning sensation when urinating.
  • Urinary urgency.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

STIs are more common than many people think, with 20 million new infections being contracted each year in the United States.

Young people are most at risk, and the American Sexual Health Association reports that half of all sexually active people will contract an STI by the age of 25.

Both chlamydia and gonorrhea are known to cause excess mucin in the urine. This symptom is particularly noticeable in men.

Other symptoms of these STIs include:

Chlamydia

  • Burning sensation when urinating.
  • General pain and discomfort in the pelvic area.
  • Testicular pain and swelling.
  • Vaginal bleeding (not related to menstruation).
  • Cloudy and white discharge.

Gonorrhea

  • General pain and discomfort in the pelvic area.
  • Pain when urinating
  • Vaginal bleeding (not related to menstruation).
  • Yellow or green discharge.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IBS is considered a functional digestive disorder . This means that the digestive tract appears normal and shows no damage or inflammation, but it does not function normally. IBS is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder, affecting 10 to 15 percent of people worldwide.

One possible symptom of IBS is mucus in the digestive tract. Although mucus is present in the large intestine (colon) and leaves the body through the anus, it can mix with urine in the toilet bowl, leading people to think that mucus is in urine.

Other common symptoms of IBS include:

Ulcerative colitis (UC)

UC is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. Up to 907,000 Americans have CU.

To combat damage to the colon, the body can produce excess mucus, which is passed from the body into the stool. Again, it can mix with urine in the toilet, giving the impression that there is too much mucus in the urine.

Additional symptoms of UC are:

  • Abdominal pain and cramps.
  • Anemia.
  • Bleeding from the anus
  • Diarrhea.
  • Fatigue.
  • Fever.
  • Weightloss.

Kidney stones

Kidney stones are hard deposits that form inside the kidneys. They include various minerals and salts. A man’s lifetime risk of kidney stones is 19 percent, while a woman’s is 9 percent.

Stones that remain in the kidneys do not cause symptoms, but if they move into the urinary tract they can cause increased mucus, as well as:

  • A persistent need to urinate.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Nausea.
  • Pain in the abdomen and lower back.
  • Vomiting

Signs of bladder cancer

Other signs, such as difficulty urinating and fatigue, may be present if bladder cancer is suspected.

In cases of bladder cancer, other signs and symptoms usually appear first, including:

  • Blood in the urine.
  • Difficulty urinating.
  • Fatigue.
  • Pain when urinating
  • The need to urinate frequently.

Mucus in urine is more likely related to an infection, digestive condition, or one of the other causes discussed above.

The only way to be sure is to see a doctor.

When to see a doctor

Anyone experiencing excessive amounts of mucus in their urine or a general increase in mucus production should see a doctor.

While there is usually a certain amount of mucus in the urine, too much could suggest an underlying condition that requires medical treatment.

Urine mucus tests

To test for mucus in the urine, a doctor may perform a urinalysis, which involves analyzing a urine sample under a microscope. The procedure is simple and non-invasive, and a person will only need to provide a container of urine.

Many doctors will perform a urinalysis as part of a routine checkup. A doctor can also run tests if he suspects that an individual has a UTI.

Treatment options

Common treatments for these conditions can include:

Urinary tract infection

Doctors will prescribe antibiotics for UTIs caused by a bacterial infection. It is also important to drink plenty of water to eliminate bacteria from the system.

People who experience recurrent UTIs may require a low-dose course of antibiotics for 6 months or longer to prevent the development of a new UTI.

If a person develops a UTI caused by sexual activity, they will usually require a single dose of antibiotic.

Sexually transmitted infections

Doctors will treat both gonorrhea and chlamydia with prescription antibiotics. There are no effective home remedies or over-the-counter treatments for sexually transmitted infections. Sexual partners will also require treatment for the STI.

Use condoms to prevent future STIs.

Irritable bowel syndrome

For people with IBS, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat bacterial infections.

Because IBS is a chronic condition, there is no cure. However, there are several treatments available to help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

Medications include:

  • Anti-diarrhea medications, available over the counter or by prescription, to control diarrhea.
  • Antibiotics to treat any bacterial infection.
  • Antispasmodic medications to prevent intestinal spasms.

Diet and lifestyle changes can also help, such as:

  • Avoid foods that cause gas and bloating, including cruciferous vegetables and beans.
  • Eliminate gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley) from the diet.
  • Using fiber supplements to relieve constipation.
  • Stress management, which can be a trigger for symptoms.

Ulcerative colitis

As with IBS, there is no cure for UC, although there are medications that can relieve symptoms. Such medications include:

Anti-inflammatory drugs and immunosuppressive drugs: They can reduce inflammation in the body and can be used independently or in combination.

A biological drug: Doctors may prescribe these drugs to people with moderate to severe symptoms to block proteins that cause inflammation.

Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-diarrhea medications – Some people may benefit from using these medications, but a person should only take them after consulting a doctor.

Severe cases of UC may require surgery to remove the colon and rectum.

Kidney stones

Smaller kidney stones may not require any treatment, as they can pass from the body through urine. Drinking more water can help this process. The symptoms will resolve once the stone is removed.

Larger stones can be treated with extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, a procedure that divides kidney stones into smaller pieces so they can pass more easily.

Surgery may be needed to remove very large kidney stones.

Summary

While a little mucus in the urine shouldn’t be a wake-up call, attention should be paid to an excessive amount of mucus.

While milder mucus in your urine, such as a urinary tract infection, may not be as worrisome as something like bladder cancer, it can still cause a lot of damage to your system if left unchecked.

If you suspect any of these things is the cause of mucus in your urine, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. In the meantime, try the natural solutions above, hopefully they can help.