Are You Familiar With Count of Epithelial Cells in Urine During Pregnancy?

Are You Familiar With Count of Epithelial Cells in Urine During Pregnancy?

Congratulations on your pregnancy? This is one such phase in life that brings so much of joy in the lives of the pregnant woman and the people associated with her. But, there are several lab examinations held in order to evaluate the health of the unborn baby and the mother. Epithelial cells in urine during pregnancy is one such test that is held in order to find whether the range is normal or beyond normal.

The Presence of Epithelial Cells in Urine is Common

Epithelial cells are normally found in urine since they are sloughed off from the urethra, kidneys, urinary bladder and the genital tract. Epithelial cells are a normal part of some sediment which is passed in the urine. However, their presence is considered to be abnormal if they are found in increasing numbers

What Do You Know About Epithelial Cells?

Before you get to know about the epithelial cells normal count in urine during pregnancy, you must know about it in details. Epithelial is the lining that is located both internally and externally the organs of your body. The epithelial cells are produced on a regular basis, in lieu, with the old cells getting eliminated. Each part of your body possesses a unique set of epithelial cells.

The presence of epithelial cells in urine provides information about your health when you undertake a lab test. The result of the test mostly depends on the types of epithelial cells that are diagnosed and their numbers as well. It is important to find out whether the epithelial cells range in urine during pregnancy is normal or not. The high range is definitely concerning.

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Types of Epithelial cells in Urine During Pregnancy

Do you know the epithelial cells vary in appearance, shape, and size? There are primarily three types that can be found in your urine. They are

  • Transitional Epithelial Cells

    These are rarely present and can originate from the renal pelvis or male urethra. They are also called bladder cells and are found more often among elderly patients.

  • Squamous Epithelial Cells

    These are largest in size and are discharged from the vagina.

  • Renal Tubular Epithelial Cells

    These are also called Renal Cells. Presence of renal epithelial cells in urine in high numbers is suggestive of viral infections, toxic reactions and also some extent of destruction of nephron.

Causes For Epithelial Cells in Urine During Pregnancy

The normal range of epithelial cells in urine is 1-5 cells/hpf. Presence of epithelial cells more than 8-10cells/hpf during pregnancy is considered to be abnormal.

A higher range is accepted as normal permissible epithelial cells since a woman’s body undergoes several functional as well hormonal changes during pregnancy.

The increase in progesterone during pregnancy results in dilatation of the urethra and increased chances of passing sugars in urine. These two factors increase the risk for urinary tract infections in females.

This article will help you understand various causes for epithelial cells in urine during pregnancy and a brief description of conditions responsible for the same.

Contaminated Urine Sample

Contamination of urine sample is one of the commonest causes for inaccurate urine analysis results. Urine sample can get contaminated if the container is not sterile or if the bacteria from skin surface enter into the urine collected in the container box.

Conversely, a urine sample is said to be contaminated if too many epithelial cells are found in the urine sample.

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infection can cause presence of unusually large amount of epithelial cells in urine. The term urinary tract infection can indicate infection of various parts of the urinary tract. It can be of the following types

  • Urethritis – Infection of the urethra only
  • Cystitis – Infection of the urinary bladder
  • Kidney infection

Kidney Diseases

The renal tubular epithelial cells are prone to injury in presence of any kind of acute or chronic kidney diseases. Presence of renal tubular epithelial cells in urine indicates kidney diseases of severe intensity such as active renal disease, renal tubular injury or viral infections

Yeast Infection

Vaginal yeast infection occurs due the fungus Candida. High number of epithelial cells in urine is a common finding among pregnant women having vaginal yeast infection.

Undergoing The Urine Test

With the help of a urine evaluation or test, you will be able to learn about the epithelial cells number in urine during pregnancy. In fact, you might be asked by your doctor to undergo the urine test. And examine the number of epithelial cells. They have usually reported as “FEW” epithelial cells, “MODERATE” epithelial cells and “MANY” epithelial cells.

Urine Test For Epithelial Cells During Pregnancy

The Ranges of Epithelial Cells in Urine

Epithelial cells will get eliminated from your body naturally. It is a pretty normal range of epithelial cells in urine is 1 to 5 flat epithelial cells based on the HPF (High Power Field) in your urine. The higher number of epithelial cells, it indicates inflammation, infection, and contamination in your body. The epithelial cells count in urine at the time of pregnancy will be on the higher end.

The numbers ranging from 6 to 8 epithelial cells in urine during pregnancy is not concerning. The majority of the pregnant women is found to have epithelial cells higher during the phase. In case, you are not pregnant, and the blood test reveals that you have a moderate number of epithelial cells in the urine, it might indicate some health related issues.

You Might be Suffering from:

In fact, even if the range is between 15 to 20 epithelial cells in urine at the time of pregnancy, it is a serious issue. The epithelial cells range during pregnancy is no doubt higher, but too many cells can indicate some internal problem in your body. Since, during pregnancy, your body undergoes a lot of hormonal changes, and complications pop, the doctor always ensures to check the epithelial cells level to avoid any unwanted circumstances.

More than 15 epithelial cells in urine mean that your kidney is not working properly, and you must undergo immediate treatment. If the treatment is not executed right on time, you might suffer from renal failure. Things are complicated and can be fatal. As well when such is the case with the epithelial cells in urine at the period of pregnancy.

Having an 8 to 10 epithelial cells count in urine during pregnancy can be an indication of other health situations as well.In case, there are epithelial cells with a lot of blood particles or hemoglobin; it means your urine contains red blood cells. Often some pregnant women are reportedly having 10 to 15 epithelial cells in urine during pregnancy in the later phases. This is also accompanied by pus and red blood cells. Things are concerning but can be addressed.

Best Tip For High Epithelial cells in Urine During Pregnancy

Drink Adequate Amount of Water

When you have a high epithelial cell in urine during pregnancy or any other time. It is recommended to have an adequate amount of fluid intake. Drinking water is indeed very good for your overall health. It is all the more important when your epithelial cells in urine during pregnancy is on the higher end. Drinking water helps in the improvement of urine output and flushes out the toxins from your body.


Since pregnancy is an extremely important phase in every woman’s life, abnormal laboratory test findings such as increased number of epithelial cells in urine during pregnancy can cause immense panic among such women.  

It is therefore important to correlate these findings clinically with relevant signs and symptoms so that they can be diagnosed appropriately and treated if they are present due to underlying medical condition.

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sameer Kumar (MBBS, MS, FMAS, DMAS)Obstetrician & Gynecologist