Dark urine during pregnancy

Dark urine is just what it sounds like – urine that is darker than normal. Although dark urine can be scary, it’s very common during pregnancy due to a number of factors.

What causes it?

In a word, dehydration. The better-hydrated a person is, the more clear their urine, and vice versa. However, dehydration during pregnancy can have a number of different causes, including:

  • Increased blood volume: blood volume increases by as much as 50% during pregnancy, so your water needs will rise accordingly. If you didn’t drink a ton of water before getting pregnant, chances are you’ll need to up your intake during pregnancy.
  • Increased need to pee: because your baby might press squarely against your bladder, it’s very common to notice an increased need to pee. If you are peeing every 15 minutes, but not drinking enough water to replenish your body’s stores, you may notice dark urine.
  • Morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum: vomiting rids your body of a lot of water, and if you’re feeling nauseated all the time, it can be tough to get down as much water as you need.


If you notice dark urine, you should increase your water intake. Usually, adequate hydration will solve the issue and help bring your urine back to a more recognizable color.

If you are drinking a lot of water (think over 64 oz each day) and still noticing dark urine, it’s a good idea to mention it to your healthcare provider, as they may recommend an IV to get your fluids, especially if you’re having trouble keeping food or liquids down.

Read more
  • Sir John Dewhurst. Dewhurst’s Textbook of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 8th ed. Keith Edmonds. John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2012. Print.
  • Susan Storck et al. “Fetal Development.” U.S National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus, 9/30/2013. Web.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “First trimester pregnancy: what to expect.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 4/22/2014. Web.
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