If you look into the cup, you will see pale yellow urine, which generally means that your urine is healthy and well hydrated.
But what should it smell like? You probably don’t notice the smell of your urine. If not, you noticed something suspicious after the leak.
In most cases, nothing is noticeable – the urine smells a little like ammonia. But in some cases, your urine may smell. Find out what’s behind your stinky pee and find out if you’re worried about a funk.
The reason your urine smells bad: You’re dehydrated.
Not getting enough H20 can make your urine yellow and smelly.
Urologist Mehran Mowassagi, MD, of Mowassagi Urology in Santa Monica, California, says when your body breaks down the protein you eat, it creates a colorless compound called urea, which is excreted in your urine.
Water dilutes this part, so if you don’t drink enough, you’ll end up with more urea in your urine, which can make your urine yellow and smell heavy, like ammonia, he says. If you are rehydrated, your urine is usually light and smelly.
Reasons why your urine stinks: You ate something else.
Asparagus is known to cause urine odor, which is different, but not everyone who eats the vegetable notices it. A new study in the BMJ found that the urine produced by these people after eating an asparagus-heavy dinner often smells of sulfur, which may not be bad, but they may not have the smell genes.
The culprit is a sulfur compound found only in asparagus. But food isn’t the only factor driving the switch, Mowassagi said. Sulfur-containing garlic and a high-protein diet can change the smell of urine, such as fenugreek, Brussels sprouts, and curry.
The reason your urine stinks: You drank too much coffee.
Coffee beans contain compounds called caffeoyl, which are released when they are roasted, giving coffee its delicious aroma that you can drink right away. But it’s not water soluble, which means it stays intact as it flows through your system and leaks.
So if you’re drinking enough coffee, especially if you’re drinking less water and less dehydrated, you’ll have more caffeine, says S. Adam Ramin, MD, of Urologic Oncology Specialists in Los Angeles, California. This will make your urine smell a little like coffee.
If you’re dehydrated, the smell will get worse because you’ll be dealing with urea, which increases the smell.
Why Your Urine Smells Bad: You have a urinary tract infection.
If the infection occurs anywhere in the urinary tract, the bacteria can change the color and odor of the urine, Mowassagi said.
Usually you will notice a very strong smell of ammonia, or it may have a slight taste. Urine is often cloudy or bloody in UTIs. Infections are usually caused by bacteria, so antibiotics prescribed by your doctor can get rid of them and the resulting odor, but in the meantime, you may smell different from the medicine.
Reasons why your urine smells bad: You’ve started taking a new supplement or medication.
Certain vitamins, medications, and supplements can change the smell and sometimes the appearance of urine. Anyone who has taken multivitamins, especially B vitamins, and then turned neon yellow can attest to this.
Since penicillin-containing drugs are derived from mold, drugs such as antibiotics can cause urine odor. This can cause a yeast or yeast infection in your urine, but this will go away after antibiotic treatment.
Reasons why your urine smells bad: You have a genital infection.
There are sexually transmitted infections (STDs) that can cause foul-smelling urine, says Mowassagi. These include trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
This change stimulates the organisms responsible for the disease to produce more ammonia, which the body tries to clear through the urinary system.
Because sexually transmitted diseases often have no other symptoms, dirty urine may be the best way to prevent trichomoniasis.
You should see a doctor when there is an odor from the urine
Ramin says there’s no need to see a urologist if the urine odor doesn’t go away.
Make an appointment if your urine is cloudy or bloody, has pain, burning, fever, or chills when you urinate. These can indicate problems that require medical attention, such as infection or even urinary stones.