Q:

What does it mean when you have white blood cells in your urine?

A:

Quick Answer

White blood cells in the urine may indicate a urinary tract infection, according to MedlinePlus. If white blood cells are found, a physician may request a microscope analysis to confirm the presence of an infection.

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White blood cells travels throughout the body and detect the presence of bacteria, viruses and other intruders, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. If a foreign invader is detected, white blood cells multiply and destroy foreign invaders and protect the body against illness.

If a physician suspects a urinary tract infection, he may order a leukocyte esterase urine test to detect the existence of white blood cells in urine, according to the MedlinePlus. Although a positive reading may indicate an infection, trichomoniasis and vaginal secretions may cause a false positive test result.

If white blood cells are present, a physician may request a urine culture to confirm an infection, according to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. A urine culture detects the presence of bacteria. If the doctor finds disease-causing bacteria in the urine sample, susceptibility tests are performed to discover an antibiotic that treats the urinary tract infection. When a person has chronic urinary infections, a physician may also order tests to check for diabetes and altered kidney functioning.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What can cause urine to have white blood cells?

    A:

    A urinary tract infection is a common cause of white blood cells appearing in the urine, according to MedicineNet. While white blood cells from the opening of the urethra (in both men and women) or the vagina (in women) sometimes contaminate samples, anomalous levels indicate a noteworthy condition.

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  • Q:

    What is a healthy range for white blood cells?

    A:

    Healthy levels of white blood cells in the blood are around 4,500 to 10,000 per microliter, according to National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus. White blood cells are crucial to prevent infections from occurring in the body, which is why it is important to have the levels monitored. There are many causes of white blood cell levels to be either too high or too low, including a number of diseases.

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  • Q:

    Where do white blood cells come from?

    A:

    White blood cells are produced within the bones in a substance called bone marrow, according to the Health Encyclopedia of the University of Rochester Medical Center. White blood cells only account for around 1 percent of a human's blood.

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  • Q:

    What does it mean when leukocytes are in urine?

    A:

    The presence of leukocytes, or white blood cells, in the urine may indicate a urinary tract infection, according to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Contamination, such as from vaginal secretions, may also cause leukocytes to show up during a urinalysis.

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