It is normal for your vagina to feel and smell fresh. But what do you do if you begin to observe an unusual awful odor oozing out of it? What do you do when you experience a smelly vagina odor? Or perhaps, you may be wondering the exact cause of this odor? Well, this article is to help you answer your questions.
The vagina just like any other part of the body has a unique scent and fragrance attached and associated with it. When the vagina begins to have a foul-smelling odor, then that should be an indicator of an underlying cause or factor in play here and this should make the woman a little bit worried for their health.
Vagina odor could be an indicator of bad hygiene or an underlying disease factor. Some women even try or attempt to change and alter the fragrance of their vagina and this isn’t supposed to be so hence it can cause vaginal infections that if not treated properly can lead to infertility.
The normal fragrance of the vagina is a milky musky scent but during the menstrual cycle, there is a tendency of this to change which is normal.
It becomes abnormal when the smell becomes very strong or becomes prolonged.
Quick fact: Do you know that about 75%-80% of women usually have this odor?
Vagina odor usually aren’t caused by lack of good hygiene although sometimes, it can be attributed to this fact. There is a PH that must be maintained in the vagina and if it becomes too acidic or too basic, then that can lead to a problem. There are some common vaginal odors and their underlying causes as well as what to do when experiencing them that will be discussed in this article.
- The fishy smell:
This smell is caused when there is an underlying factor called BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS. Bacterial vaginosis occurs when there is an overgrowth or crowding of the naturally occurring bacterial in the vagina. Normally, there are some protective, yet not harmful bacteria present in the vagina but when they begin to become too much, and they start over flooding and overcrowding the place, they will lead to bacterial vaginosis and thereby produce an unpleasant fishy smell.
Bacterial vaginosis is a common infection among women who are at puberty and can bear children. Some other symptoms that can be seen when getting this disease includes itching around the vagina (could be severe, could be mild), burning etc.
Quick fact: Do you know that the vagina cleanses itself naturally and it has its own way of maintaining its own PH keeping the bacteria in check?
- Sweet-smelling odor:
Apart from the fishy odor, another odor that can be oozing out of the vagina is a sweet smelling or beer like odor. This occurs when there is an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. These will produce a smell of cookies or that of honey in the vagina. Don’t be deceived by the smell. It isn’t a good thing.
Sometimes, rather than a sweet-smelling odor, you can have a sour-smelling odor which might also be a pleasant fragrance. Yeast infections usually brings intense burning or itching sensations and also a deep sense of dryness in the vagina.
Quick fact: douching is very bad for the vagina as it destroys the bacteria that helps in maintaining the internal environment of the vagina.
There are some measures one can take to reduce or completely eliminate the abnormal vaginal odors and simply maintain the normal one and they include:
- Practice clean hygiene:
Clean the outside of your vagina with water and with a mild soap as this would wash away dead skins and dirt. Please don’t use perfumed soaps and vaginal washes. This is because they will alter the PH of the vagina and cause it to lead to the accumulation of bacteria.
Remember after exercise to take a long cold or warm shower
- Always wear a clean underwear:
Switch from silk and satin pants to cotton pants because cotton pants ensure a fair amount of air enters the vagina.
- During menstrual periods, some women notice that the smell of their vagina changes and this quite normal. But be careful of the tampons, pads and other menstrual products used. Scientists have discovered that the use of inner menstrual products such as the menstrual cups. They discovered also that using menstrual cups also will help prevent the risks of infections especially during the menstrual period.
- Some ladies have also experienced a change in smell of their vagina during or after sex:
To avoid this, it is advisable to use condoms. After sex, ensure you rinse up the vulva very well. This will ensure that any semen found around the area will be wiped off. It has been discovered that interactions between semen and fluids coming out from the vagina can cause vaginal odors.
- Another recommended treatment is the use of probiotics:
Probiotics have been found to help improve bacteria found in the vagina and can help prevent vaginal odors. They mostly combat yeast infections. Apart from this, probiotics helps to maintain the PH level of the vagina thereby keeping the vagina fresh and free of any offensive odor.
- Your diet is another thing you really should take note of:
Yeast thrives in a very sugary environment and so sugary foods will just help to build a home for yeast in your vagina. And once yeast begins to thrive in your vagina, your vagina odor will be altered from the normal milky odor to an abnormal odor mostly sweet smelling or a pleasant sour smell.
Some other foods with a very strong smell have also been seen and known to alter the smell of the vagina. Some foods such as garlic, coffee and onions have been seen to alter the smell of the vagina but changing the smell and PH concentration of body fluids such as sweat.
Also, the importance of water cannot be over emphasized. It is very important to stay hydrated because when you remain adequately hydrated, it will prevent the over-growth of bacteria especially in the vagina.
Whenever you notice a change in smell, please don’t start taking off the counter drugs or using perfumed soaps because rather than preventing or reducing the problem, they would increase the problem. Speak to your physician, don’t be ashamed discussing this with him or her and you can as well discuss your options with him or her and know the best decision to take.