Smelly Urine

Technically, normal urine is characterized with its straw yellow color and quite bearable mild smell. But when urine has a pungent and almost unbearable odor then it may be due to various factors which perhaps can be a cause of concern. The pungent odor in urine is normally due to concentration and volume of various bodily chemical as well as toxins which are egested by the kidney. The consistency of urine also regulates its smell. It is said that improperly diluted urine has a strong smell while properly concentrated urine may have lighter smell. Normally higher concentration of urea may cause urine to smell stronger. However, there are also other factors that may cause smelly urine.

Causes of Smelly Urine

There are various causes of smelly urine but most of them are not serious factors. For example in some cases urine smell may become pungent if the body does not receive adequate amount of water. However there are some rare cases wherein strong urine odor is due to serious health issues such as liver failure and phenylketonuria. Some other causes of smelly urine are explained below.

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  • Prostatitis:

In case of men, smelly urine is been associated with a condition called Prostatitis. This is a condition wherein the affected person experiences inflammation of the prostate gland. The prostate gland is only found in men, right underneath the urinary bladder. This is a small walnut shaped gland which is responsible for maintaining quality of sperm. This is a urological condition which can cause smelly urine issue.

  • Kidney stones:

It is recorded that stone in kidney can cause cloudy and stinky urine. Due to urine composition anomalies, crystalize deposits form within the kidney. Crystal begins to form when a level of oxalate and calcium in urine rise up. Kidney stone is amongst the conditions which may lead to smelly urine.

  • Dehydration:

Insufficient amount of fluid supplied to body causes decreased production of urine; which means that you urinate less than normal. This causes the urine to become highly concentrated which is why it may smell pungent and unbearable. This smell is often strong like ammonia smell.

  • Medicinal effect:

Urine is also influenced by antibiotic drugs which are suggested for dealing with bacterial infection. People who take ciprofloxacin or amoxicillin often complain about pungent urine smell. Multivitamin supplements are other medicine which can have influence on the odor of urine.

  • Beverages:

Beverages such as coffee can also have influence on the odor of your urine. Those who have 5 to 6 cups of coffee daily may develop stinky urine. In some cases people have also compliant about urine smelling slightly similar to coffee. The reason coffee is influential on urine is because of its diuretic properties. It stimulates fluid loss by augmenting rate of urination. Excess production and egestion of urine can cause dehydration which is one reason for smelly urine. However, taking 1 or 2 medium cups of coffee will not have such drastic effect.

Apart from the aforementioned conditions there are other factors that may cause stinky urine problem, these may include liver problem, diabetes, food (such as asparagus), urological diseases, etc.

Smelly urine and UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)

It is studied that UTI or Urinary Tract Infection can contribute to cause smelly urine. Urinary tract infection is bacterial infection. This condition can have its influence on any region of the urinary system. However, the infection often affects bladder as well as urethra which are considered as the most common part for UTI. The illness can affect the bladder causing inflammation; this condition is technically referred to as cystitis. If a person is affected with this condition then along with stinky urine he may also suffer from burning sensation of urine, fever, night sweats etc. These symptoms are mostly experienced by women as UTI is said to be more common among female gender due to thei

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Smelly Urine In women

Women also experience smelly urine as often as men do. One of the causes of stinky urine in women is UTI as mentioned above. UTI is common among women and almost every woman is afflicted with it at least once in their lifetime. There are also various other factors that may cause such strong smelling urine in females which are as follows:

  • Vaginal infection:

Apart from UTI even vaginal infection may lead to stinky urine. Vaginal infection as the name indicates is infection of vagina. When the condition afflicts the vagina of the affected female gives out foul smell. Though the condition may also have direct influence on the urine, in many cases women presume the stinky smell to be the smell of urine while in actuality it is from the vagina. While vaginal infection is underlying you may also experience burning sensation of the vagina and itchiness. On experiencing this you should consult your doctor for medical intervention.

  • Pregnancy:

Having smelly urine is also due to pregnancy.  In fact the main culprit behind this is also UTI. It is believed that pregnancy may make women susceptible to urinary tract infection. On getting affected with this illness the woman may start experiencing urine odor.


To your knowledge, smelly urine itself can be a symptom for any underlying issue, such as prostatitis, UTI, etc. However, there are chances that the affected individual may also experience additional symptoms of the condition. Other accompanying symptoms would greatly depend on the cause of the condition. For example in case of prostatitis pelvic discomfort during urination, high grade fever, queasiness and chills etc are experience.  If urine is stinking due to vaginitis then the affected female may notice vaginal discharge, pain while urinating, difficulty performing sex and itchiness of the vagina. In case urine has a strong smell due to kidney stones then along with urine odor the sufferer may also experience lower back ache, ache in groin, pain urinating, urine color change, frequent urine, fever, queasiness, vomiting and chills, etc.

If a patient suffers from smelly urine the doctor usually suggest two laboratory tests on urine; for this, sample of your urine is taken and sent to laboratory. The two tests often suggested by the doctor are Urine Culture and Urinalysis; these are common tests suggested for smelly urine issue. Urinalysis is chemical analysis of the taken urine sample under laboratory settings. This tests is often enough to detect any anomalous elements in the urine. Urine Culture tests is often used to determine whether strong urine smell is due to any organism such as bacteria. This test proves to be helpful for diagnosing UTI.

Treatment and home remedies

Since, smelly urine may occur due to various primary factors, the treatment of the condition would also greatly depend on the causing factor. Normally, your urine would start smelling normal once the causing condition is alleviated. For example if your urine smells bad due dehydration, then by merely increasing your fluid intake would help in improving the condition in three to four days. Similarly, if the condition is prevalent due to conditions such as UTI, Vaginitis, Kidney stone, diabetes, etc then relevant treatments would help in finding relieve from smelly urine.

There are also some home remedies suggested for alleviating stinky urine which are said to be effective. To start with, drinking lot of water would help in hydration and appropriate concentration of urine. Drinking cranberry juice can be helpful as it can reduce influence and chances of UTI. Avoid holding urine and pee whenever you have the sensation. Though it may seem senseless, but it is said that avoiding food high in B complex vitamins, such as onion, asparagus and garlic, can help in normalizing the urine odor. To protect yourself from the condition maintain hygiene, especially at your sexual region.

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