Smelly pee (urine) on its own is not usually a cause for concern. There are often things you can do to help your pee return to normal.
Common causes of smelly pee
Pee is usually clear or pale yellow, with a mild smell.
Common things that can make your pee smell stronger include:
- certain types of food and drink, like asparagus or coffee
- not drinking enough fluids
- some medicines
- vitamin B6 supplements
Things you can do yourself
Try these things to help keep your pee clear and smelling mild.
drink plenty of fluids, particularly water – so that you regularly pee during the day and do not feel thirsty
drink more in hot weather and when exercising
do not drink a lot of sugary fizzy drinks, coffee or alcohol
do not eat a lot of garlic or asparagus – they contain strong-smelling chemicals that can pass into your pee
do not take more than 10mg of vitamin B6 a day
Non-urgent advice: Contact your GP if you have smelly pee and:
- you need to pee suddenly, more often than usual or during the night
- you have pain or a burning sensation when peeing
- your pee looks cloudy
Less common causes of smelly pee
Other symptoms you have might give you an idea of what's causing your pee to smell. But do not self-diagnose – always see a GP.
|Symptoms Feeling very thirsty and tired, peeing more than usual, sweet-smelling pee||Possible cause type 2 diabetes|
|Symptoms Pain in the side of your tummy (abdomen) or groin, severe pain that comes and goes, feeling sick or being sick, blood in pee||Possible cause kidney stones|
|Symptoms Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice), tummy pain, feeling sick or being sick||Possible cause liver failure|
Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE