You're in my urine?
December 28, 2010 7:55 AM   Subscribe

What's that funny stuff floating in my pee, and is it related to this other issue? TMI inside.

So, I have a history of vuvlar irritation with no diagnosis as far as STI/UTIs are concerned. No funny vaginal discharge or weird smells. The irritation is sort of a burny pain near my urethra and up to my clitoris, and I also have some sensitivity near my g-spot, where it just feels slightly weird. Not bad or good, just weird. The pain and discomfort is pretty random. I'm not experiencing it now, nor do I experience it for most of the time. It's not caused by sex, and it doesn't hurt to pee.

Now, the stuff floating in my pee is colorless. It looks kind of swirly and very slightly opaque, if that makes sense. It's definitely very small whatever it is. It's there almost all the time, but I can't see it when my pee is very clear (i.e. when I'm hydrated), so I can't tell if it's *actually* there.

Any ideas? These have both been happening for a while. I've been tested negative for all manner of things for the irritation (UTI/STI/candida), but I've never brought up the pee thing. Obviously next time I will, but I wanted some opinions first. I have noticed the floaty things when I'm experiencing irritation, but also when I'm not. Could these be related? Is whatever is floating in my pee causing me problems at a higher concentration? What is that stuff in my pee? So far I've chalked up my irritation to either a sensitivity to dyes/perfumes/whatever in my hygiene products/detergent or to undiagnosed IC. I'm clueless otherwise. Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you see floaty things in your pee regardless of the toilet you use? Because my first reaction is it's something in your pee reacting with the cleaning products used in the toilet.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:08 AM on December 28, 2010

swirly and very slightly opaque

Milky, kind of?

This sounds like normal vaginal discharge, which changes in texture and consistency depending on where you are in your ovulation cycle. If that's what it is, it's totally normal.
posted by Brittanie at 8:09 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've got interstitial cystitis and often have little floaty bits in my urine that match your description. It's apparently tiny pieces of the bladder lining that slough off due to the chronic irritation from the IC. Could be that!
posted by tetralix at 8:39 AM on December 28, 2010

Did you ever look up vulvodynia regarding your vulvar pain and burning? That's a possibility. I know there are pelvic floor therapists you can go to to work on it but you have to have a prescription/diagnosis from a physician.
Do you ever have urgency or frequency of urination? Any pelvic area/lower abdominal aching similar to menstrual cramps but it doesn't go away? If so google up "interstitial cystitis" (there's a wonderful support group the "Interstitial Cystistis Network".)
I have the latter and when I'm having a bad flare I could see tiny, silvery fragments in my urine or on the toilet paper. I was told they were tiny bits of my bladder lining that had flaked off due to irritation. You can see some blood, too, which I did.
I went to a good urogynecologist who did a cystoscopy and diagnosed me with IC and pelvic floor dysfunction. You have to follow a strict diet and a bunch of other things if you have IC - details on the "Network."
Good luck.
posted by Tullyogallaghan at 8:40 AM on December 28, 2010

This could be a whole bunch o' stuff. I'd probably try to pee AFTER thoroughly cleaning your vulva, into a toilet with no live-in cleaning products (ala "the blue stuff") just to clarify where the gunk is coming from.

Also: it cannot hurt to try cleaning your girl-bits with only warm water and wearing only 100% cotton panties pre-washed in Woolite for a few days, just to rule out external irritants.
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:46 AM on December 28, 2010

Or not Woolite; I'm terribly allergic to it and am not the only person I know to have that reaction. A detergent that says it's dye- and scent-free might be better, if you can't find an actual hypoallergenic detergent.

If you are putting soap inside your labia, stop doing that. Just rinse with water. If you are using any kind of "feminine hygiene wash" or other such nonsense, stop doing that. If you are taking bubble baths, stop doing that, at least until the irritation goes away. If you are shaving or waxing, stop doing that, at least until the irritation goes away.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:51 AM on December 28, 2010

It's perfectly normal for all healthy people to have a few casts (that's what those visible thingies are called) in their urine. Yours are almost certainly hyaline and granular casts, which are completely normal. You may also be sloughing off some skin cells because of the irritation in your vulva, which doesn't indicate any problems beyond what you've already identified.

If you want to see photos of urinary casts, there are some reasonably good ones here.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:54 AM on December 28, 2010

Another thing is that if you use condoms or a diaphragm/cervical cap or both, you might be sensitive to latex though not actually allergic to it.

Yet another thing is that you might be sensitive to either the fibers or bleach used in your current brand of tampons (if you use tampons). Or, I suppose, to the fibers or bleach used in your current brand of pads.

The casts in your urine are not irritating your vulva. It may be that something is going on which causes both increased urinary casts and vulval irritation, but casts can't themselves cause irritation.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:58 AM on December 28, 2010

Mod note: From the OP:
I have seen my normal discharge, and this is different. This float on the surface and, at times, looks like little spots. I see it no matter what toilet I use. It sounds like my hunch about IC might be correct. As far as hygiene is concerned, I definitely don't use soaps or any other weird feminine hygiene products down there. I have a detachable shower head that makes cleaning down there with only water effiencient and easy. I also use non-bleached non-applicator natural tampons, and my laundry detergent is dye and perfume free. Thanks so far!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:47 PM on December 28, 2010

I can't comment on the stuff in the pee issue, but the irritation issue could be due to your toilet paper. I have EXTREMELY sensitive skin and my girly bits get itchy and sore if I use any toilet paper other than Seventh Generation. I also have to wash my underwear in Seventh Generation unscented laundry detergent to avoid irritation (no fabric softener or dryer sheets). I wash my bits with Cetaphil sensitive skin cleanser (my face is now too sensitive for the Cetaphil, but it's still fine on the bits--go figure).

The toilet paper dermatitis is fairly unusual, but not unheard of--my allergy doc said it's usually a reaction to the stuff they put in t.p. to soften it.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 10:00 PM on December 28, 2010

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