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Mucus in Urine

How Do You Test for Mucus in Urine?

Mucus is a thick, slimy substance that coats and moistens certain parts of the body, including the nose, mouth, throat, and urinary tract. A small amount of mucus in your urine is normal. An excess amount may indicate a urinary tract infection (UTI) or other medical condition. A test called urinalysis can detect whether there is too much mucus in your urine.

Other names: microscopic urine analysis, microscopic examination of urine, urine test, urine analysis, UA

What is it used for?

A mucus in urine test may be part of a urinalysis. A urinalysis may include a visual check of your urine sample, tests for certain chemicals, and an examination of urine cells under a microscope. A mucus in urine test is part of a microscopic exam of urine.

Why do I need a mucus in urine test?

A urinalysis is often part of a routine checkup. Your health care provider may include a mucus in urine test in your urinalysis if you have symptoms of a UTI. These include:

  • Frequent urge to urinate, but little urine is passed
  • Painful urination
  • Dark, cloudy, or reddish-colored urine
  • Bad smelling urine
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue

What happens during a mucus in urine test?

Your health care provider will need to collect a sample of your urine. You will receive a container to collect the urine and special instructions to make sure that the sample is sterile. These instructions are often called the "clean catch method." The clean catch method includes the following steps:

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Clean your genital area with a cleansing pad given to you by your provider. Men should wipe the tip of their penis. Women should open their labia and clean from front to back.
  3. Start to urinate into the toilet.
  4. Move the collection container under your urine stream.
  5. Collect at least an ounce or two of urine into the container. The container will have markings to indicate the amounts.
  6. Finish urinating into the toilet.
  7. Return the sample container as instructed by your health care provider.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don't need any special preparations for this test. If your health care provider has ordered other urine or blood tests, you may need to fast (not eat or drink) for several hours before the test. Your health care provider will let you know if there are any special instructions to follow.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is no known risk to having a urinalysis or a test for mucus in urine.

What do the results mean?

If your results show a small or moderate amount of mucus in your urine, it is mostly likely due to normal discharge. A large amount of mucus may indicate one of the following conditions:

To learn what your results mean, talk to your health care provider.

Is there anything else I need to know about a mucus in urine test?

If a urinalysis is part of your regular checkup, your urine will be tested for a variety of substances along with mucus. These include red and white blood cells, proteins, acid and sugar levels, and the concentration of particles in your urine.

If you get frequent UTIs, your health care provider may recommend more testing, as well as steps that may help prevent reinfection.

References

  1. ClinLabNavigator. [Internet]. ClinLabNavigator; c2015. Urinalysis; [updated 2016 May 2; cited 2017 May 2]; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
  2. Hinkle J, Cheever K. Brunner & Suddarth's Handbook of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests. 2nd Ed, Kindle. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; c2014. Urinalysis p. 508–9.
  3. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2017. Urinalysis: The Test; [updated 2016 May 26; cited 2017 Mar 3]; [about 4 screens]. Available from:
  4. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2017. Urinalysis: The Test Sample; [updated 2016 May 26; cited 2017 Mar 3]; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
  5. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2017. Urinalysis: Three Types of Examinations; [cited 2017 Mar 3]; [about 2 screens]. Available from:
  6. Mayo Clinic [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; c1998–2017. Urinalysis: How you prepare; 2016 Oct 19 [cited 2017 Mar 3]; [about 5 screens]. Available from:
  7. Mayo Clinic [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; c1998–2017. Urinalysis: What you can expect; 2016 Oct 19 [cited 2017 Mar 3]; [about 6 screens]. Available from:
  8. Merck Manual Consumer Version [Internet]. Kenilworth (NJ): Merck & Co., Inc.; c2017. Urinalysis [cited 2017 Mar 3]; [about 2 screens]. Available from:
  9. National Cancer Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms: mucus; [cited 2017 Mar 3]; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
  10. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs); May 2012 [cited 2017 Mar 3]; [about 4 screens]. Available from:
  11. Saint Francis Health System [Internet]. Tulsa (OK): Saint Francis Health System; c2016. Patient Information: Collecting a Clean Catch Urine Sample; [cited 2017 May 2]; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
  12. University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital [Internet]. Iowa City (IA): University of Iowa; c2017. Urinary Tract Infections in Children; [cited 2017 May 2]; [about 3 screens]. Available from:
  13. University of Rochester Medical Center [Internet]. Rochester (NY): University of Rochester Medical Center; c2017. Health Encyclopedia: Microscopic Urinalysis; [cited 2017 Mar 3]; [about 2 screens]. Available from:
  14. University of Rochester Medical Center [Internet]. Rochester (NY): University of Rochester Medical Center; c2017. Health Encyclopedia: Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs); [cited 2017 Mar 3]; [about 2 screens]. Available from:

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The medical information provided is for informational purposes only, and is not to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please contact your health care provider with questions you may have regarding medical conditions or the interpretation of test results.

In the event of a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.
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