Do Steroids Make Your Pee Smell? All You Need To Know

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: December 7, 2023
Do Steroids Make Your Pee Smell

Steroids are a type of man-made drug that acts like natural hormones in our bodies. They’re often used in medicine because they can reduce inflammation and calm down the immune system.

These drugs can treat various health problems like asthma and arthritis. They are also effective for severe allergies and skin conditions. Like all medicines though, steroids can affect how your body normally works.

When taking medicine, people often overlook its impact on digestion, metabolism, and excretion. These are normal body activities that involve processing food and eliminating waste.

Our bodies process and eliminate drugs, affecting urine smell. In this article, we’ll look at whether using steroids can change how your urine smells.

Understanding Steroids

Steroids, also called corticosteroids, are artificial drugs. They mimic hormones made by your body in the adrenal glands. These glands are just above your kidneys. Steroids are often used to lessen swelling and calm the immune system. There are two main kinds of steroids: glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids.

Glucocorticoids, like prednisone and cortisone, are often used to fight swelling in the body. These medications treat illnesses such as asthma, arthritis, lupus, and allergies. They also help with other diseases that cause inflammation.

Mineralocorticoids, like fludrocortisone, are used to control the balance of salt and water in the body. They’re usually used for patients with diseases like Addison’s disease or other issues with the adrenal glands.

Steroids are commonly used to treat autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system attacks the body. Steroids are also used to treat conditions that cause inflammation. Additionally, they are used to treat certain types of cancer. They’re also used to stop the body from rejecting a new organ in people who have had transplants.

The Science of Urine Smell

The smell of your pee is mostly determined by the concentration and types of chemicals your body gets rid of in it. Usually, pee has a bit of an ammonia-like smell because of urea, a waste product that’s gotten rid of in your pee. But, different things can make your pee smell stronger or different than usual.

The most common reason for strong-smelling pee is not drinking enough water. When your body doesn’t have enough water, your pee gets more concentrated, which makes the ammonia smell stronger. Eating certain foods, like asparagus or coffee, can also make your pee smell stronger or different.

Smelly pee can be caused by certain medicines and vitamin B6 supplements. It can also be a result of some health problems. For example, if your pee smells sweet, it could be a sign of diabetes that’s not under control. A urinary tract infection (UTI) can make your pee smell bad too.

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It’s important to remember that it’s usually not a big deal if your pee smells different once in a while. But, if the change lasts a long time, comes with other symptoms, or is bothering you, it might be a good idea to talk to a doctor.

Steroids and Urine Smell

There have been a few studies that looked at how steroids might change the smell of pee. One study in ScienceDirect found that certain types of steroids, specifically 16-unsaturated C19 steroids, might have a strong smell source.

A study in Springer discovered that a particular steroid, 5α-androst-16-en-3-one, present in human saliva, can cause odors to resemble urine.

Certain steroids stored in spit glands can create a foul odor. This odor resembles old urine.

More research from ScienceDirect also shows that the way the body breaks down certain sulfate steroids can lead to the creation of a ‘pee-smelling’ steroid source.

These studies suggest a link between certain steroids and pee smell. However, more research is needed to fully understand this connection. Lots of factors can influence the smell of your urine. These factors include your diet, hydration levels, and medication usage.

Other Factors That Can Impact Urine Smell

While steroids may potentially impact the smell of urine, they are far from being the only factor. Several other elements can have a significant influence on the odor of your urine.

  • Dietary Factors: Certain foods and drinks can dramatically alter the smell of urine. For example, asparagus is notorious for causing a strong, sulfur-like urine odor. Coffee can also give urine a distinctive smell, as can certain spices and strong-smelling foods like garlic and onions.
  • Hydration Levels: The amount of water you drink can significantly affect how your urine smells. When you’re well-hydrated, your urine is more diluted, which usually leads to a less noticeable odor. If you’re dehydrated, your urine can become highly concentrated. It may have a stronger ammonia-like smell.
  • Other Medications or Substances: Besides steroids, various other medications, and substances can change the smell of urine. For instance, some antibiotics can cause changes in urine odor. Vitamin B6 supplements are known to give urine a strong, almost neon color and a distinct smell. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or a urinary tract infection, can also lead to changes in urine odor.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Sometimes, a change in the smell of your pee can be due to simple things like what you ate or not drinking enough water. But, there are times when it could mean something more serious is going on.

If your urine smells different and you experience pain while urinating, frequent urination, fever, stomach pain, cloudy or dark urine, or blood in your urine, it could indicate a urinary tract infection or kidney issue.

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If your pee smells sweet or fruity, it could be a sign of diabetes. If you notice any of these signs, it’s very important to see a doctor right away.

Steroids are strong medicines and can have side effects. If you’re taking steroids and notice a lasting change in how your pee smells (or any other strange signs), it’s important to talk to your doctor. They can help figure out if the change is a side effect of the medicine or maybe a sign of a health problem.

Remember, it’s always better to be safe and get any lasting changes or signs checked out by a doctor.


Steroids, such as corticosteroids, are man-made drugs used in medicine. They reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. Even though they can be really helpful, they can also change the way your body normally works, including possibly changing the smell of your pee.

Certain types of steroids can alter the smell of urine. However, it’s crucial to remember that various factors can also impact urine odor. This includes what you eat, how much water you drink, other medicines you take, and certain health problems. If your urine odor changes for a long time, this could indicate a serious medical condition. Especially if you have other symptoms along with it. It is advisable to consult a doctor.

It’s really important for anyone taking these medicines to understand how steroids might affect their body. Just like with any medicine, steroids should be used under the watch of a doctor who can look out for side effects and change the treatment if needed.

In conclusion, while steroids might change the smell of pee, we need more research to really understand this. In the meantime, if you notice any long-lasting changes in the smell of your pee or other strange signs while taking steroids, you should talk to a doctor.

Dave Moffat

Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of and certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. My passion has always been bodybuilding but with 15 years' experience in weight loss programs too, it's hard not to mention all that when you're working at your fitness level fullest (I hope). When Im not in the gym or spending time away from my family i often think about what advice would help others achieve theirs goals just like these inspired mine.