A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Signs of urine trouble: Know the colors of urine

Before you flush, check out your pee.

As silly as it sounds, it’s important to look at your urine each time you go to the bathroom.

Sometimes odd-colored urine or smelly pee are just weird side effects of what you ate. Other times, urine color indicates health concerns.

Dora Jacobs, a Marshfield Clinic urology nurse practitioner, navigates the urine rainbow to help identify which colors of urine are healthy and when to see your provider.

Download What Your Urine Says About Your Health Handout


What Your Urine Says About Your Health - infographic from Marshfield Clinic Health System

How long should I wait before seeing my provider?

“For concerning colors, you can give yourself about a week to see if there’s a change,” Jacobs said. “It doesn’t hurt to go in sooner or call your provider before then if you’re worried.”

What happens when I see my provider for urine concerns?

At your appointment, you’ll have a microscopic urinalysis. You provide a urine sample, which is then examined under a microscope. Microscopic urinalyses see cells from your urinary tract, blood cells, crystals, bacteria, parasites and cells from tumors.

Your urine sample helps your provider determine next steps.

Talk to your provider

Make an appointment with your provider if you have concerns about your urine.

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