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What Does It Mean If You Have Protein In Your Urine While Pregnant?

The presence of protein in the urine of a person refers to proteinuria. Protein in urine in small amount during pregnancy of a woman is normal. However, large amounts of protein excreted via urine during the early phases of pregnancy may indicate an infection. Moreover, if excessive protein excretes from the urine during later pregnancy stages, it indicates a severe complication, including preeclampsia.

What Does It Mean If You Have Protein In Your Urine While Pregnant?

What Does It Mean If You Have Protein In Your Urine While Pregnant?

Kidneys are responsible for filtration of various waste products from the blood and retain the components required for growth and development of your body, including the proteins. However, because of specific health conditions, body allows leakage of these proteins via kidneys in the form of urine. Protein in urine while pregnant can mean:


Preeclampsia syndrome characterizes from the problem of high blood pressure and leads to protein loss in the form of urine. Proteinuria in combination with hypertension may take place after about 20 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy. It does not highlight any other symptom; however, in case of severe conditions, a woman may experience swelling in the face and hands, headaches, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, reduce in urination and blurring in the vision. Furthermore, preeclampsia in severe form may cause failure of various organs, such as liver, kidneys, eye, brain, lungs and heart.


Eclampsia refers to a health condition when generalized seizures take place in combination with the problem of preeclampsia. Convulsions or seizures may take place before, during or after labor pain. This problem even indicates an obstetrical emergency requiring intervention within no time.

HELLP Syndrome

HELLP syndrome constitutes a variant of preeclampsia and it is a life-threatening pregnancy complication takes place among women. Prime characteristics of the problem are EL i.e. elevated liver enzymes, H or hemolysis i.e. breakdown of RBCs and LP i.e. low platelet count.

Kidney Infection or Urinary Tract Infection

Protein in the urine during pregnancy may also because of kidney and/or urinary tract infections. In this case, you should make sure to check the following-

  • An urge towards urinating frequently
  • A feeling of discomfort during urination
  • To experience common kidney and urinary tract infections, such as vomiting, back pains, chills and nausea.

Note: Infections in both kidneys and urinary tract may affect the overall health of new baby adversely and even it may result in low birth weights or premature delivery.

Other Factors to Cause the Problem

A pregnant woman may experience excessive protein in the urine because of other major factors, such as:

  • Fever and dehydration
  • Excessive emotional stress
  • Exposure to excessive high temperature
  • Strenuous physical workouts
  • Lupus, leukemia, arthritis, kidney problems, diabetes and chronic kidney disease may lead to excessive protein excretion in urine.

Symptoms of Protein in the Urine During Pregnancy

You may identify the problem of proteinuria or presence of protein in the urine based on these symptoms-

  • Swelling in the face, hands and feet
  • Foamy urine.

From the middle of your pregnancy period, you should make sure to check the preeclampsia symptoms, such as

  • Blur vision
  • Sudden swelling of your body parts
  • Headache problems on a consistent basis
  • Generally illness feelings
  • Persistent problem of heartburn and acidity
  • Severe pain in the below portion of your rib region

Treatment for Protein in the Urine During Pregnancy

The problem of protein excretion with urine or proteinuria is actually not a disease; rather it is a condition. Because of this, treatment of the problem depends primarily on identification of the exact cause and the way, you opt or doctor recommends you to manage it properly. For instance, if you are a diabetes patient, you should make sure to control the sugar level and prevent proteinuria with regular exercise, balanced diet, yoga and meditation. In case you deal with proteinuria because of hypertension, you should undergo with the treatment associated with the respective health condition.


  1. American Pregnancy Association. (2021). Preeclampsia: Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Treatment. https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-complications/preeclampsia/
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Preeclampsia. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/preeclampsia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355745
  3. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). (2017). Preeclampsia and High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/pregnancy-high-blood-pressure/preeclampsia
  4. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). (2021). Hypertension in Pregnancy. https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/practice-advisory/articles/2021/07/hypertension-in-pregnancy
  5. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Eclampsia. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eclampsia/symptoms-causes/syc-20372345
  6. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). (2019). Preterm Labor and Birth: Condition Information. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preterm/conditioninfo/causes

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 4, 2023

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