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Definition Return to top
Urine odor refers to the scent of the fluid excreted during urination. Urine odor varies. However, if you drink enough fluids and are otherwise healthy, urine does not usually have a strong smell.
Considerations Return to top
Changes in urine odor are usually temporary. Such changes are not always a sign of disease. Certain foods and medicines, including vitamins, may affect your urine's odor. For example, asparagus causes a characteristic urine odor.
However, foul smelling urine may be due to bacteria, such as that responsible for urinary tract infections. Sweet smelling urine may be a sign of uncontrolled diabetes or a rare disease of metabolism. Liver disease and certain metabolic disorders may cause musty smelling urine.
Causes Return to top
Abnormal urine odor may indicate:
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Contact your health care provider if you have fever, chills, burning pain with urination, or back pain along with an abnormal urine odor. These may be signs of a urinary tract infection.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
The following tests may be performed:
References Return to top
Patel HP. The abnormal urinalysis. Pediatr Clin North Am. Jun 2006; 53(3): 325-37, v.
Wein AJ. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2007.Update Date: 8/13/2007 Updated by: Marc Greenstein, DO, Urologist, North Jersey Center for Urologic Care, Denville, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.