If your nose is particularly sensitive, you may indeed be able to smell a strange odor when using the facilities. Although not all women can detect this new smell, others report that they can smell hCG. hCG, short for human Chorionic Gonadotropin, is often referred to as the pregnancy hormone because a woman’s body only produces it while pregnant.
Once the fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube and implants itself in the uterine wall, the body begins to form the placenta. The placenta’s purpose is to both protect and nourish the baby; the cells in the placenta produce hCG throughout your pregnancy. However, these cells work overtime during the first 8-11 weeks. During this timeframe, hCG levels will double every 2 – 3 days. After the 11th week, levels of this hormone stabilize or may slightly decrease until you give birth.
Not all mothers can detect a strange odor. Mothers who report a funny smell note a more pungent odor to their urine. Indeed, among the other symptoms of early pregnancy such as implantation bleeding, morning sickness, fatigue, and food cravings, a change in the smell of your urine may be hardly noticed. However, a side effect of increasing hormone levels can be increased sensitivity to smells, so on the other hand you may be able to notice a change relatively quickly.
Another possible odor to urine during pregnancy may occur from lack of adequate hydration. Expectant mothers need to drink more water to remain well-hydrated; the embryonic fluid needs water just as you and the baby do. A healthy adult should drink 8 glasses of water a day; an expectant mother should drink between 8 – 10 glasses daily. Urine that is darker in color and has a strong odor may indicate that you’re not drinking enough water throughout the day. If you notice darker yellow urine, try to increase your daily intake of water until your urine is close to clear. This may mean you’ll need to pee every two to three hours, but it also means you’re drinking enough water. If the thought of this much water seems unappealing, try drinking it with fruit or veggie infusions.
Interested in seeing just how likely it is you may be able to detect your pregnancy with your nose? Check out the chart here; this compiled data explores when most women notice a pungent odor to their urine. It tracks data through the first 20 days past ovulation—it looks as though you’ll have the best chance of smelling hCG sometime between the 8th and 12th days. Strange urine odors do not necessarily indicate a pregnancy. If you notice a change in urine smell in addition to more reliable signs such as a missed period, morning sickness, and fatigue, it may be a good idea to try a home pregnancy test!