6 Things Your Pee is Trying to Tell You
Health insights you can learn from your next trip to the loo
You know that you’ve had your share of water/beer/coffee by the frequency in which you need to use the bathroom, but what else can pee tell you about your health and habits? A lot, it turns out. We asked R. Mark Ellerkmann, M.D., director for the Center of Urogynecology at the Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine in Baltimore, MD, for some of the specific health and lifestyle issues your urine’s odor, color, and frequency can indicate.
The reason you have to pee on a stick after your first missed period is that shortly after conception (when a fertilized egg implants into the lining of the uterus), the fetus begins to secrete the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, which is what is detected by home pregnancy tests, Dr. Ellerkmann says. Some women also notice a strong, pungent odor early on, even before they’re aware they’re pregnant.
Once you’ve got a baby on board, running to the bathroom constantly is just one of the pesky parts of pregnancy, for a variety of reasons: your kidneys have to work harder to eliminate waste products from both you and the fetus, and as you (and the baby) get bigger, pressure on your bladder from your expanding uterus can send you to the ladies’ morning, noon, and, annoyingly, in the middle of the night.