What could cause cloudy urine?

A who asked...

I have persistent cloudy urine (moderate to slight) and then the urine is completely clear for a time, then cloudy again. I have absolutely no other symptoms of UTI. I am 82 with a cystocele. I have lots of energy and exercise. I am slim, eat and sleep well. No other health problems. Is this cloudy urine cause for concern? Why is the urine cloudy?

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Cloudy urine is often the sign of a urinary tract infection, or UTI. It can also be the sign of kidney stones and other urologic problems. Normally, urine is clear if there is no infection. However, when an infection develops cloudiness is one of the first signs, since it signals the development of bacteria and white blood cells (pus) in the urine. Other signs of UTI include foul smelling urine, pain on urination, and fever.

Since you have no other symptoms of UTI, the most likely cause would be your cystocele. When you have a cystocele, this means your bladder is not in its correct position, and it literally flops down, protruding into the vagina. Because of this dropping down, sometimes you may not be able to empty your bladder completely. Therefore, your urine sits in your bladder too long sometimes, letting it get stagnant and develop bacteria (a UTI). Since this might be happening alot, you may not get all the typical symptoms of UTI as this sounds like a chronic problem.

My suggestion would be to see a urogynocologist to see what can be done about your urine problems/ cystocele. I think it is important that you get this looked in to, as UTIs can get you quite sick and miserable, and this is something you should be able to prevent and/ or treat. Your urine problem needs to be worked up to make sure your kidneys are OK and that you don't have any kidney stones. Good luck!