White blood cells are also known as WBCs in the abbreviated form. They are those components of the blood and the immune system that aid in fighting off infections and resisting diseases. The quantity of white blood cells in the body helps in the determination of the health of the body. White blood cells in urine, is not a sign of good health.
White cells are normally not found in urine or the urinary tract. Urine is a sterile liquid and hence does not contain any blood. Therefore, the presence of white blood cells in urine indicates that there may be a problem or an infection of the kidneys, the urinary tract, the urethra, or the bladder. Any of these may become infected and may result in inflammation of the organ along with presence of white blood cells in urine.
All of us are aware of the fact that white blood cells protect the body from the vagaries of many infections and aid in maintaining a healthy body. It is the white blood cells that help us to effectively fight off the normal conditions such as common cold, cough and other health conditions. White blood cells come from the bone marrow. There are many types of white blood cells.
The white blood cells are present across the body, in the different organs, including the lymphatic system. The blood of a healthy human adult is composed of nearly one percent of white blood cells and hence one should know that they are very important for the general health of the immune system and the body.
It is important to note that even though white blood cells are important to maintain a healthy body, presence of white blood cells in unwanted areas of the body and/or in unhealthy quantities can be caused due to the presence of certain health conditions. Similarly, the presence of white blood cells in urine could be a possible indicator of various conditions of the urinary tract.
The presence of white blood cells in the urine can be detected by a test known as urinalysis. Once the test indicates white blood cells in urine, then other tests are performed to check the overall health of the components of the urinary system such as the bladder, kidneys, urethra, etc. and then appropriate treatment is undertaken to cure the urinary tract infection. Once the underlying condition is treated, white blood cells in urine will disappear.
Symptoms of white blood cells in urine
Some of the symptoms of white blood cells in urine are as follows:
- Painful urination
- Infection of the urinary tract. This is one of the important symptoms of white blood cells in urine
- Burning sensations during urination
- Cloudy appearance of urine, if there is infection of the bladder which causes white blood cells in urine
- Difficulties in urination
- An overall weakness
- Pain in the abdomen
- A weak stream of urine
- Swelling of the genitals
Causes of white blood cells in urine
Some of the possible causes of white blood cells in urine are discussed below:
- An infection of the urinary tract: This is one of the most common causes of infections of the urinary tract as well as the presence of white blood cells in urine. During sexual intercourse or other engaging on other activities, bacteria may sometimes enter the urethral opening. This may result in infection of the urinary tract, which in turn may lead to white blood cells in urine.
- Infections of the bladder: The bladder is a major part of the urinary system. Hence, any disorder of the bladder, such as infections, can lead to the development of infections of the bladder and white blood cells in urine. Any obstruction of the bladder pathways, certain conditions associated with pregnancy and infections caused due to unsafe sexual intercourse can also lead to the development of bladder infections. This may in turn result in the collection of white blood cells in urine.
- Infection of the kidneys: This is one of the other important causes of the presence of white blood cells in urine. Infection of the kidneys generally commences as an infection of the urinary tract, which then spreads to the other organs such as the kidneys. Kidneys perform the important function of filtering the blood, which in turn prevent the passage of white blood cells into the urine. A malfunction of the kidneys due to infection can compromise this important function of the kidneys, leading to the white blood cells to enter the urine.
- Urinary tract obstruction: Any interference or disturbance of the urinary tract due to the presence of kidney or bladder stones, abdominal trauma, tumor, or prostrate hypertrophy, etc, which can cause blockage of the urinary tract, can also result in the presence of white blood cells in urine.
Treatment of white blood cells in urine
Treatment for white blood cells in urine involves treatment of the underlying condition causing it. Treatment includes:
- Dose of antibiotics to treat the infection of the urinary tract, kidneys, bladder, etc.
- Surgical intervention and other means to treat tumors, kidney stones, etc.