Urine smells like fishy

What Does It Mean When Your Urine (Pee) Smells Like Fish – How Do You Stop IT?

Smelly fishy urine causes and treatment: Pee is the body’s liquid byproduct mainly made up of salt, water, and chemicals called as urine and uric acid. The kidneys produce urine when they filter toxins and other unwanted stuff from the blood. The color and odor of the pee vary on the medications, foods, and illnesses and is an effective way to determine the overall health.  Predominantly the urine does have a subtle odor of its own and may turn pungent from time to time.

Why does the pee smell fishy?

Fishy smelling pee is the outcome of several conditions that affect the urinary tract, due to an infection, metabolic ailment, or simply a medication side effect.

What are the main causes of the fishy odor urine?

The following are the predominant manifestations of a fishy odor pee

  1. Diet

The food we consume has a direct effect on the smell of the urine that is expelled out of the body. The foods that impart the smell to the  food include:

  • Fish
  • Caffeine, increases the pee counts
  • Asparagus, releases sulfur into the urine.
  • Cabbage and Brussel sprouts release methyl mercaptan that can impart a fishy or rancid smell to the urine.


Limit the foods that emit strong smelly urine. If consumes drink plenty of water.

  1. Dehydration

Less water intake has a direct relationship with an odor of the urine. When the body is dehydrated there is less water available to dilute the concentrations of the chemical which will, in turn, produce a strong smelling pee.


Increase the water intake to stay hydrated. The recommended dosage of water is 8-10 glasses per day.

  1. Urinary tract infection

The urinary system plays a critical role in the detoxification process. The system is made up of kidneys, urethra, and urinary bladder. women are more prone to contract urinary tract infections due to a shorter urethra. The bacteria that infect the urinary tract contaminate the urine and impart a strong fishy odor.

Other signs of infection include:

  • Bloody or cloudy pee.
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination.
  • Increased frequency of peeing.
  • Mild fever.
  • Lower abdominal or backaches.


If the symptoms don’t subside in 24 hours visit a doctor without delay. They will prescribe antibiotics that will control the infection from spreading to the kidneys.

  1. Bacterial vaginosis

This condition is seen when the normal flora of the urinary tract contains more harmful bacteria than the good ones. This imparts a grayish vaginal secretion that is predominantly expelled during urination. Some women fail to notice the signs of contraction.

The manifestations include

  • Watery or thin mucus.
  • Painful sex.
  • Discomforts during peeing.
  • Light hymen bleeding.


This is a self-clearing bacteria that will clear itself within a week if not consult a healthcare provider for an antibiotic treatment. This infection may reoccur post a treatment too.

  1. Trimethylaminuria

A rare metabolic disease that is seen when the body fails to break down the chemical components “trimethylamine”.  After the consumption of certain proteins trimethylamine is produced in the intestines this compound instead of being broken down by the body is released into the urine and when released imparts a strong fishy odor to the urine.


This is a genetically inherited disorder that has no cure however the signs can be reduced by refraining from the following foods that include: eggs, legumes, liver, seafood, bananas, soy-based products, and milk that comes from cows fed with wheat grains.

  1. Prostatitis

An acute inflammation of the prostate gland in men leads to a disorder known as ‘prostatitis’. The causal organism is bacterial that can rapidly spread the infection. This bacteria when mixes with the urine impart a fishy odor to it.

Other signs include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Body aches
  • Burning sensation during urination.
  • Genital region pain
  • Lower back discomforts.
  • Cloudy and bloody pee.
  • Difficulty in emptying the bladder completely.


Doctors will prescribe antibiotics and alpha-blockers to relieve the discomforts. Alternatively, over the counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can also work.

  1. Kidney stones

Mineral and salt deposits that accumulate in the kidney is termed as the kidney stones. Predominantly are formed when the urine is highly concentrated which allows the minerals to form crystals. The kidney stones mainly consist of uric acid and calcium deposits with men being the major contractors. These stones when passing through the urinary tract cause infections that release strong smelly urine. people affected by this ailment experience pain that radiates from the side and extends till the groin. It may cause nausea and vomiting. If an infection persists fever and chills are also experienced by individuals.


Some kidney stones will be self-expelled from the body. If the pain is severe it is recommended to seek the advice of a healthcare provider without any delay. The physician will prescribe painkillers and alpha blockers that will reduce the pain and will relax the bladder which in turn helps for a expulsion of the stone. For larger stones, surgery may be performed to remove it as they can get stuck in the urinary tract.

  1.  Liver disorders

The liver plays a critical role in blood detoxification whose by-products are released into the urine or stools. In people with liver ailments, large quantities of bilirubin are released into the urine that impart a strong fishy odor.

The other symptoms commonly experienced are:

  • Thicker and darker urine.
  • Difficulty in peeing due to the thickening of the pee.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Jaundice and nausea.
  • Fatigue and loose stools.


The treatment for a liver ailment depends on the diagnosis. Some liver disorders need a diet change whereas some require dialysis or surgery.

  1. Cystitis

The inflammation of the bladder due to a bacterial infection in the urinary tract results in a condition known as ‘cystitis’.  The microbial infection results in a fishy smelling pee.

Other symptoms commonly experienced are:

  • Increased urination feeling.
  • Burning during peeing.
  • Cloudy or bloody urine.
  • Pelvic discomfort with a pressure on the lower abdomen.
  • Fever.


Antibiotic will be prescribed to avoid the infection spread. Drinking plenty of water and hot compress will relieve the discomforts.

  1. Phenylketonuria

An uncommon inherited ailment where an excess of phenylalanine content is seen in the blood that passes on to the urine imparting a fishy odor to it. Predominantly seen in newborns within months of birth.

Other common signs include:

  • Delayed mental and social skill development.
  • Smaller head circumference.
  • Hyperactive infants.
  • Tremors and skin rashes.
  • Seizures.
  • Jerking movements of the arms as well as the legs.


There is no permanent cure but it can be controlled by following a diet with less phenylalanine. The food items that need to be avoided include milk, cheese, fish, chicken, eggs, beans, and artificial sweetening products.

  1. Trichomoniasis

A sexually transmitted infection caused by a protozoan parasite. The infection signs are not commonly experienced. But some women see increased fishy smelling vaginal secretions which may be clear, yellow, green, or white.

The other signs of this infection include:

  • Genital burning and itching.
  • Reddening of the genitals
  • Urination discomforts.


Oral antibiotics will be prescribed by a health provider. Refrain from sex for 7-10 days post-treatment.  Both the partners need to be treated for the infection.

  1. Medications

Antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin or amoxicillin and vitamin supplements may affect the urine odor to smell like fish or yeast.

  1. Pregnancy

Pregnant women have a higher chance of contracting urinary tract infections that can go unnoticed.  The routine check-ups help to provide therapies on time.

  1. Diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolic condition where there is the lack or underutilization of insulin accompanied by high blood sugar levels. Strong fishy odor urine is seen due to the presence f glucose in the urine. Proper therapies and diet with lifestyle changes can control this ailment.

I5. Increased douching

Douching disrupts the natural biome of the genital region resulting in fishy smelling urine. Avoid douching with chemicals as they increase the chances of vaginal infections.

What are the preventive measures for a fishy smelling pee?

The following tips if followed can limit this condition :

  • Refrain from wearing tightly fitted undergarments.
  • Keep the body hydrated for a proper kidney activity.
  • Including cranberry juices in the diet helps to control urinary infections as cranberries are loaded with antioxidants and bacteria fighting properties.
  • Drinking a mixture of baking soda and water through the day helps to prevent infections as the kidney will release acidic urine.
  • Limit the intake of coffee.
  • Refrain from taking more than 10 mg of vitamin B6.
  • Limit eating excess garlic and asparagus as they contain strong smelly chemicals that can pass on to the urine.

When to seek help from a healthcare provider?

The following sins need immediate medical  attention:

  • Painful urination
  • Bloody urine.
  • Fever of 103-degree Fahrenheit.
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe back or abdomen pain


  • https://www.healthline.com/health/urine-smells-like-fish#see-yourdoctor
  • https://www.healthline.com/health/urine-smells-like-fish#see-yourdoctor
  • https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/smelly-urine/
  • https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/causes-of-smelly-urine/slide/11
  • http://justhealthlifestyle.com/why-does-urine-smell-like-fish/

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