Pus Cells in Urine: Understanding the Normal Range, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

When it comes to our health, paying attention to the signs and symptoms our body presents is crucial. 

One such sign that shouldn’t be ignored is the presence of pus cells in urine. 

Pus cells, also known as leukocytes, are white blood cells that can indicate an underlying infection or inflammation in the urinary tract.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the normal range of pus cells in urine, explore the symptoms and causes of pyuria, and discuss the available treatment options.

What are Pus Cells in Urine? Pyuria Explained!

Pus cells in urine, medically known as pyuria, refer to an elevated concentration of white blood cells in the urine. 

Pus is a dense fluid produced by the body to combat infections, consisting of white blood cells, dead tissues, and bacteria. 

In males, a normal urine sample typically contains less than four pus cells per high-power field (HPF), while in females, the range is usually between 5 to 7 pus cells per HPF. 

If the number of white blood cells in your urine exceeds ten per cubic millimeter, it is considered pyuria.

Types of Pyuria

There are two types of pyuria: sterile pyuria and non-sterile pyuria. 

Sterile pyuria occurs when white blood cells are present in the urine, but the underlying cause, such as a virus or undetected bacteria, remains unidentified. 

Non-sterile pyuria, on the other hand, is associated with urinary tract infections (UTIs) that occur in the bladder, urethra, or kidneys, and can be diagnosed by detecting bacteria in the pus cells.

Common Symptoms of Pyuria

Cloudy urine or the presence of pus in the urine are the most common symptoms of pyuria. 

If the pyuria is caused by a UTI, additional symptoms may include pressure in the lower pelvis, discomfort in the abdomen or pelvic region, frequent urination, blood in the urine, pain while urinating, foul-smelling urine, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

Causes of Pyuria

Apart from UTIs, there are several other causes of pyuria that should be taken into consideration. 

Some of these causes include pneumonia, kidney stones, tuberculosis, interstitial cystitis, sepsis, organ transplant rejection, and the use of certain medications such as diuretics, antibiotics containing sulfa or penicillin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and aspirin.

Diagnosis of Pus Cells in Urine

To diagnose the presence of pus cells in urine, a urine test, also known as urinalysis, is conducted. 

The process involves collecting a midstream urine sample, which is then examined under a microscope to check for white blood cells, bacteria, and blood. 

The number of pus cells is quantified and reported as the count of cells per high-power field (HPF). 

In cases where the urine analysis reveals an elevated count of pus cells, a culture and sensitivity examination is conducted to identify the bacteria responsible for the infection and determine the most appropriate antibiotic for treatment.

Treatment of Pyuria

The treatment of pyuria depends on the underlying cause, with UTIs being the most common cause. 

UTIs are typically treated with antibiotics, such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or nitrofurantoin. 

It is important to complete the full course of antibiotics to ensure the infection is completely eradicated. 

If the symptoms persist or worsen despite completing the prescribed antibiotics, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment.

Prevention of Pyuria

Preventing pyuria involves taking measures to prevent UTIs. Here are some tips to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections:

Practice good personal hygiene: Wiping from front to back after urinating can help prevent the spread of bacteria from the anal region to the urethra.

Stay hydrated: Drinking an adequate amount of water helps flush out bacteria from the urinary system.

Wear loose-fitting clothing: Opt for breathable clothing to keep the genital area dry, preventing bacterial growth in the urinary tract.

Urinate after sexual activity: Urinating after sexual activity helps eliminate bacteria from the urethra.

Use condoms: Condoms can help reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and prevent the spread of bacteria.

Pus Cells in Urine During Pregnancy

Pregnant women are more prone to urinary tract infections, which can lead to the presence of pus cells in urine. 

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect the urinary tract, increasing the likelihood of infections. 

Additionally, the growing fetus can put pressure on the bladder, trapping bacteria and causing UTIs. 

It is important for pregnant women to seek medical attention if they experience pyuria to minimize the risk of complications.


Pus cells in urine, or pyuria, can be an indication of an underlying infection or inflammation in the urinary tract. 

Monitoring the normal range of pus cells, understanding the causes and symptoms, and seeking timely treatment are essential for maintaining urinary tract health. 

By practicing good hygiene, staying hydrated, and taking preventive measures, you can reduce the risk of pyuria and maintain a healthy urinary system. 

If you suspect pyuria or have any concerns about your urinary health, consult with a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Remember, a healthy urinary system is crucial for overall well-being, and addressing any abnormalities promptly can lead to better outcomes.


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