Smelly urine with no pain - cystitis?
March 29, 2012 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Smelly urine with no pain - recurrent cystitis? What should I do?

I (female, early 30s) had cystitis back in January - I've had it a few times but not many, and recognised the signs of painful urination and frequently needing to pee. I was prescribed antibiotics and it seemed to clear up.

Since then, though, my urine has smelt funny. Not sweet-smelling or anything, just strong and unpleasant and not like normal urine. Difficult to describe the exact nature of the smell... I don't have any pain and I'm not needing to pee more often than usual.

Could this be cystitis that hasn't fully cleared up? I'm wondering whether to go to my GP but don't want to fuss about nothing, as I'm otherwise fine.

Other relevant info (this is anonymous as I'm a bit embarrassed): I'm in the UK so cost of medical attention isn't an issue; I am probably not drinking enough water at the moment, though the smell is not the usual "strong urine" smell; sexually active, not pregnant, in good health, no other symptoms.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
Are you eating asparagus? That strongly affects the smell of pee.
posted by aimedwander at 11:41 AM on March 29, 2012

Try getting enough water.
posted by brujita at 11:44 AM on March 29, 2012

Definitely drink more water; your pee should be light yellow or almost clear. Are probiotics a thing in the UK? Here in the US we buy them over the counter at drugstores or health food stores; I take several a day and feel that they generally keep my immune system pretty healthy and help stave off any low-level infection. You might also try drinking cranberry juice or other things that help flush your kidneys.
posted by stellaluna at 11:59 AM on March 29, 2012

Have you made any dietary changes? Are you on any new medications or supplements? Certain foods or vitamins can change the smell of your urine.

I'd get checked for cystitis again, just as a precaution. You may have an infection that wasn't entirely cleared up by the antibiotic. I say this as someone who had an antibiotic-resistant UTI and needed three different antibiotics to finally get it sorted out.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 12:01 PM on March 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Increase your water first. Next, pay attention to what you eat and see if there's a correlation. Then drink cranberry juice or take cranberry tablets on a regular basis to see if that helps.
posted by PJMoore at 12:03 PM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm going to go against the grain and tell you to go to the doctor. I spent nearly a week in the hospital last year due to an infection caused by an unnoticed kidney stone. My pee smelled weird for months beforehand, but I never told the doctor because it seemed like a minor thing. In retrospect, it was the first sign that something was wrong. Just go and have them do a quick dipstick test. It only takes a few minutes.
posted by jrossi4r at 12:44 PM on March 29, 2012

Some mess make my urine smell like cat pee or ammonia. Is that the smell?
posted by futz at 3:29 PM on March 29, 2012

Meds. I meant meds.
posted by futz at 3:34 PM on March 29, 2012

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