What Causes Sediment in Urine?
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Sediment In Urine - Causes and Treatment

Published on Nov 14, 2022 and last reviewed on Aug 30, 2023   -  5 min read


The significance of urine sediment analysis as a diagnostic tool for various kidney and urinary tract disorders is covered in this article. Read to know more.


The liquid by-product of metabolism in both humans and other animals is urine. In a healthy person, urine is typically clear, barely yellow, and free of any particles. Occasionally, the hue can change based on the diet, water intake, presence of blood, etc. The urinary system eliminates waste and toxins that the body creates through urine. The material that settles at the liquid's bottom is known as sediment. Sediments can also be found in urine which can make it look cloudy. Healthy urine may contain invisible amounts of sediment. These include traces of tissue, protein, skin cells, etc. Urine sediment becomes a matter of concern if there is a presence of excess sediments and a high concentration of specific cells and crystals.

What Causes Urine Sediment?

1) Dehydration

Dehydration or less water concentration in the body. This occurs when the individual is not drinking enough water, sweating profusely, has a fever, excessive urination, or has some other illness. Kids and older individuals are at a higher risk of developing dehydration.

The symptoms of dehydration include:

2) Pregnancy

Sediments in urine during pregnancy are mainly due to the presence of hormones. Dehydration or urinary tract infection could also give rise to sediments in urine during pregnancy.

3) Ovulation

Some women produce extra mucus during ovulation. This mucus has a milky texture and is stringy. This may also give an appearance of sediment in urine.

4) Yeast Infection

Yeast or fungal infection of the vagina is caused by a fungus called candida. Candida is usually present around the vagina in healthy individuals. But overgrowth of the fungus can cause an infection, which is referred to as candidiasis.

This can lead to the following symptoms:

5) Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary tract infection is the most common cause of sediments in the urine, also known as acute cystitis. It happens when microbes like bacteria enter the urinary system and multiply, causing infection. Occasionally viruses, parasites, or fungi may cause urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infections can cause discharge in both men and women. Urinary tract infections can also be associated with a catheter in case one has a catheter placed within the urethra, called, Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI).

Symptoms of UTI include:

  • Abdominal pain.

  • Frequent urge to urinate.

  • Pain and burning while urinating.

  • Cloudy urine.

  • Fever with chills.

6) Hematuria

The presence of blood in the urine is referred to as hematuria. This is also one of the most common causes of sediment in urine. The urine may appear pink, red, or have reddish spots of blood. The causes of hematuria include-

  • Infection.

  • Medications.

  • Kidney Disease.

  • Trauma.

  • Kidney stones.

  • Repeated use of a catheter.

  • Kidney cancer.

7) Diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolic condition with a rise in blood sugar levels. Diabetes leads to kidney problems due to complications. There is a loss of sugar through the urine, causing sediment. Diabetes also impacts fat metabolism to the production of ketones. These ketones may also be released in the urine as sediment.

8) Bladder Stones or Kidney Stones

Bladder stones or kidney stones are hardened mineral deposits like stones in the urine. These lead to incomplete bladder emptying.

The symptoms of kidney or bladder stones are:

  • Lower abdominal pain.

  • Difficulty in urination.

  • Blood in the urine.

  • Cloudy urine.

9) Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)

Sexually transmitted infections are transmitted through oral, anal, or vaginal contact and may cause changes in the urine. The common STDs that cause sediments in the urine are trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

Symptoms of sexually transmitted infections include -

  • Cloudy urine.

  • Burning or itching in the genital area.

  • Pelvic pain.

  • Painful urination.

  • Discharge in the urine.

10) Prostatitis

The prostate gland becomes inflamed when someone has prostatitis. Men's prostate gland, which generates semen, is situated below the urinary bladder. Typically, a bacterial infection or lower urinary tract nerve injury is what causes prostatitis. The sign and symptoms include:-

  • Burning pain while urinating.

  • Difficulty in passing urine.

  • Cloudy or bloody urine.

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain.

  • Painful ejaculation.

  • Frequent urination.

11) Liver Condition

The liver produces a by-product called bilirubin as a result of the biological processes of the body. This bilirubin, if discharged into the urine, can lead to sediment formation in the urine.

12) Bacterial Vaginosis

Inflammation of the vagina caused by an imbalance of bacteria is known as bacterial vaginosis.

The signs and symptoms include:

  • Foul-smelling urine.

  • Burning sensation while urinating.

  • Presence of thinness.

  • Grayish-white discharge that mixes with the urine.

13) Retrograde Ejaculation

This happens when the muscle preventing semen from entering the bladder is not correctly contracted. The semen goes into the bladder as there is no ejaculation.

The signs and symptoms include:

  • Presence of stringy, white bits of semen in the urine.

14) Medications

Medications such as antidiabetic medicines, vitamin B, and vitamin C have been found to cause urine sediment.

What Are Urine Sediments Identified As?

  • Whitish flakes in the urine.

  • Stringy, cloudy particles in the urine.

  • Grayish-white sediments in the urine.

  • Milky urine.

  • Pinkish or reddish urine.

  • Presence of pain while urination in some cases.

  • Frothy urine.

  • An increase in the frequency of urination.

How Are Urine Sediments Treated?

Treatment of urine sediments is based upon the accurate diagnosis of the medical condition causing it.

  • A good intake of water can treat sediment caused by dehydration.

  • Healthcare providers can prescribe antibiotics that can treat the sediment for urinary tract infections.

  • Oral antibiotics or vaginal suppositories to treat bacterial vaginosis.

  • Antifungal medications to treat yeast infections.

  • Bacterial prostatitis can be relieved by antibiotics.

  • A proper antibiotic treatment regime is followed in case of STDs.

  • Smaller kidney stones do not need any particular treatment. Whereas larger ones need surgery for removal.

  • Medications or surgical interventions are required for certain liver diseases.


The study of urine sediment is a helpful diagnostic tool that provides important details about the health and operation of the kidneys and urinary tract. Healthcare providers can recognize and keep track of a range of ailments, such as kidney diseases, UTI infections, and systemic disorders, by looking at the cellular components, crystals, casts, and other particles found in the urine. The information gained by urine sediment analysis helps with the early detection, precise diagnosis, and proper management of various disorders, improving the outcomes and quality of life for patients. For the best patient treatment and to advance the knowledge of the pathophysiology of the urinary system, it is essential to include this non-invasive and affordable approach in routine clinical practice. Finally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, drinking plenty of water, eating a balanced diet, maintaining proper hygiene, and going for routine health check-ups can keep the condition in check.

Last reviewed at:
30 Aug 2023  -  5 min read




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