Leukocytes in Urine During Pregnancy: Ultimate Guide


A leukocyte is a white blood cell which helps in defenses of the immune system against disease. These can sometimes be found in urine. These do not usually occur in the urine in significant numbers. Presence of leukocytes in the urine may be considered as a symptom of an infection. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is considered often responsible for increasing leukocyte levels in the urine. It is estimated that 150 million UTIs occur worldwide every year.

leukocytes in urine

For baby’s proper growth and development there are many visits to the doctor for regular check-ups and one test is a urinary test. This can help in detecting the level of leukocytes in the urine and the doctor will tell if there is any infection that will need treatment.

In this article:

Leukocytes in Urine During Pregnancy
Leukocytes in the Urine Without Nitrite Urine During Pregnancy
What are Leukocytes During Pregnancy
Urinary Tract Infections Treatment
Prevention of UTIs in Women
Can You Have Leukocytes in Urine Without UTIs?
What Does it Mean if You Have a Trace of Leukocytes in Your Urine?
Are Leukocytes in Urine a Sign of Cancer?
What Helps UTI Pain While Pregnant?


All You Need to Know about Leukocytes in Urine During Pregnancy

Leukocytes in Urine During Pregnancy

An unusually high of leukocytes in the urine is an indication of inflammation or infection along the urinary tract, often in the bladder or kidney. When leukocytes damage or killed while fighting off infections they are expelled from the body through the urine indicating a low level of leukocytes in the urine. The average level of leukocytes that should be present in the urine is between 2 to 5 WBCs/hpf. If the level of leukocytes rises and goes above 5 WBCs/hpf, it may be a sign of infection or disease and must be diagnosed.

A dipstick test is done for diagnosis in which a chemical strip detects an enzyme called leukocyte esterase that points to the presence of white blood cells typically related to an infection. This test also highlights nitrites which are a waste product from the breakdown of certain bacteria.

The presence of nitrites in the urine is highly specific to certain bacterial infections. Nitrites do no occur with all types of bacteria.

An absence of leukocyte esterase in the urine means that the urine is not likely to contain white blood cells so it is not likely to have infectious agents.

Read More:White Blood Cells Count in Pregnancy: What is Normal and What is Not?


Leukocytes in the Urine Without Nitrite Urine During Pregnancy

If the test for leukocyte esterase is positive but finds no nitrite, an infection may still be seen. The test is particular to certain bacterial enzymes which means it can pick up specific bacterial infections with more certainty and give the results. However, it is highly sensitive which means that the test does not pick up all bacterial infections. E. coli bacteria are the most commonly associated with nitrites in the urine.

Having leukocytes in the urine without nitrites can also lead to a false-positive result that point to a bacterial infection when there is none. Further tests will be done to confirm the presence of an infection.

What are Leukocytes During Pregnancy

The doctor will carry out urinalysis during pregnancy to check for leukocytes. This is the same test used to confirm bladder or kidney infection.

This checks for certain pregnancy-related conditions like preeclampsia or high blood pressure during pregnancy. Presence of protein in the urine and a raised blood pressure reading can indicate preeclampsia.

The major causes of leukocytes in urine during pregnancy are –


Urinary Tract Infections Treatment

Treatment depends on levels of leukocytes as well as based on the cause of the issue. Most UTIs cause manageable infections that should be treated with the use of antibiotics. The doctor may prescribe a range of different antibiotics although there are only certain antibiotics to women during pregnancy that are prescribed. Other possible treatments are –

  • Natural disinfectants
  • Surgery
  • Sound waves, chemotherapy and radiation

Read More:Jaundice During Pregnancy: Symptom, Causes, Treatments

Prevention of UTIs in Women

Preventive measures are –

  • Drinking more fluid to flush out the bacteria and toxins from the body
  • Emptying the bladder without delay
  • Urinating often and regularly
  • Urinating straight after sex
  • Going for regular urine tests
  • Taking protective measures regarding sex such as avoiding spermicides and diaphragms
  • Using unscented, mild soaps for cleansing the genital area properly
  • Wearing breathable, natural fabrics such as 100 percent cotton
  • Maintaining personal hygiene by washing hands


Can You Have Leukocytes in Urine Without Uti?

Yes, leukocytes can be seen in other conditions also other than UTI. The other possible causes are –

  • Kidney stones
  • Kidney infection
  • Urinary system blockage
  • Holding in urine
  • Cancers such as kidney, bladder and prostate cancer
  • Blood diseases such as sickle cell anemia
  • Some pain relieving medicines
  • Interstitial cystitis

What Does it Mean if You Have a Trace of Leukocytes in Your Urine?

If there is presence of leukocytes in urine it means there is infection or inflammation.

Are Leukocytes in Urine a Sign of Cancer?

Yes, an increase in the number of leukocytes in the urine can indicate the presence of leukemia (blood cancer). Elevated leukocytes in the urine are used to diagnose leukemia and lymphoma. There are also raised levels of leukocytes in the urine in some cancers such as prostate, bladder or kidney cancer.


What Helps UTI Pain While Pregnant?

There several ways to help UTI pain while pregnant –

  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day and drink unsweetened cranberry juice regularly.
  • Take vitamin C (250 to 500 mg), beta carotene (25,000 to 50,000 IU per day) and zinc (30-50 mg per day) which will help to fight infection.
  • Urinate as soon as it is felt and empty the bladder completely when urinating.
  • Urinate before and after intercourse.


Presence of leukocytes can indicate UTIS. UTIs can be irritating and are sensitive in nature but they are often preventable and usually treatable.



Leukocytes in Urine during Pregnancy


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