Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy. You will experience more hormone fluctuations than ever before in your life. Thanks to those changing hormones, you will experience quick mood shifts, have changed preferences in terms of what you want to eat, and even notice a quick change in your body weight. Besides these common changes, you may experience more. Some women say their pee smells different when pregnant. Can this really be the case?
Does Your Pee Smell Different When Pregnant?
Yes, it is possible. It is actually among those few side effects of pregnancy that you may not want to talk about with others. Here’re some possible explanations:
Increased Sensitivity to Urine
Sometimes, you experience the issue not because the smell of your urine has actually changed but that your nose has become particularly sensitive. Your sense of smell will become enhanced during pregnancy, which is mainly due to the production of progesterone. With this increased sensitivity, you are more likely to smell things that would otherwise be nonexistent.
High Levels of HCG
Once the fertilization occurs, the egg eventually implants itself in the uterine wall and your body begins the formation of the placenta, which protects and nourishes your baby by producing HCG throughout your pregnancy. The levels of HCG are usually the highest during the first 8-11 weeks of pregnancy and begin to fall after 11th week. If you are anywhere between 8 and 11 weeks of your pregnancy, your sense of smell may increase to an extent to smell the excess HCG.
A Lack of Adequate Hydration
Does your pee smell different when pregnant? Yes, it is possible, and one possible reason could be dehydration. You need to increase your intake of fluids during pregnancy for adequate hydration because a large percentage of water will be used to make embryonic fluid, whereas your body and your growing baby also need water. When you are dehydrated, your urine is going to become darker in color and may also have distinct smell to it. If your urine looks dark yellow in color, it is time to increase your water intake. By drinking more water, you are going to use the bathroom every couple of hours but you will eventually notice your urine becoming clear and with little to no smell.
Note: Normally, you should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day but you should be drinking up to 10 glasses a day during pregnancy. You can also drink water with vegetables or fruit infusions for proper hydration.
Yet another reason why your pee smells different is a vaginal infection. Anyone can develop vaginal and urinary tract infections, but you are at an increased risk during pregnancy. Along with an unpleasant urine odor, a UTI causes many other symptoms as well, including fever, painful urination, back pain, and frequent urination.
A change in urine smell may also indicate bacterial vaginosis (BV). You are going to notice a fishy odor, which is due to the mixture of urine and vaginal secretions. If you suspect you have BV, it is important to talk to your doctor immediately because it puts you at an increased risk of going into labor prematurely.
Should You Worry?
Does your pee smell different when pregnant? Yes it does sometimes. The good thing is that you usually do not need to worry about a subtle change in urine smell during pregnancy. However, you may want to talk to your doctor if your urine smells very different than usual or you also experience some pain while urinating. This usually indicates a bladder infection. Seek immediate medical attention if a change in urine odor is accompanied by chills, fever, or back pain – this could be due to urinary tract or kidney infections.
Your doctor considers the underlying cause when following a treatment approach. They may ask you to increase your fluid intake to treat dehydration, suggest antibacterial treatments or give you non-teratogenic drugs to help clear an infection. Sometimes, you do not need a treatment and get positive results just by maintaining proper genital hygiene – you may see an improvement by using a pH balanced wash.