Urine Color During Pregnancy & Other Common Urinary Changes

| Reviewed By Amanda Lundberg, BSN, RN

During pregnancy, your body undergoes several changes, including changes in your urine.

From the color to how frequently you have to go, your urine can tell you some important things about what is going on in your body.

Does urine color mean anything about pregnancy? Yes, your urine color can give you clues about what is happening during your pregnancy. The color could indicate anything from dehydration to bleeding, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for when trying to figure out what is going on with your pee.

Most urine color changes during pregnancy are perfectly normal, but there are definitely a few things to look out for when you notice different colors. Read on to find out more.

Urine Changes During Pregnancy – What To Expect

You will likely find out you’re pregnant by peeing on a stick, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your urine will change during pregnancy.

The levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine, the color of your urine, and the frequency of when you have to go are all issues when pregnant.

Urine Color During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, your urine may appear the same color that it always has. For a healthy person consuming enough fluids, that should be a light yellow.

However, many women notice that their urine is darker when they are pregnant, and this may be a sign of dehydration. 

It’s easy to become dehydrated during pregnancy due to morning sickness and vomiting. Also, as your body creates the baby’s cells, you naturally need more water.

So, it’s a two-fold issue — you require more water, but you sometimes lose more water than normal if you experience morning sickness.

If you notice your urine is darker than normal, you need to make sure you are getting enough fluids and contact your doctor if you are unable to drink enough.

Your urine may also change colors if you have a urinary tract infection (UTI) or if you are eating a lot of brightly colored fruits and vegetables that impact the color. Kidney problems can also change urine color.

When To Be Concerned

If you are experiencing pain with a change in your urine color, that means you need to see a doctor.

It’s also wise to seek guidance if your urine is a different color and does not go back to a lighter yellow when you are fully hydrated.

Urine Frequency During Pregnancy

Get ready to spend a lot of time getting acquainted with bathrooms! Pregnancy will increase how often you need to urinate, and this can majorly impact your day.

You can blame the extra blood running through your body for the extra urinating, and a baby sitting on your bladder doesn’t help things.

Though there is no set normal for how often you will need to pee when pregnant, you will notice that the urge occurs much more often than usual. You may notice this change as early as the first trimester of pregnancy.

When To Be Concerned

Frequent urination could be a problem if you are also experiencing pain. This could be a sign of a urinary tract infection.

Frequent urination without pain may mean you may have gestational diabetes.

Your doctor should test for this condition when you are around 24 weeks pregnant, but let them know sooner if you feel you are going way too much.

Urine Smell During Pregnancy

You may notice certain smells more acutely when you’re pregnant, and urine is no exception.

If you’ve never paid attention to how your urine smells, be prepared to have that scent hit you in a stronger way once your little one is on board.

Normally, urine has a slight ammonia smell, and that is pretty normal. However, a super strong urine smell or one that seems off could be a sign of a urinary tract infection. 

When To Be Concerned

A strong odor accompanied by pain or a color change is a sign that you need to contact a doctor. Urinating more often and urine with an off scent may also mean you are dealing with an infection that needs treatment. 

Incontinence During Pregnancy

Leaks happen. All the extra blood in your body is going to cause you to pee more frequently, and you may have some surprises where making it to the bathroom on time doesn’t happen.

Coughing, sneezing, and other normal activities may also lead to accidents when you’re pregnant. It’s normal, even though it’s extremely annoying.

When To Be Concerned

If you can’t make it to the bathroom often and it’s affecting your everyday life, tell your doctor.

Any other changes to your urine, such as a change in smell, color, or sensation when you pee, should also be reported when accompanied by incontinence. 

How To Keep Your Urinary System Healthy

A pregnant woman staring at her belly in the bathroom mirror and smiling.

While urinary tract issues can happen when pregnant, there are things you can do to avoid them as much as possible. 

  • Drink plenty of water. You can drink other beverages as well, but water is best for your urinary tract system.
  • Wear the right underwear, which means wearing cotton underwear during the day and going without undies at night.
  • Don’t douche or use soap down there. You don’t need harsh chemicals on that part of your body to be clean, and you can actually end up introducing problems that lead to infections.
  • Get prenatal care so your doctor can detect any issues early and help you.

Causes of UTI in Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, it almost seems like your body is primed for UTIs. Your urethra expands throughout pregnancy, and this means your urine may sit there longer and grow bacteria.

Your urine is also much more concentrated, and you may have problems flushing it out if you can’t keep liquids down due to morning sickness. 

UTI While Pregnant Symptoms

While some women don’t have any symptoms of a UTI even when they have one, many women do. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain when peeing.
  • Very frequent urination.
  • Fever.
  • Discolored urine.
  • Pain in the lower back or pelvis.
  • Needing to urinate but not being able to when you try.

Natural Remedies for UTI During Pregnancy

It’s normal to want to avoid any treatments that could harm your baby during pregnancy.

While medications can be necessary to treat UTIs if your doctor prescribes them, there are some natural remedies you can try.

  • Use the power of water to flush the bacteria out of your body. Drink enough, and contact your doctor if you can’t and feel dehydrated.
  • Try cranberry juice. Cranberries contain compounds that may help you fight a UTI.
  • Don’t hold in your urine. When you have to pee, go!
  • Take probiotics to help keep the bacteria in your body balanced. This can help you avoid or eliminate infections.

Related Questions: 

How Can I Stop Leaking Urine During Pregnancy?

Leaking during pregnancy happens, but you can help prevent it by practicing Kegels regularly.

The clenching and unclenching of these muscles can help you control or stop leaking because it helps build strength.

You can also avoid caffeinated beverages and opt for water. If you still notice leaking, talk to your doctor about other options.

Is Orange Urine Dangerous?

Orange urine could be a sign that you are simply eating too many carrots. It could also be a sign of blood in the urine, and that can be dangerous if not treated.

If your urine is orange, contact your doctor so you can work with someone to try to figure out the reason and if it’s worth being concerned.

Wrapping It Up

Your urine can tell you a lot about what is happening with your body when you’re pregnant. Pay attention to all your body’s cues to experience the healthiest pregnancy you can.