Causes of foamy urine and when to seek help

Foam in the urine is a manifestation that should be paid attention to. In principle, there is nothing to fear. If it appears repeatedly, you should see a doctor.

Last update: May 21, 2022

Foam in the urine appears occasionally and, if so, there is nothing to worry about. On the other hand, if this happens frequently, it may be an indicator of some health problem.

Many times these body wastes are not paid attention to; either because they cause rejection or because they are not given importance. The truth is that they usually offer valuable clues about the state of health.

The most important thing to consider is the frequency with which foam appears in the urine. If it is very recurrent, the indicated thing is to consult it with the doctor; especially if it is accompanied by a strange odor or some type of associated discomfort.

foam in urine

Let’s start by saying that, in principle, foam in the urine is completely normal. The most common is that it occurs because urination is performed with great force, because the bladder is full.

There are also other irrelevant reasons that we will see later. In any case, if this happens too often, it could be a sign of a problem in the kidneys, diabetes or sexually transmitted diseases.

Be that as it may, the most important thing is not to self-diagnose. First you have to discuss it with the doctor, do the corresponding tests and then draw conclusions.

Causes of foam in urine

Foam in the urine can be due to very diverse causes. Some of them are not important, while others could be relevant pathologies. Let’s look at the main reasons.

pressure when urinating

This is the most common cause of foam in the urine that occurs occasionally. It usually happens because a person holds the urge to urinate for a long time, and when he does, the liquid is expelled with great force.

One way to check this is to wait a moment before flushing the toilet. If the foam thins, this is most likely the cause.

It is not convenient to hold urine for a long time.

Chemical reaction

There are some cleaning products that are used in toilets and that react to the presence of urine foaming. One way to verify if this is the cause of the phenomenon is to urinate in a clean container to contrast.

There are cleaning chemicals that react with urine, causing suds in the toilet. It is not something serious.

semen in urine

The presence of semen in urine also gives rise to foam. It occurs when small amounts enter the male urethra; sometimes due to retrograde ejaculation and other times because the prostate is inflamed. However, these cases are very rare.


Dehydration is another likely cause of foamy urine. This takes place when not drinking enough water during the day or intense physical exercise is done without drinking the adequate amount of water.

Typically, the urine is also very cloudy and dark in color. It is important to remember that the best moisturizer is water and not shakes, soda or sugary drinks.


Proteinuria is the presence of protein in the urine. It is common for this to occur after intense physical exercise. It is also possible that it is due to the excessive intake of protein supplements.

Nevertheless, could be a sign of untreated high blood pressure or diabetes. Diabetic nephropathy is a very common complication of type 1 and 2 diabetes. It leads to the kidneys not being able to fully fulfill their function. In these cases, early treatment is essential to prevent the problem from progressing.

Urinary infection

Urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria manage to colonize the urinary tract.. The usual thing is that this responds to some carelessness in hygiene.

One of the signs is foam in the urine, but this is usually accompanied by burning when urinating, more frequent urination and pain in the lower abdomen.

Other kidney problems

Other serious kidney problems can lead to foamy urine. Stones in these organs, as well as kidney failure, cause the symptom. Therefore, if the foam appears very frequently, a medical consultation is imperative.

Kidney stones and insufficiency of these organs are pathologies that need specialized care without delay.

When to consult with the doctor before the foam in the urine?

If foamy urine only occurs once in a while, there’s nothing to worry about. It may just be a good idea to check your urination or hydration habits.

Instead, if foamy urine appears very often, the right thing to do is visit the doctor. The causes can be many and several of them are pathologies that require diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

The consultation is more urgent if, in addition to foam in the urine, there is pain or burning during urination or other additional symptoms. In the case of diabetics, this anomaly requires an intensification of the screening protocols for complications.

Many people think that any problem with the kidneys is solved by drinking plenty of water. Although it is clear that this helps, the smartest thing is to put the situation in the hands of a specialist.

Foam in the urine is an indicator that should be paid attention to. It may not be the most pleasant, but looking at the waste should become a habit. This simple exercise is an excellent measure of control.

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