- Your pee might smell if you eat foods like asparagus, coffee, onions, garlic, and fish.
- Diabetes can make your urine have a sweet-smelling odor and may also cause frequent urination.
- UTIs can also cause foul-smelling urine that may also contain blood or appear cloudy.
- Visit Insider's Health Reference library for more advice.
The smell of your pee can vary day-to-day, or even from morning to night. However, if your pee smells particularly funky, especially if it lasts longer than one day, you may want to consider seeking medical attention.
Here are eight reasons why your pee might smell, and what to do about it.
If you are dehydrated, Loh-Doyle says the ammonia in the urine is not as diluted, which causes the urine to have a more pungent smell. Other symptoms of dehydration include:
- Darker color urine
- Less frequent urination
- Dry skin
- Feeling thirsty
How to treat it: The solution is simple — hydrate more. Adult men should aim to consume about 125 fluid ounces each day, and adult women should aim for 91 fluid ounces daily. The more hydrated you are, the less likely your pee is to have an odor, says Loh-Doyle.
2. Urinary tract infection (UTI)
This is caused by a bacterial infection of the urinary tract. Other UTI symptoms are:
- Pain and burning while urinating
- Strong and frequent urges to urinate
- Passing small amounts of urine
- Pain in the pelvis
How to treat it: To diagnose a UTI, your doctor will need a urine sample to analyze. Then, if a UTI is diagnosed, your doctor will give you antibiotics to clear up the infection, Brito says.
3. Consuming certain foods or drinks
The smell of your urine may change based on your diet. The most notorious culprit is asparagus, which can cause a very distinct smelling urine.
"This is because our bodies convert an acid in asparagus into sulfur-containing byproducts that are passed into the urine," says Loh-Doyle.
Other foods that can change the smell of your urine are:
Temporarily smelly urine caused by food or drink isn't a cause for concern.
How to treat it: Since this isn't a health problem, no treatment is necessary. However, staying hydrated with extra fluids may help dilute the smell. If you're especially adverse to the smell, avoiding those foods can prevent the smell all together.
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst and hunger
- Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
- Easily susceptible to infections
How to treat it: If you are diagnosed with type one or type two diabetes, you will need to carefully check and manage your blood sugar. Treatment may involve:
5. Kidney stones
If you have kidney stones, the ammonia they contain can be released into your urine, says Loh-Doyle.
On top of foul smelling pee, you might also experience symptoms such as:
- Discolored urine (pink, red, or brown)
- Frequent urges to urinate
- Pain in your side or back that may radiate
- Painful urination
How to treat it: Treatment will depend on size of the stones and severity of your symptoms. In more mild cases, drinking more water, taking pain relievers, and a prescribed alpha blocker medication can be enough to get the stones to pass. In more severe cases, you may need sound wave therapy to break up the stones or surgery.
6. Taking certain vitamins or supplements
"People that take many vitamins or supplements may also notice odd-smelling urine due to the excretion of excess vitamins – more than what your body needs – into the urine," says Loh-Doyle.
This is particularly common with B vitamins, such as vitamin B1 and B6, Loh-Doyle says.
How to treat it: Speak with a healthcare provider about taking a lower dose of the vitamin or supplement or stopping it altogether, which should resolve the problem.
7. Colovesical fistula
While it isn't common, colovesical fistula is a condition that can cause foul smelling urine. Brito says this is when there's an abnormal connection between the bladder and large intestine, which can cause stool or gas to migrate into the bladder and thus into the urine.
Other symptoms of colovesical fistula include:
- Painful urination
- Frequent strong urges to urinate
- Blood in the urine
- Recurring UTIs
How to treat it: If tests such as CT scans show that you have colovesical fistula, surgery is typically required, Brito says.
Many factors can affect the way your urine smells, ranging from how hydrated you are to your diet to underlying health conditions.
It's normal for the smell of your urine to fluctuate throughout the course of the day.
But if your pee smells foul, sweet, or out of the ordinary, and is accompanied by other symptoms like painful urination, be sure to seek medical attention, says Loh-Doyle.