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Urology/urine odor


I'm an older man  -  in good health
Have noticed an odor in my urine that I didn't have before.
It isn't extreme but it's there.
  Color is OK and no pain or anything.

What do you think?


Dick,  there are many causes for odors in the urine.  Odor is more prominent on awakening because the urine concentrates during sleep.  Normally, the urine has a slightly ammoniacal aroma.  By far the most common cause of a somewhat foul smell in the urine is urinary tract infections (UTIs). Vitamin B6 and asparagus cause a peculiar smell to the urine.  The latter also often imparts a green tinge.  Certain medications may produce a unique smell to the urine.   Poorly controlled diabetics spill sugar in their urine and this may impart a sweet smell.  Conditions that cause acidosis or ketonuria cause a peculiar aroma in the urine.  This can be due to diabetes or failure of major organ systems such as the kidneys, lungs, heart, etc.  A relatively uncommon congenital condition called phenylketonuria imparts a “musty” odor to the urine.  Certain liver disorders may be manifest by a urinary malodor.  Excessive excretion of the amino acid cystine (as occurs in cysteinuria) can produce a sulfur-like odor in the urine.  In most cases, however, the urinary aroma is normal.

Have you doctor do a urinalysis.   If the urinalysis is normal, you have no cause for concern.  By trial and error you may be able to finding the offending cause and eliminate it if the odor is offensive to you.  Good luck.


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Arthur Goldstein, M.D.


Problems or questions related to the field of urology; ie urinary stone disease, urinary cancers (kidney, bladder, prostate, testis, etc.), urinary infections, etc. I no longer answer questions related to erection problems or male sexual dysfunction.


I am retired from the active practice of urology. My 34 years was totally in the clinical field and involved the entire gamut of genitourinary problems, with special interest in endourology.

American Medical Association, American Urological Association, American College of Surgeons

College degree - BS Medical degree - MD Master of Science - MS

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