Strong odor in urine

Strong Odor in Urine

Urine odor refers to the smell of urine as it is eliminated from the body. Urine odor can vary; it be sweet smelling or foul. Urine odor is associated with the concentration and amount of different chemicals removed by the kidneys. In most cases, diluted urine seldom has any odor.

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Causes and associated symptoms of strong odor in urine

Some of the causes of strong odor in urine are listed below:

UTI or urinary tract infection:

It is a bacterial infection which commonly affects the urethra and the bladder, but can also affect other sections of the urinary system. When UTI results in bladder infection, then the condition is known as cystitis. The anatomy of women makes them more vulnerable to UTI as compared to men. In women, UTI is one of the major causes of strong odor in urine.

A UTI can be identified by symptoms such as passage of cloudy urine, burning sensations during urination, and strong odor in urine. A complication of UTI is kidney infection which can result in chills, nocturnal sweating, and high body temperatures.


It is a condition which is identified by inflammation or swelling of the prostate gland. Prostatitis is also one of the main causes of strong odor in urine. The prostate is a gland present only in men and occurs just below the urinary bladder. This walnut-shaped gland is essential in regulation of sperm quality. The condition can be caused due to bacterial infection. However, a majority of cases have non-bacterial causes, which mostly remain undiagnosed.

Patients will generally elicit discomfort in the pelvic area, along with pain during urination. When affected by acute bacterial prostatitis, patients may experience more severe symptoms along with nausea, fever, frequent urination, and chills


Vaginitis is a conditioning characterized by inflammation of the vagina. It is another common cause of strong odor in urine in women. The condition is usually caused due to fungal/yeast or bacterial infection. It may be noted that such organisms naturally occur in the vagina. However, when they growth beyond a particular limit, then it can result in an infection.

Women suffering from vaginitis will experience discharge from the vagina, strong odor in urine, itchiness in the vaginal region, pain during sexual intercourse, and discomfort when urinating.

Kidney Stones:

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Strong odor in urine can also be caused due to occurrence of kidney stones. Disturbances in the composition of urine can result in formation of crystallized deposits in the kidneys. Crystals develop when the concentration of oxalate and calcium in urine rises beyond a threshold. Such crystallized materials disassociate from urine and remain in the kidneys, ultimately becoming stones over a period of time.

A patient suffering from kidney stones will elicit severe pain in the groin and lower back area, strong odor in urine, and a radical change in the color of urine. The symptoms of pain are generally felt when the stones travel from the kidneys and get lodged in the ureters.

Other causes of strong odor in urine are listed below:

  • Dehydration: Lack of water intake reduces the overall urine volume, making it very concentrated. It then results in changes in the urine odor and color. Highly concentrated urine comes with a strong odor which is like ammonia.
  • Medications: Intakeof antibiotics to treat different kinds of bacterial infections can lead to strong odor in urine as well as changes in urine color. Consumption of varied dietary multivitamin supplements to overcome the effects of different underlying medical disorders can also result in strong odor in urine, and urine color changes.
  • Beverages: Intake of excess amounts of coffee or caffeinated beverages can lead to excessive urination which can result in dehydration. This eventually causes string odor in urine.
  • Liver abnormalities: Presence of liver abnormalities can result in liver dysfunction which can then lead to excessive amounts of bilirubin to be released into urine. Then causes strong odor in urine along with a change in the urine color to dark amber.
  • Diabetes: Diabetic patients have high levels of blood sugar which is passed onto the urine. This causes a sweet-smelling strong odor in urine.
  • Phenylketonuria: It is a metabolic disorder which causes elevated concentration of phenylalanine amino acid in urine and blood. Its presence results in a strong odor in urine that is mousy, foul, or musty.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnant women tend to suffer from UTI which can result in strong odor in urine
  • Certain foodstuffs: Intake of asparagus can also cause strong odor in urine.

Treatment for strong odor in urine

  • Kidney stones can be naturally removed by drinking lots of water. Pain killers may be used to alleviate pain. Surgical options may be suggested by doctors if necessary
  • Antibiotics may be used to treat bacterial causes of strong odor in urine. Vaginitis caused due to fungal infections can be treated with anti-fungal medications.
  • Liver problems may be treated as per the diagnosis. 
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