Here's what could be causing your smelly urine

Photo credits: gpointstudio - Getty Images
By Cosmopolitan
Stinky urine can affect anyone, and although there is often no cause for concern, it can occasionally be worth checking to see if the problem persists. Regardless of whether you're worried about sexually transmitted diseases or just want to check if your smell is normal, Cosmopolitan spoke to Dr. Deborah Lee from Dr. Fox Online Pharmacy, which shared the reasons why your piss might smell ...
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Why might you get stinky urine?
There are a number of reasons why your piss might smell, but in general it's best to start with what you've been eating and drinking lately.
"Whenever you consume food or drink, these products have to be metabolized in your body," says Dr. Lee. "This metabolic process produces by-products, and these by-products must then be excreted. Many of these by-products are excreted in our stool (feces). However, some specific substances are excreted in the urine. These products can sometimes have effects on how the urine smells.
"Fish, onions and garlic are good examples. Coffee, curry and salmon can do that too. Asparagus is known to have a strong odor in the urine - it contains asparagic acid that smells a bit of sulfur."
But eating is not the only explanation. "Any medication that increases the sulfur content in your urine can cause the urine to smell," says Dr. Lee. "For example, antibiotics called sulfonamides, which are often used to treat urinary infections. Sulfur products tend to smell like rotten eggs.
"Urinary tract infections (UTIs) often also lead to smelly urine. The overgrowth of bacteria in the bladder causes inflammation of the bladder wall and an accumulation of white blood cells. Pus smells very unpleasant, as you know, if you have ever had a boil or an abscess.
"Diabetes can also cause your urine to smell. First, if you develop diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), this leads to an increase in urine ketones. Ketones smell like acetone - after pear drops or nail polish remover. DKA usually occurs People with type 1 diabetes and is a medical emergency.
"If diabetes is not diagnosed or poorly controlled, high urinary glucose levels can make the urine smell sweet."
"Kidney stones can also be associated with malodorous urine."
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Which urine smells are "normal"?
It is worth noting that "normal" is different for everyone, but like Dr. Lee emphasizes, "We are generally unaware of the smell of our urine. If you notice the odd breath - it's probably something to blame - though not necessarily harmful." Essentially, you are listening to your own body and not necessarily what Google says.
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"It is perfectly normal for your urine to smell slightly of ammonia. However, the smell can become more intense, for example if you are dehydrated and the urine is more concentrated. This can also happen if you have too much salt in your diet."
Why do pregnant women get stinky urine?
Your body changes a lot when you are pregnant, so you may not immediately notice a chance in the smell of your piss. When you do this, you simply know that you don't necessarily have to panic. "Women often develop an increased sense of smell when they are pregnant," says Dr. Lee. "If a pregnant woman complains about the smell of her urine, it could be her nose rather than her urine, which is the cause of the problem!
Photo credit: Lizalica - Getty Images
"Vitamin D is excreted in the urine and can produce an unpleasant smell. Women often take vitamin supplements during pregnancy. The RCOG recommends supplementing them with folic acid and vitamin D during pregnancy.
"Urine infections are more common in pregnancy and can lead to malodorous urine. This can be due to the pressure of the pregnant womb (uterus) directly on the bladder. Severe morning sickness can lead to dehydration and cause urine to smell if it is concentrated . "
Can STIs Cause Stinky Urine?
Yes - and if you haven't been examined for a while, now is the time to do it.
Dr. Lee explains: "Usually STIs cause urine odor because the vaginal discharge is mixed with the urine.
"It is very common for people with urinary problems to go to the clinic - if they actually have an STI - and not with a urinary tract infection. In general, urinary tract infections are often overdiagnosed and STIs are often underdiagnosed. If you have urinary problems, this is the case. " It is always important to be carefully assessed, tested and treated.
"For example, Trichomoniasis vaginalis is known to cause fish-like odor. Chlamydia can cause unpleasant odor, although surprisingly this often causes no symptoms at all, while gonorrhea is said to cause a fungal odor from the genital area.
Photo credit: Peter Dazeley - Getty Images
"Bacterial vaginosis (BV) affects approximately 28 to 30% of women aged 14 to 49 who attend UK GPs and GUM clinics in the UK. Some women have no symptoms and it may actually be is if you think your urine stinks BV - BV is not an STI, however.
"Although women often have bouts of vulvovaginal candidiasis (thrush), it is usually odorless.
"Don't forget, an often forgotten cause of a smelly vagina is a forgotten tampon! You may think it's urine - but that smell could be something else entirely."
When should you see a doctor?
"You don't have to go to the doctor if you feel good and have no other symptoms. In most cases, wait, drink plenty of fluids, and see if the smell disappears," says Dr. Lee.
However, she recommends that you seek medical help if you do any of the following:
Symptoms that indicate a urinary tract infection, such as painful urination, frequent urination, blood in the urine, or pain in the abdomen.
Symptoms that indicate kidney infection, such as lumbar or back pain.
Generalized symptoms such as fever, rigor, general malaise, lethargy, nausea, vomiting.
If you are pregnant or have diseases such as diabetes or a weakened immune system.
If you are known to have kidney problems or kidney stones.
Is There A Treatment For Stinky Urine?
You should see your doctor if you are concerned that your body is behaving differently. Dr. Lee says, "The best way to treat smelly urine is to identify the cause. Make sure you eat a healthy diet, including lots of fruits and vegetables, and drink lots of water - at least two liters a day. Reduce The amount of salt in your diet.
"When you see your doctor, you probably need a midstream urine test and you may benefit from a full STI screen."
Regarding everyday behavior, she explains, "Make sure you keep your genital area clean. Wear cotton underwear that is not too tight. Keep your bathroom and toilet clean and well cleaned."
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