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If you are pregnant, you must have noticed a change in the colour of your urine. When you look down in the toilet bowl after peeing, instead of seeing the usual light-yellow colour, you might see a darker shade of yellow. A change in the urine colour can be a sign of pregnancy as well as of some problems during pregnancy. This change can be from yellow to a brighter or darker shade of yellow and is governed by several factors.
Does the Colour of Urine Change During Pregnancy?
A healthy person’s urine colour can range from a very light, almost transparent yellow to a slightly darker shade of yellow. During pregnancy, however, this change can be more pronounced. It can range from an intense bright yellow to a darker, almost orange-yellow colour.
The colour of the urine is caused by the pigment urochrome, which is also known as urobilin. Urobilin is made when the body breaks down haemoglobin from dead red blood cells. The appearance of the pigment will depend on the consistency of your urine. If your urine is diluted (when you are hydrated), the pigment in your urine will be of a lighter shade. However, if your urine is in concentrated form, the pigment will have a darker shade.
Apart from this, there are a lot of factors which will decide the colour of your urine during pregnancy. There is a profound change in how kidneys filter water during pregnancy. Additionally, changes in the intake of food during pregnancy and the additional intake of vitamins and medicines prescribed can also bring about a change in the colour of urine.
Why Does the Colour of Urine Change During Pregnancy?
The factors that decide the colour of urine during pregnancy are mentioned below:
1. Pregnancy Diet
During pregnancy, your diet takes a 180-degree turn. You become more conscious of your eating habits. Your diet will include fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and other healthy foods. Certain fruits and vegetables can bring about a change in the colour of your urine during pregnancy.
2. Vitamins and Other Medicines
Many pregnant women are advised to take prenatal vitamins and supplements during pregnancy. A woman’s body cannot break down the vitamins in their entirety. The absorbed vitamins and other supplemented nutrients are discarded from the body through urine, which could result in a darker shade of urine.
Intake of water also decides the colour of your urine during pregnancy. Many women experience the problem of dehydration during pregnancy even though if they are drinking more than enough water. Another cause of dehydration is a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum. Hyperemesis gravidarum is a condition characterised by severe morning sickness, nausea, and weight loss. This condition causes severe morning sickness and is common in about one per cent of all pregnancies. Hyperemesis gravidarum causes excess vomiting in pregnant women resulting in dehydration. In cases where there are no apparent signs of dehydration, dark urine could be a sign of liver complications. You should consult a doctor soon.
4. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
An infection in the urinary tract can also bring about a change in the colour of your urine. A urinary tract infection (UTI) should not be taken lightly as it can have serious consequences like premature labour or underweight baby. Bright yellow-coloured urine, an increase in the frequency of urination, pain in the lower abdomen or blood in the urine are all signs of a urinary tract infection.
Hematuria is the presence of blood in the urine. The excess red blood cells need to be eliminated from the body; they are discarded by the body through urine and can result in very dark yellow or red-coloured urine.
6. Urinary Bladder Infections
A bladder infection is a type of UTI and is a bacterial infection. Pregnancy can result in an increased frequency of hormonal changes in a woman’s body. Such changes usually result in the enlargement of the urinary bladder, which weakens the bladder lining and makes it prone to infections. Bladder infections can result in a change in the colour of urine.
7. Kidney Diseases
Kidneys are the organs that filter and discard waste matter from the body. Any disorder in the kidneys can easily result in a change in the colour of urine.
8. Kidney Stones
Urine Tests During Pregnancy
Conducting urine tests from time to time during pregnancy is crucial as it will reveal your health status. Urinalysis at different stages of pregnancy will help your doctor detect any possible condition that requires treatment. Tests will be done to monitor for bladder infections, kidney infections, diabetes, and even dehydration. High levels of protein in urine are a sign of urinary tract infection or kidney disease. Having high glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy could indicate to gestational diabetes, which generally develops in the second trimester of pregnancy. The presence of red blood cells, white blood cells, or bacteria could be a sign of UTI. Conducting urine tests during pregnancy is very important, so don’t skip them. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to visit your doctor if you experience any problem while urinating.
When to Visit a Doctor
Although a change in colour of urine could be a result of various harmless reasons, ranging from vitamin intake to dehydration, they can sometimes be caused by more severe conditions. A burning sensation while urinating could indicate a UTI. After an increase in the intake of water, if the colour of your urine is still dark, it could indicate liver and kidney malfunctions. If you notice that the colour of your urine is pale-yellow or dark, then you should consult a doctor.
Like many other bodily changes, a change in urine colour is common during pregnancy. You could have dark-coloured urine because of dehydration. It merely indicates that you should be drinking more water. If you notice a change in your urine colour, do not panic. Drink water and stay hydrated; however, if the problem persists, visit the doctor.