Causes of leukocytes in urine include medical conditions such as bladder or kidney infections, according to MedicineNet. Leukocytes are also present if a urine sample is contaminated by cells from the vagina or the urethral opening.
Bladder infections are typically caused by bacterial infections of the urinary tract, notes Healthline. Other causes of bladder infections include drug use, radiation exposure, diseases and exposure to irritants such as spermicidal jellies. Women are at a higher risk of developing bladder infections, and those who are sexually active or are pregnant are at an even greater risk. Patients with bladder infections experience symptoms such as discomfort in the pelvic area, cloudy urine, frequent urination, a burning sensation during urination and blood in the urine. The condition is treated with antibiotics, home care and in some cases, surgery.
A kidney infection is a type of urinary tract infection that affects the kidneys, explains the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The condition occurs when bacteria or viruses move to the kidneys through the bloodstream or from the bladder. Patients who have bladder infections or other problems in the urinary tract are at a greater risk of developing a kidney infection. Symptoms of a kidney infection include vomiting, fever, chills, nausea and painful urination. If left untreated, a kidney infection can lead to sepsis or kidney failure.