Home Women's Healthpremenstrual syndrome Strong odor in female urine: causes and treatment

Strong odor in female urine: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Urine is a yellow liquid secreted by the kidneys as a product of blood purification and filtering. This accumulates in the bladder and is expelled through the urethra. Through it, the diagnosis of some diseases can be reached. Urinating is an act that can become a symptom according to the appearance and pungent smell that is present in people, especially women. This alteration is a reason to go to a medical consultation due to the concern that it could cause.

Different causes can give rise to a strong smell in a woman’s urine, and these can range from a vaginal infection to a physiological process such as ovulation or even the application of douches.

In this FastlyHealarticle, you will learn everything related to why a strong smell occurs in the urine of women: causes and treatment. Urine does not usually have a strong odor, but when it appears in women, it may be due to the following reasons that you will learn about below.

Genetic alteration

It is one of the less frequent causes of a strong odor in a woman’s urine. This alteration is known as Trimethylaminuria, which causes a sour smell in your urine, similar to dirty water and the smell of fishy urine.

In some women, this alteration may occur, and symptoms occur during:

  • Puberty.
  • Before or during menstruation.
  • After taking birth control pills.
  • Around menopause.


There is no known specific treatment for this condition called Trimethylaminuria, a genetic alteration. However, a doctor can help you control this alteration by encouraging changes in your lifestyle to help manage the strong smell of urine.

Intake of some foods

Excessive intake of some foods may be related to the appearance of a strong smell in the urine, especially after eating foods such as:

  • Asparagus.
  • Garlic
  • Brussels sprouts.
  • Onions.
  • Alcohol.
  • Curry.
  • Café.
  • Salmon.

Keep in mind that higher salt intake can cause urine to become more concentrated, causing a solid color to appear.


The moment that, after eating some of these foods, you notice a more pungent smell in your urine, you should reduce its consumption. Do not hesitate to go to the doctor if this is your case and you have other symptoms that accompany this situation.


Insufficient water intake can cause dehydration, and this causes the urine to become darker and smell strong like ammonia. Drinking drinks like alcohol and coffee act as diuretics, so you may be urinating a lot and not even realizing it.


If you suffer from mild dehydration, no medical treatment is necessary. Just increase your fluid intake, especially water. This will make the smell of urine disappear.

If other symptoms arise in addition to presenting a strong smell in the urine, you may be facing a picture of severe dehydration. In this case, go to your doctor immediately. The symptoms may include :

  • Soft spot.
  • Fatigue.
  • Mental confusion.

If you think this is the cause of the strong smell in the woman’s urine, you can read more information in Dehydration: symptoms and treatment.

Urinary infection

In women, the proximity of the urethra to the vagina is a cause of frequent urinary tract infections. Among the evident symptoms is the aforementioned strong smell, along with others:


The presence of more than one of these symptoms together with the pungent smell in the urine is indicative that you should go to the doctor, who after a urine analysis will indicate the appropriate antibiotic, according to the bacteria causing the infection, as well as of the rest of the symptoms that you present.

More information in the articles: Is urine infection contagious? Can I have sex if I have a urine infection?


During ovulation, some women may have a strong smell in the urine. This is due to high female sex hormones ( estrogen and progesterone ) peaks. Both are responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle. During ovulation, these hormones can increase the smell of urine or resemble the aroma of ammonia.


If this situation arises, you must confirm that you are in this phase of the menstrual cycle and proceed to wait a few days. If this situation persists, go to your gynecologist, he will tell you what to do in this case.

Vaginal infection

Infections of the vagina are another reason why a strong odor occurs in a woman’s urine. Vaginal infections caused by fungi or yeasts are widespread as they inhabit them. For this reason, an imbalance of the same can generate a strong smell of urine in women due to the proximity of the urethra to the vagina.


If this is your case and you have this type of infection, consult your gynecologist. He will indicate an antifungal treatment depending on the symptoms you present.

You can consult more information on Vaginal fungi: causes and treatment.

Use of douches

The regular use of douches can change the pH of the vagina. These not only clean the vagina, but they can also alter the bacterial flora in the genital area, resulting in the appearance of foul odors instead of eliminating them.


If you frequently resort to douching and have presented this alteration, you should suspend its use and visit your trusted gynecologist. Only he will verify if the strong smell of your urine is due to douching or if it is a specific condition. Once the evaluation is done, it will indicate the treatment.


A strong odor may occur in the woman’s urine during pregnancy: this is the product of the increase in the hormone HCG Chorionic Gonadotropin during the first trimester of pregnancy.

It is essential to remember that a woman’s smell tends to become more acceptable during this stage of pregnancy, or it can cause everything to be perceived with a more pungent scent. In addition, they need to ingest more significant amounts of water to avoid dehydration, which can cause uric acid to accumulate, causing a more pungent odor to appear in the urine.


If you are pregnant and you think you are going through this situation, you should wait until the first three months of pregnancy have passed. Otherwise, discuss it with your obstetrician, who will tell you what to do in this case.


It is a metabolic disease that is due to the increase in glucose in the blood, and, at the same time, it can appear in the urine, giving it a sweet smell. This is indicative that glucose levels are high in the urine, which is why they should be controlled immediately.


If the smell of your urine is sweet instead of substantial, you should see your doctor as soon as possible to start a treatment that will help you avoid the complications of the disease, which can be life-threatening.

If this is your case of solid urine odor in women, see Type 2 diabetes: causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Liver disorders

Liver disorders are another cause of a strong smell in the urine in women, accompanied by other symptoms that can also be the warning of a liver disorder :

  • Weight loss.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Sickness.
  • Vomiting
  • Yellow skin coloration.
  • Mucosa.


If these symptoms appear along with the pungent smell in the urine, consult your doctor immediately, he will establish what to do in these cases.

Sexually transmitted disease

Sexually transmitted diseases, such as those caused by Chlamydia and Trichomoniasis, can cause the appearance of some symptoms, among which are:

  • Bad smell of urine.
  • Strong odor in the woman’s urine.
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Pain and burning when urinating.


If you present these symptoms, you should go immediately to your gynecologist, who will request some tests and make the diagnosis to indicate antibiotics according to the bacteria causing the disease and analgesics or anti-inflammatories to treat pain and inflammation in the pelvic area.

You may be interested in reading How to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

Sexually transmitted disease

Intake of some medications

In some cases, vitamin supplements and certain medications can cause the odor of metals such as copper or B vitamins.

Likewise, the consumption of iron tends to generate these strong odors. Even to improve its flavor, flavorings are required. These, in turn, can alter the smell of urine, even to its color.


When a strong smell appears from the woman’s urine after taking medications or vitamin supplements, it will be enough to stop taking it. If it is a drug, you should go to the doctor who indicated it to adjust the dose or change it to another medication that does not produce this side effect.

Symptoms of a strong smell in the urine of women

The pungent smell of the woman’s urine is a symptom that may be accompanied by others that guide to know the cause of this condition. Among these are:

  • Bad smell in urine.
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Increased urinary frequency.
  • Pain and burning when urinating.
  • Fever.
  • General discomfort.
  • Nausea and vomiting

If some of these symptoms accompany the strong smell in the woman’s urine, you should go to the doctor, and he will be the one to make the diagnosis and indicate the treatment to follow to solve it.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Strong smell in women’s urine: causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Female reproductive system.

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