What Does Pregnancy Pee Look Like?

Pregnancy changes a lot about an expectant mother’s body. Our organs get squished, the extra weight can bother our backs, and our feet can swell. In the first trimester, we get to experience morning sickness. Pregnancy isn’t always fun, but there is a lot to look forward to.

Since pregnancy can affect so much about our bodies, some mothers may wonder how these changes affect our urination. 

At Mommy Care Kit, we understand that there are a lot of questions that come with pregnancy, so we’re here to help.

What does urination during pregnancy look like? Let’s find out.

What Should My Pee Look Like During Pregnancy?

A lot of the changes that pregnancy makes to a woman’s body can be either seen or felt. However, other changes are invisible and can’t be felt, although some may affect your mood. 

When you’re pregnant, your urine should look pretty much the same as it did when you weren’t pregnant. However, pee itself fluctuates in appearance depending on how hydrated you are. If you’re dehydrated, your urine will be darker in color, such as dark amber, since it’s more concentrated.

When you're hydrated, your urine color will usually be a pale yellow, as it has more fluids mixed in. It may even appear clear at times. Generally, if your urine color fits in the pale yellow to amber range, it’s a good thing.

That said, pale yellow is ideal since we want to avoid being dehydrated.

During pregnancy, your urine is more likely to be on the paler side of things. Your blood volume increases by about 50%, which means that your urine will be more diluted than usual. It’s still important to drink enough water, though — after all, you’re drinking for two.

Does Anything Change?

Although the color of your urine may not change, there are invisible changes to the makeup of your urine, which allows at-home pregnancy tests to detect early pregnancy.

When you are pregnant, your body begins producing a chemical called human chorionic gonadotropin — which you probably know by the name hCG. This chemical can be found in the blood and urine of a pregnant mother.

When you take a pregnancy test, the hCG reacts with the pee strip, which tells the test that you’re pregnant. 

I’ve Noticed That My Pee Looks Different. What’s Happening?

If you notice that your pee has a different color, it may indicate that there’s something wrong. Sometimes, foods like fava beans and beets can affect the color of your pee. Some colors can also be caused by medication you’re taking for an illness or by food coloring.

If you notice any of the following urine colors, you may want to see a doctor:

  • Light brown, which can be a sign of kidney failure or disease, muscle breakdown, or a result of extreme exercise
  • Red, which can be a result of red food, like berries and beets, but if you haven’t eaten any of these or it occurs multiple times, it may also be blood from kidney stones or a urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Blue or green, which is normally a result of medication or food but can be a sign of a very rare infection
  • Orange, which is usually a result of medication, but can also be a sign of liver disease

If food is causing the issue, you can drink water, wait for 24 hours, and confirm whether the color is back to normal. If it continues after 24 hours, it’s likely time to talk to your doctor.

Your urine may change colors at any time, and pregnancy does not usually increase the likelihood of having color changes. However, if you do notice them, you should talk to a healthcare provider. 

What Are Some Signs of a Urinary Tract Infection?

A common problem that pregnant women can run into is a urinary tract infection or a UTI. Of course, they can happen outside of pregnancy too, and they can also affect men. 

The likelihood of a urinary tract infection doesn’t increase during pregnancy. Still, it’s good to be able to recognize the signs since a UTI needs to be treated as early as possible.

Blood in your urine can be a sign of a UTI — however, that may not be the first sign, and you may not even notice this symptom at all. The most common symptom associated with a UTI is cloudy urine. This means that instead of being a clear yellowy color, your urine will look foggy.

Other common symptoms of a UTI include:

  • A burning sensation during urination
  • Painful urination
  • Pain in the pelvic area
  • Frequent urination in small amounts
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Constantly feeling like you need to urinate

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you will want to talk to your OB/GYN or midwife or visit urgent care.

Why Does My Urine Need To Be Tested?

When you visit your OB/GYN or midwife, you’ll usually need to take a urine test. Some practices will have you check your urine weekly for anything odd by using a chemical strip, while others spread it out across longer durations of time.

Usually, a urinalysis will be done on your first visit and then periodically throughout the rest of your pregnancy. Urine tests are important because they monitor essential aspects of the mother’s health and can screen for potential conditions like UTIs, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia.

Most practices will require a specific test for gestational diabetes around 20 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. They’ll provide instructions for what you need to eat beforehand to help them determine whether you have this condition.

You’ll also need to be screened for bacteria and kidney or bladder infections. Urine tests can also help determine if you’re dehydrated, which is key since it can take time to get used to drinking enough for two.

How Do These Tests Work?

For most urine tests, you’ll need to collect a urine sample for your OB or midwife to test. Your doctor will then dip a testing strip into the urine. The chemicals on the strip will react and change color to indicate the levels of proteins, sugars, bacteria, and ketones.

High levels of one of these things in your urine can indicate certain conditions. For example, a UTI might cause a higher level of protein in the urine.


What Other Changes Will I Notice During Pregnancy?

A common complaint of pregnancy is that you will need to pee a lot, especially as you reach the end of the second trimester and the beginning of the third trimester. Your little one will start pressing on your bladder, and your growing baby and uterus mean there’s less room for your bladder.

Many pregnant mothers end up dealing with incontinence as a result. This means you may leak a little bit on your way to the bathroom or if you sneeze, cough, or laugh. It’s not something you should be embarrassed about, and it happens to most pregnant mothers.

You may also lose some bladder control after birth, depending on how it goes and how you deliver your little one, whether vaginally or by C-section.

Being Prepared With Knowledge

Pregnancy is a time full of many changes, and it seems like we have to learn about our bodies all over again. There’s discomfort in areas we never noticed before, our center of gravity changes, and we have to get used to a baby kicking around during the second trimester.

Although our urine may not be something we want to think about, our urine can be a key indicator of our overall health. After all, for most of us, it’s how we found out about our babies in the first place.

With the help of information, we can be prepared for anything that may come our way. Since your urine usually won’t visibly change during pregnancy, there’s not much you need to worry about, but if it does, now you know what to do.


Pregnancy & Bladder Control: Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic

Should I Be Worried About My Urine Color? | UnityPoint Health

Urinary tract infection (UTI) - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

Why Prenatal Urine Tests Are Important | Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health

Urine hCG Level Test: Purpose, Procedure, and Risks | Healthline