What does Yeast in Urine Look Like? (Color and smell)
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- Fungi, fungal UTI, or urine contamination from vaginal yeast infections can cause yeast in urine.
- Risk factors for yeast in urine and fungal UTIs include extremes of age, being female, use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, and more.
- Yeast in urine from fungal UTI may only be detectable by microscopy, while yeast in urine from candida vulvovaginitis may appear as small white chunks or strings in the toilet urine.
- Symptoms of fungal UTI and candida vulvovaginitis are described, and diagnosis methods are explained.
- Yeast in urine typically has little or no smell, and the smell of the urine is not characteristic of yeast infections of the urine.
 The three main sources of yeast are in the urine.
Yeast (fungi) in urine can occur due to the following:
- Funguria (presence of yeast or fungi in urine without UTI symptoms).
- Fungal UTI (UTI and its symptoms caused by yeast (mainly candida species)).
- Contamination of urine by yeast from fungal vaiginal infection (mainly candida vulvovaginitis).
[A] Funguria and Fungal UTI.
Fungal UTIs causing yeast in urine are rare, often affecting people with serious illnesses and in-hospital patients.
However, the presence of yeast in urine (colonization of the urinary tract with yeast without causing inflammation or UTI is more common than fungal UTIs.
The risk factors of yeast in urine and fungal (candida) UTIs are (reference):
- Extremes of age (children and elderly).
- Being a female.
- The use of broad-spectrum antibiotics.
- Diabetes mellitus (especially if it is poorly controlled).
- Bladder stones and urinary tract obstructions (urine stasis).
- Prolonged Hospital stay.
- Intensive care unit (ICU) admission.
- Taking immunosuppressive medications such as corticosteroids.
- Previous surgery (especially urinary tract surgeries).
- Urinary tract instrumentation (particularly prolonged urinary catheter insertion).
- Abnormalities in urinary tract anatomy.
- Bladder dysfunction: Neurological disorders affecting urination and the urinary bladder (neurogenic bladder).
[B] Urine contamination from vaginal yeast infection.
Fungal vaginal infections (mainly candida vulvovaginitis) are the second most common cause of vaginitis after bacterial infections.
It is a widespread condition that affects about 20% of women annually.
Candida vulvovaginitis may lead to urine contamination by yeast in the vaginal secretions around the urethral opening that is shed when you pee.
This can lead to the appearance of yeast in urine and can be seen by the eye as whitish speckles or turbidity.
Unlike fungal UTI, candida vulvovaginitis typically affects healthy women in their reproductive years. one study found that 55% of women with vaginal yeast infections are university students.
 What does yeast in urine from UTI look like?
Yeast in urine due to fungi or fungal UTI may be detectable only by microscopic examination. In most cases of fungi (presence of yeast in urine without UTI symptoms), the urine appears normal yellow with no specific smell.
In severe cases of candida UTI, the organism may infect the kidney (preferred site of candida UTI infection) and spreads into the bloodstream.
The urine of patients with candida UTI may appear clear or turbid. Turbidy may be mild, with few whitish strings or fragments in the urine.
In rare cases, the urine may turn completely turbid (Obaque whitish or beige) instead of clear amber-yellow urine. In such cases, it is difficult to differentiate yeast in urine from bacteria UTI as both appear as pus in urine (pyuria).
Candida UTIs can lead to severe complications such as kidney abscesses (typically in patients with serious illnesses, not the healthy), leading to red urine due to blood in the stool (hematuria).
Yeast in urine due to fungal UTI may be detectable only by microscopy (normal clear & yellow urine). However, the urine may look slightly or completely turbid (whitish or beige-colored) or reddish (due to hematuria).
 What does yeast from vulvovaginal candidiasis look like in urine?
As mentioned above, vaginal yeast infection (candida vulvovaginitis) is very common compared to fungal UTIs.
Also, vaginal yeast infections are not restricted to patients with risk factors such as serious illnesses and diabetes, but they can affect healthy and young women (reference).
So, always consider vaginal yeast infection as a likely source of yeast in your urine as it contaminates urine when you pee.
Yeast in urine due to candida vulvovaginitis (the most common form of yeast infection) can be seen as small white chunks or strings in the toilet urine.
The condition is usually associated with vulvar and vaginal itching, redness, and white cheesy secretions.
Rarely, vaginal secretions are thin, watery, and indistinguishable from other types of vaginitis. It has little or no smell.
 Symptoms and diagnosis of fungal UTI.
Symptoms of fungal UTI include:
- Burning urination.
- Frequent urge to pee.
- Turbid urine.
- White clumps or strings in urine.
- Sometimes, blood is in the urine.
- Peeing more frequently
- lower abdominal or loin (flank and back) pain.
- Anorexia, nausea, or vomiting.
Candida UTI is diagnosed based on symptoms, visualizing the yeast (candida) by microscopic urine examination.
In persistent or severe cases, abdominal imaging (Ultrasound or CT) may be needed to detect complications such as fungal abscesses in the kidney.
 Symptoms and diagnosis of candida Vulvovaginitis.
Symptoms of candida vulvovaginitis include:
- Itching at the vulvovaginal region.
- Vulvar burning and soreness.
- Burning urination may also occur due to erythema and irritation around the urethral opening.
- Sometimes, frequent urge to urinate.
- Painful intercourse (Dyspareunia).
- The symptoms typically worsen during the week before the menses.
- Redness and edema in the vulvovaginal region.
- White cheesy vaginal secretions.
Diagnosis of candida vulvovaginitis as a cause of Yeast in urine:
The diagnosis of vaginal yeast infection is made by visualizing the characteristic secretions (white and cheesy) and taking a vaginal swab for culture and microscopic examination.
Culture is usually unnecessary as candida can be seen under the microscope.
 What does yeast in urine smell like?
Yeast in urine typically has little or no smell. Therefore, the smell of the urine is not characteristic of yeast infections of the urine, such as candida infection.
The smell, if present, is typically like honey or bread smell.
- Written by a doctor.
MD, Internal Medicine and Nephrology specialist.
Dr. Esraa A. MagidAuthor