What does it mean when you have white blood cells in your urine?


Quick Answer

White blood cells in the urine may indicate a urinary tract infection, according to MedlinePlus. If white blood cells are found, a physician may request a microscope analysis to confirm the presence of an infection.

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What does it mean when you have white blood cells in your urine?
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Full Answer

White blood cells travels throughout the body and detect the presence of bacteria, viruses and other intruders, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. If a foreign invader is detected, white blood cells multiply and destroy foreign invaders and protect the body against illness.

If a physician suspects a urinary tract infection, he may order a leukocyte esterase urine test to detect the existence of white blood cells in urine, according to the MedlinePlus. Although a positive reading may indicate an infection, trichomoniasis and vaginal secretions may cause a false positive test result.

If white blood cells are present, a physician may request a urine culture to confirm an infection, according to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. A urine culture detects the presence of bacteria. If the doctor finds disease-causing bacteria in the urine sample, susceptibility tests are performed to discover an antibiotic that treats the urinary tract infection. When a person has chronic urinary infections, a physician may also order tests to check for diabetes and altered kidney functioning.

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