Pus cells refer to term given to the accumulation of dead white blood cells (WBCs) at the site of infection. When these pus cells are present in the human urine, the condition is known as Pyuria. It is normal for some pus cells to be present in the urine sample, however, an elevated number of pus cells in the urine sample are an indication of some underlying injection. In this article, let us discuss pus cells in detail including what pus cells are, why they are present in urine, what are the symptoms of presence of pus cells in urine, pus cell in urine normal range and whether or not it is normal to detect the presence of pus cells in urine.

Infections in your renal tract or even in the kidneys manifest in multiple ways. Early giveaways of the condition include painful urination, burning sensation while peeing or even itchiness and discomfort. If the symptoms don't go away easily, they could be indicative of something more severe that only proper testing can unfold. Get your blood checked as per your doctor's prescription.

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What are Pus cells?

Pus cells are a collection of dead, white blood cells that accumulates when the body’s immune system activates in response to an infection. These cells form a whitish-yellow or yellowish colored protein rich fluid at the site of the infection. This fluid is known as liquor puris. These pus cells may sometimes be present in your urine. This condition wherein the presence of white blood cells in urine is detected is known as pyuria. Pyuria can be sterile or non-sterile. Sterile pyuria refers to the presence of pus cells in urine without detection of any bacteria whereas, non sterile pyuria is due to the presence of bacterias.

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Is the precedence of pus cells in urine normal?

The presence of pus cells in urine may or may not be considered normal depending upon their level in the urine sample. Pus cells can be present in the urine sample of a healthy individual in very minute quantities. However, an elevated number of pus cells in the urine sample are an indication of urinary tract infection (UTI). 

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What is the normal range of pus cells in urine?

It is normal to have a small number of pus cells in the urine sample. The normal range of pus cells in urine when observed under a high power microscope varies slightly in males and females. The normal count of pus cells in male urine samples is around less than 4 cells / HPF, whereas, for females, the normal pus cells count in around 5 to 7 cells / HPF. The increased number of pus cells in urine can be observed physically through the visible changes in urine, that is, the urine may become thick and look cloudy like a pus. Therefore, if you observe changes in the texture or colour of urine, you should consult a doctor.

Why are Pus cells present in urine?

The presence of pus cells in the urine can be due to different reasons. Majorly the presence of pus cells in urine is due to an infection from bacteria or viruses. The main reasons that can lead to the occurrence of pus cells in urine include:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI), that is, infection in any part of your urinary system like urinary bladder, urethra, ureter or kidneys
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI) like viral infection or gonorrhea
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Bacteremia with sepsis
  • Kidney disease
  • Urinary tract stones
  • Pneumonia
  • Prostatitis
  • Parasites
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Tumour in the urinary tract
  • Consumption of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen
  • Penicillin antibiotics
  • Diuretics
  • Proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole

When should you get pus cells in a urine test done?

Pus cells in urine are an indication of urinary tract infection and in severe cases may indicate sepsis or any other health condition. Therefore, you should immediately get your urine test done if you observe one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Excretion of a cloudy urine
  • Change in texture or colour of the urine
  • An increased frequency of urination
  • Presence of blood in urine
  • A burning sensation while urinating
  • Pain in the pelvic region
  • Passing of urine that has a foul smell
  • Fever 
  • Pain in the abdominal region
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abnormal discharge from the vagina
  • Vomiting or nausea


The presence of pus cells in urine is an important indicator of urinary tract infection (UTI) and this indicator should not be overlooked. You must get a urine test as soon as you experience a burning sensation or increased frequency of urination. Now, that you are aware of the normal range of pus cells in urine, the reasons due to which the pus cells may be present in the urine and the symptoms when you should get a urine test done, you will be better able to analyse your health condition and take the right decision at the right time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How to reduce pus cells in urine?

    There are certain natural ways by which you can reduce the number of pus cells in urine. These include:

    • Keep yourself hydrated
    • Cranberry juice and green tea extract can also help in reducing the number of pus cells
    • Applying a wet warm compress to the area
    • Painkillers like aspirin
  2. What do pus cells in urine indicate?

    The presence of pus cells in urine are in general an indication of urinary tract infection (UTI) and in severe cases, it can be due to sepsis.

  3. How to test for Pyuria?

    The most accurate test for pyuria is by counting the number of leukocytes in fresh urine samples. You can easily get your test done at Redcliffe labs.

Are Pus Cells in urine a warning sign of an Infection

Generally, pus cells in urine are not a cause for alarm. However, it is always good to have them checked by a doctor to rule out an infection. If it does turn out to be an infection, it can be treated accordingly. While the main component of pus is the dead white blood cells, it also contains other debris. This may include dead neutrophils, which can indicate a bacterial infection near the site of the infection. The body’s immune system will then attack these bacteria. These cells will be cleared away by macrophage cells, which are a type of immune cell devoted to eating bacteria. The presence of pus cells in urine can be a warning sign of an infection, particularly urinary tract infections. The condition is not usually serious, but it can cause pain and fever. The urine sample can be analyzed under a microscope to see if there is a significant number of pus cells present. If more than four pus cells are visible under a high-field microscope, then there is a higher chance of an infection. This is considered pyuria.

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Prekshi Garg is a young, dynamic, energetic, and meritorious professional biotechnologist. She is a merit rank holder in her post-graduation and a skilled bioinformatician with great zeal to do her best in neurosciences. She is currently working in the area of Neurotranscritomics dealing with neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. She has presented many papers at different scientific forums and is awarded ‘Representing the Institution in Scientific Events’ citation by Amity University Uttar Pradesh and Top position in Student Assistantship Program held at Amity University in addition to awards won for oral presentations in different scientific deliberations. Prekshi has published a good number of papers and book chapters during the start of her academic career itself. Her tremendous skills and knowledge make her a good blend of biotechnology and bioinformatics.

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2 replies on “Pus cells in urine: Is it normal? What is the normal range?”

  • Avatar
    Priti Singh
    December 21, 2022 at 12:22 pm

    6 saal ke bache ladke ke bathroom ki jga ke ps se mavad jda aye to kya bimari ho skti h

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      December 28, 2022 at 2:20 pm

      Aapke sawaal ke liye sukriya. aap apna sawaal humari health community https://redcliffelabs.com/health-community/ par puch sakte hain. waha par aapko aapke sawaalo ka jawaab bhi mil jaayega and uske saath aapko Health management ke liye content and guidelines bhi mil jaayegi

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