Urine Odor

MedicineNet - Urine Odor

Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index

Medical Author:

Normal urine is clear and has a straw-yellow color. While the odor of urine can vary somewhat, in most cases, it does not have a strong smell. With dehydration, the urine is more concentrated and may have a stronger ammonia scent than normal. Consumption of certain foods, such as asparagus (which can impart a characteristic odor to urine), and taking some medications may alter the odor of urine. The presence of bacteria in the urine, such as with a 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. A burning sensation during urination may be a symptom of a UTI. The urine may also have an abnormally sweet odor in uncontrolled diabetes, and some rare genetic conditions can also cause the urine to have an abnormal odor.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/24/2014

Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.

REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Causes of Urine Odor
    • Bladder Infection (Cystitis) Bladder infection is an infection of the bladder, usually caused by bacteria or, rarely, by Candida. Certain people, including...learn more »
      In This Article
      Bladder Infection (Cystitis) Article
      • What is a bladder infection?
      • What causes bladder infections?
      • What are some risk factors for bladder infection?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a bladder infection in women?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a bladder infection in men?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a bladder infection in children?
      • How is a bladder infection diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a bladder infection?
      • Are home remedies effective for a bladder infection?
      • How is a bladder infection during pregnancy treated?
      • What are potential complications of a bladder infection?
      • Can bladder infections be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for a bladder infection?
    • Dehydration Dehydration is the excessive loss of body water. There are a number of causes of dehydration including heat exposure, prolonged...learn more »
      In This Article
      Dehydration Article
      • Dehydration facts
      • What is dehydration?
      • What causes dehydration?
      • Dehydration pictures
      • What are the signs and symptoms of dehydration?
      • What about dehydration in children?
      • How is dehydration diagnosed?
      • How is dehydration treated?
      • Can I treat dehydration at home?
      • What are the complications of dehydration?
      • Can dehydration be prevented?
    • Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes...learn more »
      In This Article
      Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) Article
      • Diabetes facts
      • What is diabetes?
      • What is the impact of diabetes?
      • What causes diabetes?
      • What are the different types of diabetes?
      • Type 1 diabetes
      • Type 2 diabetes
      • Other types of diabetes
      • What are diabetes symptoms?
      • How is diabetes diagnosed?
      • Why is blood sugar checked at home?
      • What are the acute complications of diabetes?
      • What are the chronic complications of diabetes?
      • What can be done to slow diabetes complications?
    • Hyperglycemia Hyperglycemia is a serious health problem for diabetics. There are two types of hyperglycemia, 1) fasting, and 2)postprandial or...learn more »
      In This Article
      Hyperglycemia Article
      • Hyperglycemia facts
      • What is Hyperglycemia?
      • What causes hyperglycemia?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia?
      • How is hyperglycemia diagnosed?
      • How is hyperglycemia treated?
      • What are the complications of hyperglycemia?
    • Phenylketonuria Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a disorder that is inherited. PKU disorder increases the levels of phenylalanine in the blood....learn more »
      In This Article
      Phenylketonuria Article
      • What is phenylketonuria (PKU)?
      • What are the symptoms of phenylketonuria?
      • How common is phenylketonuria?
      • What genes are related to phenylketonuria?
      • How do people inherit phenylketonuria?
      • What other names do people use for phenylketonuria?
Other Causes of Urine Odor
  • Cystitis
  • Dietary Factors
  • Liver Failure
  • Maple Syrup Urine Disease
  • Medications
  • Rectal Fistula
  • Urethritis
Examples of Medications for Urine Odor


Symptoms & Signs A-Z List



Women's Health

Find out what women really need.