Depending on your specific condition, sterile pyuria can cause a variety of symptoms.
An increased concentration of white blood cells in the urine is a defining feature of the urinary condition pyuria. A high number, according to medical professionals, is 10 or more white blood cells per milliliter (mm3) of centrifuged urine. Urine affected by pyuria may seem hazy or pus-like. Pyuria is frequently seen when there is a urinary tract infection (UTI). Rarely, it may be a symptom of sepsis or a serious UTI.
Pyuria that doesn’t have any bacterial activity is referred to as sterile pyuria. In some situations, it might be connected to undiagnosed bacteria, a virus or other form of germ, or another underlying medical issue.
Discover the causes, signs, and possible treatments for pyuria in this article.
What You Need to Know About Pyuria
Causes or Symptoms
A urine disorder called pyuria is linked to white blood cells. A urine test might be used by your doctor to diagnose this illness.
If you have at least 10 white blood cells per cubic millimeter of urine, your doctor will diagnose pyuria. This frequently denotes an infection. However, persistent white cell counts without bacterial infection show up during testing in sterile pyuria. This disorder has a wide range of causes and treatments. Find out more about pyuria, including how to treat and avoid it.
Pyuria’s most frequent cause is a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Other potential causes of pyuria include
sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, infection with the human papillomavirus, syphilis, trichomonas, and mycoplasma, as well as viral infections such as the adenovirus, BK polyomavirus, and cytomegalovirus
Bladder discomfort syndrome
Obstructions in the urinary system
Internal renal conditions
Rejection of a kidney transplant
Polycystic renal disease due to TB
Autoimmune conditions like Kawasaki disease
Pyuria can also result from long-term usage of the following medicines:
Medicines that are non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
Proton pump blockers
Among the signs of a UTI are:
Urine with blood in it
Experiencing burning while urinating
Pyuria without a UTI can exhibit comparable signs. You might observe:
A bladder ache
Vomiting or nausea, which could be an indication of renal issues
Chills and a fever
Pyuria can occasionally occur without any symptoms. A yearly urine test is essential to identify any potential problems.
Women are more likely than men to experience pyuria. Older folks also experience pyuria more frequently. In older women, sterile pyuria is more prevalent. This corresponds to a normal decline in estrogen levels. Another condition that can raise the incidence of pyuria in women is menopause, which is associated with an increased risk of UTIs.
Your risk of developing pyuria may also rise if you engage in sexual activity. This is so because some STDs, like chlamydia, can result in pyuria. Your risk of UTI may also rise if you engage in sexual activity.
Your doctor can determine if you have pyuria with a urine sample known as a urinalysis. A lab technician will check for the presence of white blood cells, blood, and germs. White blood cells are present in every episode of pyuria; however not every sample will contain bacteria or blood. Your doctor will be able to pinpoint the exact cause of pyuria using the quantity of these components.
Nitrites or leukocytes in the urine are indicators that a UTI is present. Your doctor will likely check for additional pyuria symptoms, such as elevated white blood cell counts, if these components aren’t discovered during a urinalysis.
The etiology of pyuria affects how it is treated. Antibiotics are frequently used to treat UTIs. For up to two weeks, they are taken orally. Pyuria brought on by a fungus may be treated with antifungal drugs.
Antibiotic-resistant pyuria can have another underlying cause. To give one example, immunoglobulins are used to treat Kawasaki disease.
Stopping several prescription medications may help with persistent episodes of pyuria linked to pharmaceuticals. Your doctor might recommend a different type or brand in its stead.
Pyuria can cause other medical problems if left untreated. Since most cases are brought on by an infection of some kind, it is possible for this to spread throughout the body. Organ failure and blood toxicity can result from untreated illnesses. With untreated UTIs, permanent kidney damage is a worry. If untreated, severe pyuria cases could be lethal.
An erroneous diagnosis might occasionally make treatment more difficult. In rare instances, using an antibiotic to treat pyuria could make it worse. This may be so because many pyuria symptoms are actually caused by inflammation rather than a bacterial infection.
A regular urinalysis may reveal pyuria if you are pregnant. Although this may be concerning, pyuria occurs frequently during pregnancy. It may occur as a result of excessive vaginal discharge. In order to suggest the best course of treatment if your test results show pyuria, your doctor will need to identify the underlying cause. While urinalysis results may be tainted by vaginal discharge, it’s crucial to rule out a UTI or other illness.
Pyuria in pregnant women typically doesn’t warrant worry. But if misdiagnosed or mistreated, it might put your health and the health of your unborn child at danger. A full-term baby born prematurely or with a low birth weight may be the result of severe pyuria brought on by an untreated UTI.
The underlying reason and the timing of treatment have a significant impact on the prognosis for pyuria. With prompt treatment, it can usually go away. You can experience recurrent episodes of pyuria if you frequently develop UTIs or have other persistent, chronic diseases.
The best course of action is to pay attention to your symptoms and get medical attention if anything doesn’t feel or look right. Additionally, it’s critical that elderly individuals, who may be more vulnerable to the beginning and subsequent problems of pyuria, receive quick medical attention. For a more precise diagnosis and course of treatment, your doctor could suggest that you see a urologist.