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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes an ammonia smell in genitals with burning sensation while urinating?

I ve been experiencing an ammonia smell on my underwear after I wear them for a day. I can smell it when I sit down and it worries me. My discharge looks fairly normal and doesn t smell on its own. I m not experiencing itching, but I have experienced some burning with urination, but it s always soothed when I drink water. I am sexally active with my boyfriend, but I can t go to the gyno like I know I need to to get checked out. I m 18 and still at home with my mother until I get out of high school. I don t want her to know and blow things out of proportion. With school I can t have a friend drive me to a clinic because they close by the time I get home. Please help.
Mon, 17 Oct 2016
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General & Family Physician 's  Response

Thanks for writing to HCM. I can understand your concern.

You seem to have developed a urinary tract infection. The ammonia smell seems to be from the small amounts of urine that may have been leaking out, which is common when you have a urinary tract infection. Burning during micturition is another indication of that.

Since you donot have fever and weakness and other symptoms of a severe infection, we can try to treat it without antibiotics (antibiotics are the first line of treatment, but since it is difficult for you to go to a clinic for prescription). You can follow the following:

1. Drink lots of water - about 2-3 litres per day.
2. Cranberry juice is known to be helpful. Do take it if it is available in your area.
3. Maintain clean hygiene in the pelvic area. Clean it with water before and after intercourse.

These basic measures should help and your symptoms should clear by a week. However, if the infection is severe, it may need antibiotics to completely clear, in which case you may need to visit a physician. Ofloxacin 200mg twice a day for a week is a usually effective antibiotic against the common organisms causing the urinary tract infection.

However, you need not worry as your symptoms are not suggestive of an STD. However, if you do develop smelly discharge, you may have to visit your gynaecologist.

Hope this helps. Wishing you good health.

Dr. Geeta
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