Is urine really sterile?
I routinely hear people state that “urine is sterile” any time someone gets a little pee on them. It makes sense that something so universally stated should be questioned. So lets take a look at the evidence and hopefully get to the bottom of this one –
What exactly is urine?
Urine is a byproduct of your bodies ability to metabolize what we eat and drink. Your kidneys excrete a compound called “urea” which consequently is also the major component of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). It is important to note that you cannot pee in your DEF tank if you run out of DEF. For legal reasons, I must insist that you do not do this. It will not end well for your exhaust system and likely will make other parts fail as well.
Also of note there was an article published in 2019 regarding synthetic urine being able to pass a drug test. It does not specify if DEF could also do this, but it would make for an interesting research project. Again, I DO NOT recommend using DEF to beat a drug test. I do recommend not doing drugs since that is a proven way to pass your drug test. You can read the article here.
Urine is made of Urea and water. Any other chemicals or compounds that the kidney excretes can also be found in there, but for the most part, it is urea. Historically, the urinary tract infections we screen for in medicine typically correlate any bacteria present in the sample with infection or a contaminated sample. However, in 2015 a series of researchers discovered that asymptomatic bacterial colonization of the bladder can occur. This would essentially mean that NO urine is not always sterile.
The take home message
The more correct answer is that urine is MOSTLY sterile but… the vagina or penis is typically not. Prior to exiting the body the urine must traverse this non-sterile environment. This is why I would definitively state that urine for the sake of this discussion is NOT STERILE. I would not recommend peeing on your buddies open wound in a feeble attempt to wash it out. It will likely not be enough fluid to clean it properly. It would also just make it smell funny until you could get to a clean water source.