Reasons for Smelly Urine (Why My Pee Smells?)

Reasons For Smelly Urine (Why My Pee Smells?)

Why my pee smells? This question probably struck your mind whenever you went to the toilet to relieve yourself and smelled a faint yet unpleasant odor coming from your urine. 

Your urine tells a lot about your health. The color and smell of your urine indicate what’s going on in your body. In this article, our healthcare experts have explained all the reasons behind smelly urine and whether or not it’s harmful to your health. So let’s dive into it.


Generally, your urine becomes smelly due to a variety of reasons. Several food, disease, medicines, and vitamins can make your urine stink. However, there’s a lot more than that. 

Reasons for Smelly Urine

1. Dehydration

Can dehydration cause urine odor? Urine is mostly water and metabolic waste products excreted by the kidneys. Normal urine has a limited amount of smell. But if your water intake decreases, the concentration of urine is disturbed. Now it has less water and more waste products, due to which it becomes stinky. Therefore, dehydration is the most common factor leading to smelly urine. 


What to do: Staying hydrated will balance the composition and remove the unpleasant smell. From the color of your urine, you can identify whether you’re dehydrated or not. If it’s dark orange or honey-colored, it means you’re dehydrated, but if it’s a pale straw or transparent yellow, it indicates that you’re well hydrated. 

According to a report of water.org, it is approximated that 1 in 9 people around the planet doesn’t have access to clean water and suffer from dehydration.

Read more: Natural remedies for dehydration.

2. Diabetes

Another reason for smelly urine could be diabetes. When you have diabetes, your body stops making insulin that is crucial to control the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. Due to the absence of insulin, the concentration of glucose in your blood exceeds the required level. Your body spills the extra sugar in the urine, and your urine starts smelling sweet. 

According to a WHO report, about 422 million people have diabetes in the world, and annually, 1.6 million people die from diabetes. 

Read all about Diabetes Mellitus.

3. Consuming Too Much Coffee

The coffee you’re drinking every day could also be making your pee stink. Several metabolites and by-products present in the coffee can make your urine smelly. Moreover, coffee is also a diuretic that makes you pee frequently and flush the fluids and other metabolic wastes into the urine. The metabolic wastes make the urine more concentrated, due to which it starts smelling. 

4. Kidney Stones

Kidney stones develop when certain salts and mineral concentrate and deposit into hard stones. These stones can catch bacteria and lead to an infection in the kidneys, thus making your urine smelly. Kidney stones have many more symptoms like back pain, abdomen pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, and bleeding or pain while urinating.

Read more: Warning signs of kidney stone.

5. Eating Certain Foods

Certain foods are notorious for making the pee stink, such as asparagus, garlic, onion, salmon, curry, alcohol, etc. The metabolites produced after the breakdown of these foods are responsible for making the pee stink. However, it may not work the same way for everyone as we all digest food differently.

6. Urinary Tract or Bladder Infection

Urinary tract or bladder infection is a disease when bacteria enter your urinary tract through the urethra and cause infection. The bacteria are also responsible for making your pee stink. Smelly urine isn’t the only symptom of urinary tract infection. More symptoms include bloody or cloudy urine and burning sensations while urinating. 

Keep reading: How to recognize symptoms of urinary tract infections.

7. Bladder Fistula

Bladder fistula refers to a situation when your intestine starts leaking into your urinary bladder. Bacteria present in your intestine moves to the urinary bladder and cause the urine to stink. The content inside the intestine also spills into the urinary bladder. The mixture of both (urine & intestinal content) imparts a foul smell to the urine. Bladder fistula usually occurs due to surgical injuries or inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease.

8. Yeast Infection

Numerous microorganisms are living in the human body, and yeasts are one of them. Yeasts are also present in the vagina. Uncontrolled yeast growth can trigger an infection in the vagina. In turn, the vaginal infection can impart a foul smell to the urine present in the urethra nearby. More symptoms of yeast infection include thick white discharge and swelling, inflammation in the vagina and vulva.

Read on: Causes and treatment of vaginal yeast infections.

9. Use of vitamins

Vitamins are those substances that are required in very less amount to the body. Many people reported different scents after consuming various foods. Studies say that whenever the concentration of vitamins in the body exceeds the required level, your body excretes vitamins through the urine. The vitamins present in the urine increase its density and make the urine stink. 

10. Using certain medicines and supplements

Using certain medicines and supplements or going through a particular treatment can also affect the smell of your urine. Sulfonamide groups of antibiotics, chemotherapy, and some diabetes medicine are notorious for imparting a foul scent to urine.

Smelly Urine