Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Foul pee smell - is there something wrong with my bladder?"

ZocdocAnswersFoul pee smell - is there something wrong with my bladder?


Just a month or so ago I've been noticing this really foul smell when I pee. It sort of smells like fish but not really. I thought it might've been because of my drinking so I drank a lot of water and I've been sober for a couple weeks. Just recently it came back again. I think there might be something wrong like a bladder infection but it doesn't hurt or burn when I pee its more like a pushing inside feeling in my bladder. Help?


There are many things that can cause the smell of your urine to change. One possibility is certainly a urinary tract infection so it is important to speak with your primary care doctor. These typically present with pain with urination and needing to urinate more frequently, but can certainly cause more foul smelling urine. The diagnosis of a urinary tract infection is very simple and involves a urine analysis and possibly urine culture, and most urinary tract infections can be treated easily with a short course of antibiotics. Changes in diet or the liquids you consume can also cause a change in the smell of your urine. If you are a women, you could also have a vaginal infection that you are noticing when you urinate; an infection called bacterial vaginosis, in particular, causes a 'fishy' odor and sometimes thin gray, more copious vaginal discharge. Certain kidney stones can sometimes cause a change in odor, and in particular an infection of the stone could definitely cause more foul-smelling urine. Since this has persisted for a month, I would strongly recommend that you see your primary care doctor. They can examine your urine, do a pelvic exam if you're a women, and discuss any other possibilities for this change that you've noticed.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.