The 7 Reasons Why Your Urine Smells Funny

Going to the bathroom isn’t something you’ll think about for a long time – it’s just part of everyday life.

But a little attention can be useful as it can give early indications that something needs to be checked.

Noticing if your urine smells different is a helpful clue to staying in tune with your body


Noticing if your urine smells different is a helpful clue to staying in tune with your bodyPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

Something you can’t avoid is if your pee smells funny.

It often doesn’t mean anything is wrong, but it could be a warning sign to monitor.

dr Richard Viney told The Sun: “Urine naturally has an odor, which is why many animals use their urine as a means of territorial marking.

“There are a variety of reasons why a change in smell can occur urine.

“First, the more concentrated the urine, the stronger its odor will be.

“The presence of certain bacteria in urine produces a characteristic unpleasant odor that alerts a person to potential problems.”

If you notice that your urine smells different, it could be because:


Stronger smelling urine could be a sign that you have kidney stones.

Although generally feeling sick and having an achy tummy would alert you that something is wrong.

But if you’ve noticed all three of these symptoms, it’s worth speaking to your doctor.


Eating certain foods, like asparagus, can change the smell of your urine.

Coffee can also produce stronger-smelling urine.

This is nothing to worry about and it’s only worth getting checked if you’ve noticed a new smell for a few days and can’t pinpoint why.


While it’s absolutely no fun, a UTI can make your urine smell bad.

Smelling a hint of ammonia in your urine is generally a good indication that you have a UTI.

This is because there are bacteria in your urinary system – it’s worth making an appointment with your GP to discuss this and get antibiotics.


Sweet smelling urine can be a sign of type 2 diabetes.

Urine can smell sweet because type 2 diabetes is a condition that involves uncontrolled blood sugar.

If this is also accompanied by a feeling of severe tiredness, thirst and a feeling that you need to urinate more than usual, you should see a doctor.


If you have recently been put on any new medication, this could be causing the change in odor.

It is worth considering the possible side effects of the drugs.

You only need to speak to your doctor if this persists beyond the duration of your prescription and you think it might be related to something else.


If you didn’t have enough water Your urine will smell stronger.

It will also look very dark as it becomes more concentrated.

This is nothing to worry about if it only happens once and is corrected by drinking a glass of water.

But if you notice that even though you’ve been drinking more water, you still seem very dehydrated, consult your doctor.


Strong smelling urine together with abdominal pain should always be a warning sign.

If you’ve also noticed that your eyes and skin are looking more yellow, you need to see a doctor quickly.

It could mean you have liver failure and need urgent treatment.

When should you see your GP?

The NHS says you should see a GP if your pee smells and:

  • You need to pee suddenly, more often than usual, or at night
  • You have pain or a burning sensation when you pee
  • your pee looks cloudy

But call 111 or ask for an urgent doctor’s appointment if you have smelly urine and:

  • There’s blood in your urine
  • You have abdominal pain
  • You have pain in your back, under your ribs
  • You feel tired and uncomfortable
  • You feel confused or excited
  • You have a very high temperature or you feel hot and shivering
  • Your temperature is very low

These symptoms can indicate a urinary tract infection or something more serious like a kidney infection.

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