Cause of Fishy Urine Smell: Infected Vagina, Can Affect Men

Don’t blame bad hygiene for fishy smelling urine. 

“Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if a ‘fishy’ smell is coming from the urine or the vagina,” says David H.C. King, M.D., Medical Director, Urology Services, El Camino Hospital Los Gatos

“The most common cause of a fishy smell is usually related to common vaginal infections such as trichomoniasis, gardnerella, or bacterial vaginosis.”

If a man has what seems to be fishy smelling urine, he may have contracted a bacterial infection during intimacy, the woman having bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis, the latter being a sexually transmitted disease that’s common, and curable. Men can get it only from women, though women can contract it from both genders.

In the case of women, the fishy urine odor is coming from their vagina, not the urine.

What is bacterial vaginosis (also known as  gardnerella)? This is when bad bacteria overgrows—this bacteria is normally in the vagina. Accompanying symptoms may be irritation and itching in the vagina.

“These conditions are easily treated with antibiotics,” says Dr. King. “Sexual partners of these patients will also need to be treated,” he continues. “Condoms should be used until the antibiotics are completed.”

Having an infection does not make a person  more immune to a recurrence, and many sex partners raise infection risk.

Being infected will not make you more immune or extra resistant to a future infection. 

Sources: cdc.gov &  urologychannel.com

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