All human beings have mucus in their urinary tract. The mucus appears as crystals, secretions or threads. You may find it in the penis and urethra of a man and the uterus and vagina of a woman. Basically, mucus is a slimy secretion that originates from the mucous membranes and glands. Mucus threads in urine are common and thus are not reported as abnormal from a urinalysis report. However, if the threads of mucus are in excess, it could be an indication of a medical problem. This could be an infection or inflammation of the urinary tract.
Possible Causes of Mucus Threads in Urine
1. Normal Discharge
Most of the mucus in the urine originates from the lining of the urethra and the bladder. Both membranes are composed of epithelial cells. Once you urinate, some of the mucus flows with the urine though it is not visible because the refractive power of urine and mucus is almost equal. Urine originates from the kidneys where the proteins contained in mucus are produced. The urine carries the proteins on its way out of the kidneys. During ovulation and menstruation, the amount of vaginal secretions increases as does the cervical mucus, some of which flows out with urine.
2. Urinary Tract Infection
UTIs are very common and are caused by bacteria invading the genitals. They mostly multiply in the bladder, leading to cystitis. Left untreated, the infection can spread all the way to the kidneys and become pyelonephritis. The epithelium is disrupted by the bacteria and as a result, it’s shed off, causing the occurrence of mucus threads in urine. The symptoms include pain while urinating, urinary urgency and frequency, hypogastric pain, dribbling of urine and lower back pain. UTIs are common in pregnant women because the bladder is compressed and it can store less urine. Their urine contains mucus because of active secretions in their genitals during pregnancy.
3. Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases, especially chlamydia and gonorrhea, can cause the presence of mucus threads in urine. Chlamydia gives off whitish discharge while gonorrhea expresses yellowish discharge. Sexually transmitted diseases are acquired via direct skin contact during unprotected sex.
4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is a disease with unknown causes whereby your bowel has not been in its normal state for 6 or more months. The disease can also be manifested by visibility of mucus in urine. The mucus threads in urine could have originated from the excessive mucus that is present in the stool especially if an individual defecates and urinates at the same time.
5. Ulcerative Colitis
This is a disease of the bowels whereby the colon has patches of erosions and ulcers. For this reason, excessive mucus is produced. The ulcers cause the patient to have bloody diarrhea. Other symptoms include pain in the lower parts of the abdomen and fecal urgency. The mucus in the urine of such patients is the result of urine getting mixed up with the excess mucus from the anus.
6. Bladder Cancer
Though rare, a type of bladder cancer has shown the presence of mucus in the urine. Other symptoms of bladder cancer include blood in urine, painful urination and pelvic pain.
7. Urinary Stone Disease
Presence of mucus threads in urine is linked to urinary stone disease which is also known as kidney stone disease. Other symptoms may include malodorous and dark colored urine, back pains and serious abdominal pains.
How to Get Rid of Mucus Threads in Urine
For physiological and normal causes of mucus threads in urine, you do not need to worry unless there are other signs that indicate a certain serious condition. In that case, it is advisable to visit your doctor. Here are some remedies for pathological causes of mucus threads in urine.
For urinary tract infections, antibiotics like amoxicillin can clear the infection in a week or so and thus clearing the mucus. In the case of sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, antibiotics such as erythromycin can be used to clear the disease in a week or two.
2. Dietary Changes
If you are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, you should ensure that your diet does not upset your bowel movement. You should stay away from foods that are gassy like carbonated drinks, foods that cause you to bloat or cause any form of abdominal pain. Raw vegetables should be avoided as they can cause gas to build up. In addition to changing your diet, you can add fiber supplements and anti-diarrhea medication to help your bowels function well
3. Anti-Inflammatory Medicines
If you have ulcerative colitis, anti-inflammatory medication such as corticosteroids, sulfasalazine and mesalamine can help a great deal with dealing with the condition. In this way, the excessive production of mucus decreases.