What if you get a urinary odour or a change to the colour of your urine?

Urine has an odour that can vary depending upon what we eat or drink. This does not change when you have a urostomy. Your urostomy pouch is made of special laminated and odour proof plastic. When it is in place and properly applied there should not be an odour.

What can cause odour?

  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Food – see list below.
  • Asparagus.
  • Fish.
  • Onions and garlic.
  • Some spices.

Cranberry juice (200ml a day) or cranberry tablets from health food shops can help to keep urine odour free. If you are on Warfarin please check with your stoma care nurse or doctor before taking either cranberry juice or cranberry tablets.


Urine is normally clear and pale yellow in colour.

What can cause urine to change colour?

  • Food and drinks such as beetroot, red fruit and red fruit drinks.
  • Medications – see list below.
  • Senna – yellow-brown or pink.
  • Nitrofurantoin – brown-yellow.
  • Ibuprofen – red.
  • Iron salts – black.
  • Warfarin – orange.
  • Metronidazole – red to brown.
  • Antibiotics – reddish brown.
  • Some anti-depressants turn urine blue-green.
  • Some of the above medications may also alter the smell of your urine.