Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy. While a few are expected as a routine part of pregnancy, there are some changes that will need medical attention. Smelly urine is one of the common problems associated with pregnant women. Foul smelling urine during pregnancy can prove to be uncomfortable and embarrassing for most women. You may notice the occurrence of smelly urine during the first-trimester pregnancy or towards the later stages too.
What Causes Smelly Urine in Pregnancy?
There could be various reasons for strong smelling urine pregnancy related, where some may be beginning while others can be serious and will need to be reported to your doctor. Here are a few common causes of smelly urine during pregnancy:
1. A Heightened Sense of Smell
During pregnancy, your hormone levels are on the rise and even a subtle change in urine odour will be noticeable to you. This increased sensitivity to smells can cause you to think that your urine now has a strong smell.
Urine has no or little odour in general but it contains ammonia which is diluted by the water you drink. However, not drinking enough water can lead to concentration of urine and emit a strong smell. Drinking less water can be the cause of dehydration which is not healthy for you and the baby too.
3. Urinary Infections
Urinary tract infection is a common infection during pregnancy and is often the reason for foul-smelling urine. UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) also causes fever, back pain and sometimes pain during urination.
4. Vaginal Infections
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), a vaginal infection can cause smelly urine and can be noticed during urination when urine and vaginal secretion get mixed. The fish-smelling odour can be embarrassing at times, but more importantly, BV could increase the chances of going to labour early.
5. Urine Leakage
During pregnancy, the bladder tissues and the urethra become slightly relaxed which cause some amount of involuntary urine leakage. Also known as urinary incontinence, this condition is heightened when you laugh or sneeze, when it becomes difficult to hold urine. Often strong smelling urine is an early pregnancy symptom as it begins as early as the first trimester of pregnancy.
The inclusion of foods like broccoli and asparagus in your daily diet can also be a cause of strong smelling urine. Consider eating smaller portions of such items if you suffer from smelly urine.
How to Treat Urine Odour during Pregnancy?
There are a few simple and easy treatments for smelly urine during pregnancy and they are as follows:
1. Stay Hydrated
During pregnancy, your body’s demand for water increases and hence it is very important to remain hydrated throughout the day. It will increase the frequency of urination but will address the demands of your body for water. It will dilute your urine, flush out the bacteria and hence reduce the chances of any foul smell to it.
2. Keep Yourself Clean
Personal hygiene is an important factor, especially of the genital area in order to reduce the unpleasant smell of urine. The remnants of urine can linger on in your clothes and undergarments and can cause bad smell but also lead to bacterial growth. Clean yourself thoroughly while bathing and every time you visit the washroom. Using a PH-balanced wash is highly recommended in such cases.
3. Medical Treatment
Speak to your doctor who may prescribe anti-bacterial treatment or non-teratogenic drugs to address urine odour. Certain kind of medication during pregnancy can cause urine odour as a side effect so inform your doctor if you notice the same.
4. Urinate Often
During pregnancy or otherwise, one should not hold urine for long periods of time. You should urinate whenever you feel the urge rather than waiting for a full bladder. This ensures that the urine is never concentrated and thus there are fewer chances of any smell.
5. Reduce Protein Intake
Restrict the intake of protein-enhanced foods from your diet as this will reduce the production of urea in your body. This is helpful in getting rid of the bad odour that your urine develops.
6. Regular Checkups
It is important to check if strong smelling urine is accompanied by any other symptoms. If yes, it could indicate problems related to the kidney, bladder or sexually transmitted diseases or infections.
7. Increase Intake of Vitamin C
By adding Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetable into your diet, it is possible to avoid Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). Fruits like oranges, kiwi and grapefruit are high in Vitamin C and can help keep that strong odour away.
Although smelly urine is never life-threatening, you should address the problem as soon as you notice it. Also, it is important to check if you have any other symptoms which could lead to any other health issues.