What causes white blood cells in urine?

Answer

Several medical scenarios can cause white blood cells in urine, including kidney and bladder infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), inflammation of the urinary tract and ureters, pregnancy, kidney disease, holding urine for too long or a blockage in the urinary tract. Normally, urine is sterile, containing salts, fluid and waste products but no blood or bacteria. Thus, if white blood cells—called leukocytes—are found in the urine, something is wrong, according to MDHealth.com.

Kidney infections, which often start in the urinary tract and spread to the kidneys, are a major cause of white blood cells in the urine. People with weak immune systems or those who frequently use a catheter are at a higher risk of kidney infection. Bladder infections, often caused by sexual intercourse or bacteria being transported from the rectum to the urethra, can also lead to leukocytes in the urine.

White blood cells can be detected by performing a urine test, or urinalysis, called a leukocyte esterase (WBC esterase). A dipstick with chemicals on it is dipped into the urine to detect abnormalities, including the presence of white blood cells, explains the Mayo Clinic. Microscopic analysis of the urine is another way to see white blood cells in the urine.

If infection is the cause, antibiotics are typically necessary, according to MDHealth.com. Personal hygiene and proper diet can also help prevent and treat the occurrence of white blood cells in the urine.

Q&A Related to "What causes white blood cells in urine?"
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1 Additional Answer
Ask.com Answer for: what causes white blood cells in urine
What Are the Causes of White Blood Cells in Urine?
The patient provides a urine sample for lab testing. A lab technician conducts three separate tests on the urine: microscopic, visual and chemical. These give a complete picture of the urine and a snapshot of the patient's overall health. White blood... More »
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