According to medical experts, normal urine is clear, straw-yellow in color, and has a mild odor which is tolerable. Urine odor mainly refers to the smell of urine, and the volume and concentration of different chemicals and toxins excreted by the kidneys. Depending upon the consistency of the urine, i.e., how much it is diluted or concentrated, the urine may have little or no odor, or a strong fish-like smell. Smelly urine is not necessarily a sign of a serious illness, and can be attributed to a number of factors as are mentioned below.
Causes for Smelly Urine in Females
Cystitis, in medical terms, is an inflammation of the urinary bladder and ureters. Also known as a urinary tract infection (UTI), it is mainly caused by a bacterial infection which can be painful and annoying. If it is not treated on time, it can even spread to the kidneys. Being one of the major causes for smelly urine, it may develop as a reaction to certain drugs, radiations, or potential irritants, like feminine hygiene spray, spermicidal jellies, or the long-term use of a catheter.
Another cause for odor in urine is dehydration, which occurs due to excessive loss of fluids from the body and inadequate intake of water or fluids, especially during hot climate or while exercising.
Diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication of diabetes, is another cause for this problem in women. It occurs when there is very less insulin in the body, the blood sugar level rises, and the body starts breaking down fat for energy.
Consumption of asparagus, a green vegetable belonging to the Liliaceae family, can also be a cause of smelly urine. However, there are no negative effects of asparagus on urine, and the odor is usually compared to rotting cabbage, ammonia, or rotten eggs.
Acute Liver Failure
Acute liver failure due to excessive alcohol intake, viral hepatitis (hepatitis A or B), overdose of medicines, etc., can also result in women passing urine that smells.
Most women generally experience smelly urine during pregnancy, as the body is undergoing great changes to nurture and grow the baby inside. Intake of extra vitamins and minerals to keep the expectant mother and unborn child healthy can also be responsible for the odor. However, if it becomes extremely strong, and the urine appears cloudy or dark, it's recommended to consult a doctor.
Vitamin B6 supplements, maple sugar urine disease, kidney infection, type 2 diabetes, metabolic disorders, etc., are some other causes for smelly urine in women.
» The best way to have a clean and odor-free urine is to keep yourself hydrated by drinking enough water and other fluids. Drinking one to two liters of pure, unflavored water every day will help you to overcome the smell.
» Consuming raw cranberries or unsalted yogurt blended with a teaspoon of honey is also helpful in getting rid of the urine odor.
» Wearing loose inner clothing made from skin-friendly fabric like cotton, and maintaining proper hygiene are also some simple yet effective treatment methods.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.