Leukocytes in urine

White blood cells also called leukocytes are the defensive cells of the body and as a result of a laboratory test we know that there are 4500-11000 cells per mcL in blood circulation. This is a kind of blood test; complete blood count. It is normal to have a certain number of WBC in blood circulation but in normal conditions there must not be found any white blood cells in urine.

White blood cells are the warriors of our body against bacteria, viruses yeast and they try to protect our body against infections. So white blood cells are not found only in blood circulation, they can be found in every part of the body.

Wherever an infection occurs WBC access to that part of the body to fight against the infection, so with some reasons there can be found some leukocytes in urinalysis. In normal conditions there are no WBC in urine but with an infection presence leukocytes will be found in urine too.

Symptoms of White Blood Cells in Urine

  • Painful urinationLeukocytes in urine
  • Burning sense during urination
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Blood in urine
  • Strong-bad smelling urine
  • Frequent urination

Causes of White Blood Cells in Urine

Bladder Infections

Bladder infections also called Cystitis may cause white blood cells in urine. Same as urinary tract infections; urination can be painful and burning. Bladder anomalies, sexual intercourse and pregnancy may cause cystitis.

Urinary Tract Infections

If bacteria can find a way to access to the urinary tract, an infection may occur and this is one of the main reasons of leukocytes in urine. Bacteria can enter the urinary tract during sexual intercourse, during urination or bowel movements may contaminate urinary tract so microorganisms may cause an infection. Commonly painful and burning urination occurs and white blood cells go to the urinary tract to clear away the infection and WBC will be found in urinalysis.

Kidney Infections

Sometimes urinary tract infections spread to the kidneys and cause an infection, kidney infections are one of the main causes of leukocytes in urine. Kidney stones block the urine flow and make it easy for bacteria to live in and may cause kidney infections too. Kidney infections also called pyelonephritis,they are serious infections and hospitalization may be needed for treatment.


Vaginal secretion amount increase during pregnancy and this can be mixed with urine sample for the urinalysis, and WBC in urine may be found.

Urinary Tract Obstructions

A blockage in urinary tract may provide bacteria a suitable living place, this can be caused by trauma, prostate enlargement, tumors, kidney stones, bladder stones or an object in urinary tract.

Treatment-What can be done ?

If white blood cells are found in urinalysis an antibiotics treatment will be needed, pyelonephritis cases may need hospitalization for antibiotics treatment. Antibiotics treatment depends on the infection’s intensity and the kind of bacteria that cause the infection.

Correct antibiotics can be found with other laboratory tests; these are urine culture test and antibiogram test which provide information about the kind of bacteria and the antibiotics that bacteria are sensitive to. If the bacteria are resistant to the antibiotics that are used, the infection can’t be cured so urine culture test and antibiogram tests are so important to find the right treatment for the cause of leukocytes in urine.


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