The bottom line. Body odor naturally changes as you age. For older people, this change in smell is likely due to an increase in levels of a compound called 2-nonenal. No matter the cause, there’s no reason to run from these changes.
Urinary tract infections — often called UTIs — commonly cause urine to smell strong. A strong urge to urinate, needing to urinate frequently, and a burning sensation upon urination are the most common symptoms of a UTI. Bacteria in your urine cause urinary tract infections.
Smelly pee on its own is not usually a cause for concern. There are often things you can do to help your pee return to normal.
Take these steps to reduce the amount of odor your urine produces:
Common causes include chlamydia infections as well as injuries to the urethra, such as from catheter trauma. The extra presence of bacteria can cause an unpleasant smell. Doctors will usually treat the condition with antibiotics, such as doxycycline.
Foul-Smelling Urine: Dehydration Dr. Kaaki says the number one reason for bad-smelling urine is dehydration. “You always have a certain amount of ammonia in your urine. When you have more water, the ammonia is diluted, and it smells less intense.
Strategies for reducing the smell
When you’re dehydrated and your pee gets very concentrated, it can smell strongly of ammonia. If you catch a whiff of something really strong before you flush, it might also be a sign of a UTI, diabetes, a bladder infection, or metabolic diseases.
The presence of bacteria in the urine, such as with a urinary tract infection (UTI), can affect the appearance and smell of urine. When there is an infection in the urinary tract, the urine may take on a foul-smelling odor as well as appear cloudy or bloody.
Trimethylaminuria is a disorder in which the body is unable to break down trimethylamine, a chemical compound that has a pungent odor. Trimethylamine has been described as smelling like rotting fish, rotting eggs, garbage, or urine.
Cystitis Cystitis refers to inflammation of the bladder. It’s often caused by a bacterial infection, such as a UTI. The bacteria from the infection can result in a strong fish smell in the urine.
Most changes in urine odor are temporary and don’t mean you have a serious illness, particularly if you have no other symptoms. When an unusual urine odor is caused by an underlying medical condition, other symptoms are also present. If you’re concerned about the odor of your urine, talk to your doctor.
It can be due to bacterial vaginosis, a mild vaginal infection, not an STD, that’s caused when the balance of good and bad bacteria in your vagina is upset. Your risk is higher if you have more than one sex partner, a new sex partner or if you douche.
If your discharge continues to have an odor, you may have bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV is a vaginal infection but it’s not considered to be a sexually transmitted infection (STI). (Girls who are sexually active and who have BV often complain of more odor with sex).
Discharge, cervical fluid and arousal fluid You may notice sometimes your vagina feels really wet out of nowhere, so much so that you go to the bathroom just to make sure the moisture you feel isn’t your period or urine. And if you’re aroused you also may notice a surge in vaginal wetness.