Medical Q&As

Urinary tract infection - odour?

I have a tendency to develop urinary tract infections, but recently have noticed a strong unpleasant smell to my urine. I have no other symptoms. Can you give me an indication as to what could be causing this and whether or not I can ignore it?

Given your predisposition to recurrent urinary tract infections it is quite possible that the odour you have detected is due to further infection. Sometimes urinary infection can occur in the absence of frequency and stinging. The odour is due to the release of ammonia from the urine. This is achieved by the bacteria breaking down the various nitrogen-based compounds that are excreted through the kidneys. Ammonia is released as a by-product of this chemical action. I would suggest that you return to see your GP who will most likely request that you provide a urine sample. This can be tested in the surgery with a simple urine dipstick or might involve a full urinalysis at your local hospital based laboratory. I donít think you should ignore the odour because untreated urinary infection could have implications for the long-term state of health in your kidneys and bladder.