Changes in Urine Colour – Early Signs of Pregnancy

March 10, 2023
Rinnie George – March 10, 2023
When to Seek medical attention; due to color changes in urine duration of pregnancy

Monitoring urine colour changes is highly commendable for expectant mothers, especially for what has been discussed above.

Pregnancy brings a host of signs to women’s bodies and some of them may last throughout the gestational period. These include a change in urine color, missed periods, tiredness, change in breast size, and frequent urination, according to BetterHealth (2022). Of these, Changes in urine color are early signs of pregnancy and can be seen throughout the pregnancy.

This might be caused due to a variety of reasons, one of which is the fact that pregnancy affects the function of kidneys (Pristyn Care Team, 2022). This is why the mothers-to-be are advised to intake adequate amounts of water, preferably eight to ten glasses. Dehydration is thus considered a prominent cause of urine color changes, where the latter can appear as transparent yellow to dark yellow.

Besides, the number of medications, including the vitamin tablets that pregnancy demands, also contribute to the changed urine color (Pristyn Care Team, 2022). Frequent urine testing is highly recommended in this case apart from visitations to the gynecologist at regular intervals.

Importance of Monitoring Change in Urine Colour as a Sign of Pregnancy

Though it is natural for pregnant women to experience urine color changes, this should not be taken lightly because it can potentially indicate underlying issues such as urinary tract infections. Keeping track of urine color changes ensues from this perspective, especially when it comes to detecting signs of pregnancy for the stated condition.

While reports from Cleveland Clinic (2023) have attributed bladder cancer, kidney damage, pancreatic cancer, jaundice, etc., to be the other factors causing urine color changes, the introduction of the home pregnancy kits has proven their efficacy in accurately detecting pregnancy, thereby negating the possibilities of their occurrences. 

This also provides significant alerts against multiple health issues arising due to the same, assert Smith and Rosenbloom (2022) Reporting urine color changes to a gynecologist would be even more prudential in ensuring the health of the to-be mothers and that of the baby growing within them. Additionally, urinalysis done periodically would also help alleviate urinary symptoms, keeping them at bay.

Causes of Changes in Urine Colour During Pregnancy

Cause of Changes in Urine Colour During Pregnancy

Pregnancy, being a condition, invokes a variety of health issues, especially for the mother. Urine color changes are among those which can be easily detected through home pregnancy tests, as was mentioned above.

Hormonal changes

Urine color changes in pregnancy  caused by hormone changes

Among the likely indicators of pregnancy is the presence of the hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), a hormone which shows up two weeks after conception (Smith and Rosenbloom, 2022). Medically speaking, detection of the level of hCG through the home pregnancy kit (exclusively urine-based) is a sure-shot method to confirm pregnancy. This fact goes well enough to prove that hormonal changes are one of the likely causes of changes in urine colour during pregnancy, observed by Smith and Rosenbloom (2022) and the Pristyn Care Team (2022). Released to the body during pregnancy and borne from the placenta, hCG provides nourishment to the fertilized egg lodged onto the wall of the uterus.

Increased Fluid Intake

Though it is stated that adequate fluid intake, i.e., about 8-12 cups of water, is good for pregnant women, 1-2 gallons of water intake and that too in shorter timeframes can prove highly hazardous to their health, claims Madormo (2020), and RN (Registered Nurse) and a well-known health writer. According to the author, this tendency causes water intoxication, in which one’s body cannot filter out more water as fast as it is intaken.

urine color changes in pregnancy  caused by increased fluid intake

Figure 3 illustrates the amount of water required to form the placenta necessary for the baby’s nourishment. The amniotic sac helps to hold the baby throughout the pregnancy, indicating that the primary source of water is the mother who needs to intake it in proper amounts.


urine color changes in pregnancy  caused by increased dehydration

As stated earlier, dehydration is one major cause of urine color changes in pregnancy. Drinking water in required amounts (8-10 glasses) is highly recommended for women in their pregnancy, which will allow them to stay away from urinary symptoms induced by UTI (Urinary tract infection) (Smith and Rosenbloom, 2022). Monitoring urine color helps determine whether expectant mothers are consuming water in adequate amounts or not.


UTI, to reiterate, is one of the most prominent causes of urine color changes. Pregnant women are more than likely to witness dark-colored urine due to this medical condition, which if left unattended, can give rise to a plethora of kidney-related health issues during pregnancy (Aggarwal, 2020).

Other Medical Conditions

One can more often revisit the fact that pregnancy poses a significant impact on the kidneys’ function. Also, complications arising from kidney disease, kidney stones, liver disease, etc., should not be ignored (Aggarwal, 2020). Patients, especially expectant mothers diagnosed with any (or all) of these conditions, including gestational diabetes are supposed to seek prompt medical advice to avoid complications further into the course of pregnancy.

Changes in Urine Color: Early Signs of Pregnancy

While the normal urine color presents as light or transparent yellow, in pregnant women, this transforms from light to dark yellow, and even orange-yellow as pregnancy advances (Pristyn Care Team, 2022). These color changes signify the lack of adequate water intake by expectant mothers.

changes in urine color,early signs of pregnancy

Apart from the hCG levels which cause a change in urine color and signal the onset of pregnancy, hormones like progesterone and estrogen also are known to render that dark yellow color to urine, as per the Hexahealth Care Team (2023). Here are Some early signs of pregnancy in urine.

Pink Or Brown Urine

The pink or brown urine in pregnant women may signify problematic issues such as UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). 

Green Urine

Witnessing green-colored urine in this condition is deemed to be a sign of infection. The green urine is caused due to the green vaginal discharge and strictly recommends seeking prompt medical attention. Failing to seek medical help can drastically impact pregnancy, as stated by Frothingham (2021) in the article “Healthline.”

Other Changes

Pregnant women usually present with urinary symptoms characterized by urine color changes, where they may be either asymptomatic (dark yellow urine) or symptomatic (such as hematuria and associated back pain). Since it is the symptomatic urinary infections that are known to be highly bothersome for expectant mothers, it would be wiser for them to seek medical attention.

When to Seek Medical Attention?

When to Seek medical attention; due to color changes in urine duration of pregnancy

Persistent Changes in Urine Color

Since urinary symptoms explained in the above section are likely to induce persistent changes in urine color aside from that caused due to the detection of the hCG hormones through the pregnancy test kit, these do doubtless indicate the need to attain medical attention as early as possible. The expertise and professionalism of the qualified physicians, including gynecologists and obstetricians, will help derive optimum solutions to such problematic urinary symptoms, including hematuria, kidney stones, bladder infection, UTIs, dehydration, etc., as presented by the mothers-to-be (Pristyn Care Team, 2022).

Urine Color With a Strong Odour

Persistent UTI symptoms such as hematuria or urine with a strong odour during pregnancy do invite medical intervention, assert Smith and Rosenbloom (2022). A pungent-smelling vagina is the result of excess ammonia present in the urine during pregnancy. Certain lifestyle factors like dietary preferences cause such a smell, further worsened by dehydration. Of note, UTIs and STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) can also cause urine and the vagina to have an unpleasant smell(Huizen, 2018).

Urine Color With Pain or Discomfort

As observed by Smith and Rosenbloom (2022), pregnant women, if not all, at least some, are likely to experience severe symptoms apart from urine color changes, such as pain or a burning sensation during urination, or when finding blood mixed with urine. In some cases, expectant mothers may feel the urge to urinate more often. These might be the side effects of the medications prescribed, but they cannot be cured without a physician’s advice. So, seeking medical attention is highly recommended.

Other Concerning Symptoms

The issues or symptoms noted above in pregnancy may or may not call for urgent medical attention unless these become severe. Of note, incidences related to underlying UTIs or STI-induced Chlamydomonas, Gonorrhea, or Trichomonas also demand medical attention, as claimed by Grant et al. (2020).

Summary of The Importance of Monitoring the Changes in Urine Color

Monitoring urine color changes is highly commendable for expectant mothers, especially for what has been discussed above. The most effective approach to tackling issues related to the same would be to remain well hydrated by drinking eight to ten glasses of water per day and at regular intervals. However, make sure that this should not be at one stretch to avoid water intoxication.

Since urine color changes can be brought on by the detection of hCG through pregnancy tests, the likelihood of persistent changes in urine color and associated symptoms during pregnancy do indeed require a visit to the gynecologist. they will prescribe appropriate medications to prevent further occurrence of UTI-related infections, as well as recommend periodic urinalysis to check the status of urine.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

Pregnant women need to be wary of the noticeable signs and symptoms related to urine color changes to report to their gynecologist, where the latter can suggest suitable suggestions or remedies. Doing so will help facilitate a smooth and healthy pregnancy. Additionally, drinking water in adequate amounts during pregnancy, i.e., about eight to ten glasses a day would help keep urinary symptoms and associated color changes at bay.

More importantly, since STIs pose threats to both the mother and the baby and cause poor outcomes from both maternal and neonatal perspectives, it would be highly advisable for women who are carrying to undergo screening for chlamydial, gonorrheal, and trichomonal infection.  This should go hand in hand with providing targeted treatment to guarantee good health for both the mother and the child during pregnancy and birth.

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