Ammonia Smell in Urine


download (1)Any normal, healthy person’s urine will be completely odorless and will be of a clear color. If your urine smells funny or looks a bit darkish in color, it may be due to many factors like dehydration, side-effects of medicines, high protein diets etc. This all cause an ammonia-like smell in your urine. But, make sure you get checked up as this may also be a sign of something more serious like liver disease or kidney failure. Get a checkup done as early as possible so that you can treat it properly and remove the smell completely.


There are many reasons why your urine could smell like ammonia or looking different and they are:

Protein rich food

If you eat food that is very rich in proteins like leafy greens, your urine may smell and look different. This is due to the fact that excessive consumption of these food items causes buildup of nitrogen which makes your urine smell like ammonia.

Irregular bladder control

When you hold in your urine for too long, it can become concentrated and thus starts smelling like ammonia.


It is always necessary to keep sipping water throughout the day as dehydration can also cause urinary problems. When you drink less water, you get dehydrated and then your urine gets concentrated, becomes darkish in color, and smells like ammonia.

Liver problems

The liver is the organ that breaks down any ammonia in the body and sends it for excretion. If there is some damage to the liver, then it will not be able to remove this ammonia and thus it will show in the urine.


The glucose in a diabetic patient gets concentrated in the blood that is dangerous. To counteract this, the kidneys produce ketones that emit a foul smell in your urine.

Sexually transmitted diseases

The ammonia smell in your urine could also be an indication of a sexually transmitted disease and thus you should always consult a physician to examine the same. This is especially true if there is some vaginal discharge in the urine as well, which creates the foul smell.

Other causes

There can be many other reasons for this ammonia smell in your urine from metabolic disorders, medication and kidney damage. To determine what exactly is the reason for this foul smell and color in your urine, you should always visit the hospital and get an urinalysis if necessary.


This smell is more prominent among women, especially when they are pregnant and this can be very dangerous. Thus, it is important that pregnant women should get a urinalysis done if their urine smells like ammonia. Some causes for this smell in women are:


When a woman’s menstrual cycle ends, it marks the beginning of menopause. This causes a lot of hormonal changes in the body and causes urinary infections. This can create this ammonia smell in urine. Menopause can also cause weight gain and dehydration that also causes this smell in the urine.

Dehydration during pregnancy

It is very important for a pregnant woman to consume extra glasses of water than normal, as they need more water to sustain both them and the child. If they fail to do so, their urine will become discolored and will be concentrated. The smell is in fact more severe in pregnant women, so it is better to stay hydrated all the time.

Bacterial infections

Since the urethra, vagina and rectum are all located near each other, it is more common for women to contract a bacterial infection. If there is any infection in the bladder or kidneys, it can lead to a strong ammonia smell in your urine.

Nutritional supplements

Pregnant women often take a lot of nutritional supplements to help sustain their requirements and this creates a strong metallic smell or ammonia like smell in your urine. However, this is not a bad thing; it is just a result of the supplements and is harmless.


The ammonia smell in your urine may or may not be an indication of a serious medical condition, but either way it can be problematic for you. It is better to treat this condition in the following manner:

Drink lots of waterdownload (2)

This is the easiest and main step to do away with the ammonia smell in urine. If you drink around10-12 glasses in a day and still feel thirsty, go ahead and drink some more. This helps dilute your urine and removes any smell and color. Keep a bottle of water with you all the time, so that even if you are out anywhere you are not dehydrated. This is especially true in summers.

Change your eating habits

If this smell only occurs when you eat a particular food items like high protein food, it is time to change your dietary habits. You should try eating less of these items and note the difference. The smell may take some time to go away.


Unless it is recommended by a doctor or physician, it is best to avoid taking certain medications that create this ammonia smell in your urine.


If none of the above brings about any change in the smell and color of the urine, it means you could be suffering from some serious medical condition. In such case, you must immediately go for a medical checkup so that you can treat it as early as possible.

The ammonia smell in your urine could be due to various factors, as discussed above and it is always better to get a checkup done if you are not sure of the cause. You should always be careful if your urine has any blood in it.

In addition, if you have a burning sensation or feel an itchiness when urinating, then you should definitely contact the doctor. This is a clear indication of an infection and must be treated by a professional.