What Causes My Urine to Smell So Bad

Your pee can inform you a lot about your health. While its color is a pretty good sign of your hydration levels, dietary routines, and possibly, undiagnosed medical conditions, its odor can also hint you in to what’s going on inside your body.

“Normal urine, if you’re fairly hydrated, normally has an extremely limited quantity of odor,” Ojas Shah, M.D., NYC-based urologist and professor of urology at Columbia University Medical Center and ColumbiaDoctors Midtown, tells SELF. Often you may discover that your pee is a little smellier than usual. A minor change or an increased effectiveness is more than likely due to something very small, like a food you ate. But there are some smells that may signal a hidden health problem.

Here are all the important things that are most likely to give you smelly urine, from the completely benign to the possibly concerning.

What Causes My Urine to Smell So Bad

1. You’re dehydrated.

If you’re not drinking adequate water, your pee will take on a strong ammonia aroma. Without enough H2O to dilute your urine, it ends up being more focused with waste products and therefore, darker in color and more odorous. Drink more water, and the smell must return to normal.

2. You have a urinary tract infection or bladder infection.

“A urine infection will make your urine smell quite foul sometimes,” Shah says. This could signal a range of bladder issues, like a UTI, bladder infection, or inflammation of the bladder (cystitis). If you see your pee does not simply odor strong, but it smells bad, you should see a doctor to get it checked out.

3. You drank a lots of coffee.

Ever drink a lots of coffee on an especially tiring day, and thought you were going crazy since then your pee type of perhaps smelled a bit like coffee? Well, it’s not your creativity. Shah explains that nobody understands the specific factor — “I don’t think any person has actually invested the time or money to learn why,” he keeps in mind — but some sort of by-product after the coffee is broken down maintains that smell, so you can still recognize it after it’s been excreted.

4. You consumed a lot of garlic and onions.

They don’t simply make your breath reek, but garlic and onions can really make your urine smelly, too. Once again, Shah discusses, something the body produces when it breaks these down keeps the odor even in the urine. It’s not unexpected, when you consider how permanent the stench seems in your mouth, that it can somehow endure the body’s most strenuous cleansing process, too.

5. You consumed asparagus.

It’s the classic culprit of smelly urine, though not everybody suffers from post-asparagus pee odor. “It takes place, we believe, since there’s an enzyme in some people’s bodies that breaks down asparagus in a certain way, makings it have a certain smell,” Shah describes. Specialists recommend that some people simply don’t have that enzyme, and therefore, will never know what the rest of us are complaining about.

6. You have diabetes.

“Hundreds of years ago physicians could know individuals had diabetes by tasting their urine,” Shah says. “It tasted sweet.” Nowadays, your doc absolutely isn’t taking a sip to examine — thank goodness for advances in modern medicine. However individuals with undiagnosed or badly managed diabetes may observe they have sweet-smelling urine. (If you don’t have diabetes and simply go on a sugar binge, it won’t have the same impact, since your body successfully makes insulin and keeps your blood glucose levels in check.)

7. Your intestinal tracts are leaking into your bladder.

A fistula is an abnormal connection in between two body parts that can establish as an outcome of injury, infection, surgery, or inflammation. “A fistula can develop in between the bladder and intestinal tracts,” Shah describes, and can blend the intestinal tract contents and bladder contents, making the urine smell pretty nasty. You may likewise see particles (generally feces) in your urine if you have one. “This might occur in people with an inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn’s, or bad diverticulitis [digestive tract swelling or infection],” Shah discusses. It can likewise occur with some cancers, or as an outcome of radiation therapy in that area. Always see a doctor instantly if your urine smells foul, specifically if you have any of these pre-existing conditions.

Why does my urine smell bad?


My urine has a bad odour, especially first thing in the morning but sometimes throughout the day too.

I in some cases get stinging and urinate rather frequently. I just recently had a urine test, however it came back okay.


Urine generally has a strong odor first thing in the early morning, as at this time it is very focused.

If you are at all dehydrated, as you may well be after being in a warm bed for a number of hours, there can be the unique odor of ketones in the urine as well as the by-products from specific foods that you might have eaten the night before.

Asparagus is a case in point of a substance that is gone through the kidneys into the urine that offers an effective scent, but even medication such as penicillin might do this too.

In addition there are lots of other substances such as nitrates and phosphates in the urine that can colour it and give it a distinctive smell.

The more dilute your urine is and the blander your diet, the less you will see these smells and this simply indicates drinking lots more water: as much as 3 litres a day if required.

The stinging and frequency you experience may just be due to the level of acidity of the urine you produce, but there are other possible descriptions.

It is essential that a cystitis or kidney infection is ruled out with a urine sample test, but you state your test returned normal.

If there are no bacteria it is also possible that you have a swelling of the urethra, the pipe from the bladder to the outdoors, referred to as urethritis.

A urethral swab can test for this therefore can an unique urine test. If that is excluded, there is also the possibility that you have narrowing of the urethra, possibly due to previous inflammation.

It may be appropriate for you to be referred to a urologist or gynaecologist for uro-dynamic research studies, which would consist of determining the circulation rate of your urine to see if there is any need for your urethra to be dilated surgically.

Sertraline is in some cases capable of triggering urinary symptoms, especially trouble urinating, and should just be taken with excellent care if there is any degree of kidney problems. A blood test can look for this.

Finally I would first ask you to see if you can resolve the issue by changing the acidity and dilution of the urine. Try drinking 3 litres of water every day with cranberry juice or lemon barley water to flavour it.

This easy measure alone may fix your issue.

Last modified: March 4, 2017


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