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Joanne Van Zuidam

Dark Urine During Pregnancy

Is your urine looking darker these days? Find out what might be causing it and what to do about it.

What is dark urine during pregnancy?

It’s when you look down into the toilet bowl after you pee and, instead of seeing the usual light-yellow color, it looks darker or murkier. Urine tends to get darker when you’re dehydrated because the lack of water makes it more concentrated.

What could be causing my dark urine during pregnancy?

You probably just haven’t been drinking enough water, says Karen Deighan, MD, FACOG, department chairperson of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital of Loyola University Health System. When you’re pregnant, you need to drink even more water than you did pre-pregnancy. “Even if you think you’re drinking a lot, you may not be drinking enough,” says Deighan.

Hyperemesis gravidarum—severe morning sickness that causes excessive vomiting—can make you severely dehydrated. About 1 in every 200 pregnant women experience this condition, and it usually occurs in the first trimester.

If you drink more water and your urine is still dark, it could be a sign of some sort of liver problem and needs to be evaluated.

When should I go to the doctor about dark urine?

It’s not such an emergency that you need to call your OB at 2 a.m., but it’s definitely something you would want to mention at your next visit. In the meantime, try to drink more water to see if the problem resolves on its own. If it doesn’t, definitely call the doctor.

Also must-call scenarios: if you also see blood in your urine or have other symptoms, like burning while urinating. Those can be signs of a  urinary tract infection (UTI), which, if left untreated, can lead to a kidney infection, which is very serious in pregnancy.

What should I do to treat dark urine?


Increase your fluid intake and see if that makes a difference. Also, watch out for any other scary symptoms listed above.

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