Pus cells in urine refer to high numbers of white blood cells in your pee. These pus cells may indicate an underlying infection or inflammation in your urinary tract, which you should not ignore.
To provide you with every tiny detail regarding pus cells in pee, in this article, we discuss the normal range of pus cells in the urine, its causes, treatment options, and how you can reduce pus cells.
What are Pus Cells in Urine? Pyuria Explained!
The presence of pus cells in urine is also known as pyuria. It is a urinary condition in which your pee has elevated levels of white blood cells, also known as leukocytes.
Pus is a dense and discolored fluid your body produces to help fight against infections. This fluid comprises white blood cells, deceased tissues, and bacteria.
So, how many pus cells in urine are normal? In male urine samples, the normal count of pus cells is generally less than four cells per high-power field (HPF), while in females, it ranges from 5 to 7 cells per HPF.
You will likely have pyuria if you have ten or more white blood cells per cubic millimeter of pee.
What are the Types of Pyuria?
- Sterile Pyuria: When you have sterile pyuria, your pee contains white blood cells, but the underlying causes, which could be a virus or undetected bacteria, are undetectable. Even side effects of medications can also cause sterile pyuria.
- Non-Sterile Pyuria: Your healthcare provider can detect bacteria in the pus cells when you have non-sterile pyuria. It is associated with urinary tract infections (UTIs) occurring in the bladder, urethra, or kidney.
Common Symptoms That Indicate Pyuria
The most common symptoms of pyuria are cloudy pee or pus in the urine. If your pyuria is attributed to UTIs, the symptoms may include the following:
- Pressure in the lower pelvis
- Discomfort in the side of the abdomen or pelvic region
- Frequent need to pee
- Blood in your urine
- Pain while peeing
- Foul-smelling urine
- Nausea and vomiting
What Causes Pyuria?
Apart from UTIs, the most common causes, the other causes of pyuria include:
- Kidney stones
- Interstitial cystitis
- Organ transplant rejection
- Transvaginal surgical mesh
Consumption of certain medications can also elevate pus cell levels in your pee. A few of them include:
- Antibiotics containing sulfa or penicillin
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen sodium.
Diagnosis of Pus Cells in Pee
High or occasional pus cells in the urine are diagnosed through a urine test, often known as urinalysis.
The following steps are followed by doctors to detect pus cells in your urine:
- Sample collection: First, your midstream urine sample is collected.
- Microscopic Examination: Then, your urine sample is examined under a microscope to check for white blood cells, bacteria, and blood at the laboratory. If you have an infection or inflammation, there will be an increase in the number of pus cells.
- Quantification of pus cells: Next, the number of pus cells is measured and reported as the count of cells per high-power field (HPF) of the microscope.
- Culture and sensitivity testing: If the urine analysis reveals an elevated count of pus cells, a culture and sensitivity examination is conducted to identify the bacteria responsible for the infection, helping determine a suitable antibiotic for its treatment.
Treatment of Pyuria
Treatment of pus cells in urine or pyuria depends on the underlying cause. In most cases, it is caused by UTIs, which are treated with antibiotics.
The treatment can involve a short course of oral trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or nitrofurantoin, relieving the symptoms of a UTI. These antibiotics have the potential to treat bacterial STIs as well as tuberculosis.
However, your urinary tract infection may return if you do not take the antibiotics prescribed. So, it is necessary to finish your full course of antibiotics.
If your pyuria persists despite finishing the prescribed antibiotics, consult your healthcare provider immediately.
How to Prevent Pyuria?
So, how to reduce pus cells in urine? Is it even possible? One can prevent pyuria by preventing UTIs:
Here are some tips you can follow to prevent pus cells in pee:
- Practice good oral hygiene: Maintaining proper personal hygiene, such as wiping from front to back after urinating, can reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. Regularly cleaning the genital area through gentle washing is crucial.
- Keep yourself hydrated: Staying well-hydrated helps eliminate bacteria from your urinary system.
- Wear loose clothing: Opt for breathable, loose-fitting clothing to maintain a dry genital area, preventing bacterial growth in your urinary tract. Cotton undergarments absorb moisture, while synthetic materials draw away excess moisture.
- Pee after sex: Urinating following sexual activity helps remove bacteria from your urinary tract. In addition, washing or showering before/after sexual activity can reduce the risk of UTIs.
- Use condoms: Condoms help inhibit the spread of STIs by significantly reducing bodily fluids exchange, especially when someone is at risk of contracting these infections.
Pus Cells in Urine During Pregnancy
What happens if pus cells are present in urine during pregnancy? Pus cells in pee in pregnancy, usually caused by UTIs, are common.
Here are some reasons responsible for occurring of urinary tract infections during pregnancy:
- Hormones such as progesterone during pregnancy lead to modifications in the urinary tract, sometimes leading to infections.
- Women have more sugar, protein, and hormones in their urine during pregnancy, increasing their chances of UTIs.
- As the fetus develops, it exerts pressure on the bladder, trapping bacteria and leading to urinary tract infections.
Tips to Avoid Infections During Pregnancy
Here are some tips you can follow to prevent UTIs during pregnancy:
- Drink an adequate amount of water
- Don’t wait too long to pee
- Wipe from front to back after urination
- Refrain from applying soap or body wash to the genital region.
- Treat any vaginal itching or infection
- Avoid or reduce the use of public toilets
Conclusion: Pyuria Condition
Pus cells in urine are a condition in which your pee contains white blood cells. Your urine may seem cloudy or smell foul if you have pyuria.
Most pyuria cases do not pose severe health threats; however, if you notice such changes in your pee, talk to your healthcare provider to determine the cause and treat it.
If a person experiences pyuria during pregnancy, they should consult a doctor to minimize the risk of complications.
Feel free to visit us at Grace Laboratory if you want to have a urine or blood test.