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White Blood Cells in Urine During Pregnancy

White Blood Cells in Urine During Pregnancy

Bacterial infection is one of the most common causes for white blood cells in urine during pregnancy. Read the following article and find out more about causes of leukocytes in urine during pregnancy...
Rutuja Jathar
Last Updated: Jan 27, 2018
Pregnancy is the biggest transitional phase of a woman's life. It is the phase when she experiences a lot of emotional as well as physiological changes. Some of these physiological changes cause a few symptoms, that range from mild to sever degree. In order to keep a track of these changes, routine blood checkups and urine tests are mandatory. These tests are typically performed at each prenatal appointment. Since urine is a prominent indicator of your health, minor changes in it certainly mean a lot. For example, white blood cells in urine during pregnancy. In many pregnant women, elevated white blood cells in urine are observed. There are a few common causes that lead to increased count of white blood cells in urine of pregnant women. Keep reading the following article to learn more about these causes.

Various Causes

This is a common question that many pregnant women ask, especially those who are diagnosed with increased white blood cell count in urine. White blood cells or leukocytes are essential cells of the immune system that defend our body from all sorts of infections and foreign materials. According to The Merck Manual Online Medical Library, presence of white blood cells in urine is an indication of inflammation and infection of one or several kinds. Here are some of the reasons that might increase level of leukocytes in urine during pregnancy.

Urinary Tracy Infection
Possibility of urinary tract infection (UTI) is heightened during pregnancy. Since pregnancy increases bladder volume of women and hence it automatically decreases tone of the bladder. Since the bladder has to bear weight of the fetus, complete removal of urine gets difficult during pregnancy. It is also the reason why women suffer with frequent urination during pregnancy. Along with frequent urination, this condition creates suitable environment for bacterial growth. In order to fight this bacterial infection, loss of white blood cells occurs which are evident in urine.

Yeast Infection
Yeast infection is another common cause. Yeast infection is caused by yeast fungus named Candida. Yeast infection during pregnancy is often associated with increased female sex hormones, which creates favorable conditions for such fungi to grow in fenal genital system. Along with other diagnostic tests of Candidiasis or yeast infection, increased white blood cells is also considered as a positive symptom.

Kidney Infection
To be precise, kidney infection is advanced and much severe stage of urinary tract infection. When urinary tract infection is left untreated, it often causes various types of kidney infections. Such kidney infection is also known as pyelonephritis that causes white blood cells in urine. This kind of infections are often accompanied with other symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, back pain, body pain, etc. This kidney infection should be treated with strong antibiotics.

Other Causes
There is an array of other causes that may lead to presence of white blood cells or leukocytes in urine. Here is a brief explanation of these causes:
  • Asymptomatic Bacteriuria: This is one of the common reasons, which is characterized by growth of bacteria inside the bladder with no symptoms.
  • Glomerulonephritis: Glomerulonephritis is characterized by blood vessel inflammation of kidneys.
  • Cystitis: Cystitis is characterized by inflammation of ureter and urinary tract.
  • Phenacetin Nephritis: Phenacetin Nephritis is characterized by renal infection which is caused by Phenacetin - a common analgesic.
Apart from all the reasons that are mentioned above, there are several other reasons that may cause presence of leukocytes in urine without infection. These reasons include aversion to urine removal, urinary retention, kidney stones, etc.

Since the presence of white blood cells in the urine during pregnancy are diagnosed after a urine test, the health care provider prescribes possible medications for the same. Along with the medications, women should also maintain proper hygiene of the genitourinary tract, so that possibility of infections can be restricted! Take care!