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Date of last update: 8/13/2017.

Forum Name: Urinary tract infections

Question: ammonia smell

 poppy1 - Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:13 pm

HI I'm not sure if I've posted on the correct so I apologise in advance if I have :)

Im 30 yrs old and for the past 11 yrs since I had my first child every month/2months I have a week where my vaginal discharge and urine smells strongly of ammonia. It is so strong that it actually discolours my dark underwear. I know this sounds ridiculous but Ive been too embarrassed to tell my own Dr.
I also get a very sore lower abdomen during this time and feel very nauses. I am prone to having UTI's at least every 2 months, have kidney stones and gallstones.
I drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, have had no STD's that I know of and apart from the above, my general health is fine.
I would greatly appreciate a reply

Thanks :)
 Shelly S, RN - Sat Feb 05, 2005 11:36 pm

Hi there,

You said you have a history of reoccuring UTI's? Does this odor accompany the symptoms of a UTI? Or is it merely the odor? Any vaginal itching or burning? Pain with urination? Dark urine, or blood tinged urine and/or discharge? Please answer these questions and maybe I can help more.

Besides staying well hydrated, have your tried drinking some cranberry juice when this occurs? (It will lower the acidity of the urine)

Let me know more :D
 poppy1 - Sun Feb 06, 2005 5:29 am


No its simply a really offensive and very strong ammonia smell, much like a household cleaning ammonia and the discolouration of my underwear, it never occurs at the same time as an UTI. There arent any other symptoms associated with it either, in regards to urination everything is normal.
I thought about the time when I usually have the symptoms and it's when Im ovualting, if that makes any difference.

Thanks for the quick reply :)
 poppy1 - Sun Feb 06, 2005 5:32 am

Sorry I forgot to add that there isnt any itching or burning during this time. I drink alot of fresh juices, have had blackcurrant juice, cranberry etc but nothing seems to show a change in the discharge/smell.
 Shelly S, RN - Sun Feb 06, 2005 11:56 am

Ok, what comes to mind here is bacteria in the urine. I know you said you do not have typical UTI symptoms, but from what I have researched the smell of ammonia in the urine comes from "urea". Bacteria that contaminate the urine will convert chemicals in the urine into smelling chemicals that are responsible for the distinctive smell, such as ammonia.

There are foods that can add to the excretion of nitrogen compounds (ammonia and urea). These foods would be red meats, or high protein foods.

So to sum it up, I would definitely see your doctor if this persists. While the odor could be from the urea/ammonia excretions I mentioned above, this is merely a possibility. Only your own doctor can confirm what in fact is contribtuing to the smell.

Thank you for using our forum. I hope I was of some help.

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