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Main causes for foamy urine and how to treat it

Foamy urine is usually not a sign of health problems, and normally happens due to accumulated pee, which is a result of not going to the toilet when you feel the urge or when you urinate too hard. In addition, it can happen due to the presence of cleaning products in the toilet, for example, that end up reacting with the urine and create foam.

However, in cases where the foam appears very frequently, it can also indicate the presence of proteins in the urine which can happen due to problems like kidney stones or decompensated high blood pressure. In these cases, it is very important to consult a urologist to assess the cause and follow the most appropriate treatment.

Foamy urine is not a sign of pregnancy but may indicate in pregnant women pre-eclampsia, which is a complication that can lead to seizures or coma if left untreated.

Main causes for foamy urine and how to treat it

6 Common causes of foamy urine

Foamy urine may have many causes such as:

1. Urinate very hard

When the bladder is too full and you do not go to the bathroom right away, the urine when released may come out too hard and form lather. However, this type of foam usually disappears in a few minutes and is not indicative of serious problems.

What to do: A good way to find out if the foam is created by a too fast or too strong urine stream is to leave the pee in the bowl for a few minutes before flushing. If the foam disappears after a few minutes, no treatment is required.

However, it is recommended that pee not be held and that you should go to the bathroom whenever you feel like it, because the accumulation of urine can increase the chances of urinary infection, kidney stone and urinary incontinence, for example. 

2. Toilet cleaning products

Some cleaning products used in the toilet can react with urine and create foam, not indicating any kind of health problem.

What to do: A good way to know if it is the cleansing product that is causing the foamy urine is to pee in a clean container. If it does not create foam, then the foam was probably due to the product, but if foam forms it is necessary to go to the doctor to assess the cause of foamy urine.

3. Dehydration

When drinking too little water or exercising too much, you can become dehydrated, and your urine becomes more concentrated and foamy. In addition, urine is even darker in color and may smell stronger.

What to do: If you suspect that the foam has developed from dehydration, you should drink about 1.5 to 2 liters of water a day and drink even more water when you exercise.

4. Presence of protein in urine

One of the main causes of foamy urine is the presence of proteins in the urine. Excessive protein may occur after intense physical exercise, excessive intake of protein supplements, or may be indicative of kidney problems, untreated high blood pressure and diabetes, for example.

What to do: The presence of proteins in the urine can be detected through the simple urine test, which is done by collecting the second urine stream sample and sending it to a laboratory for analysis. If the presence of proteins is detected by this test, the doctor may recommend a 24-hour urine test to check the amount of protein released in the urine during the day.

In addition, the doctor checks the relationship between albumin and creatinine, for example, to see if the cause is a change in kidney function, for example, in addition to other tests that may indicate hypertension or diabetes, for example

Main causes for foamy urine and how to treat it

5. Urinary infection

A urinary tract infection can cause foamy urine when bacteria enters the bladder. In addition to foamy urine, other symptoms are usually associated with pain or burning when urinating, frequent urination, and blood in the urine. Take our online test to see if you may have an urinary tract infection.

What to do: In order to confirm the urinary tract infection, it is recommended that a urine and uroculture examination be done, which is the test that aims to identify the bacteria responsible for the infection and indicate which antibiotic can be indicated by the doctor for treatment.

6. Kidney problems

The kidneys have the function of filtering the blood, resulting in the production of urine which is then eliminated from the body. Any disease or problem that affects the kidneys such as kidney infection, kidney failure, high blood pressure or kidney stones, for example, can cause foamy urine.

What to do: If there is a suspected kidney abnormality, you should go to an nephrologist for tests, so as to identify the cause, initiating the most appropriate treatment.

In addition to these causes, foamy urine in men can also be caused by the presence of semen in the urine. After intimate contact, small amounts of semen can stay in the urethra and go to the bladder when it is malfunctioning, causing foamy urine. This situation should be evaluated and treated by the urologist.

Can foamy urine indicate pregnancy?

Foamy urine is not a sign of pregnancy. However, if the woman is pregnant, foamy urine may indicate the presence of protein in the urine, which may be a sign of pre-eclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia is a complication of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure, presence of protein in the urine, and swelling of the body that, when untreated, can cause seizures and put the baby at risk.

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