“Vaginas are not meant to smell like flowers!” Yes, you read that right. A vagina is a vagina and it has its unique smell. Some think that if the vagina doesn’t smell good it may be a sign of serious infection.
But it is not true. The vaginas are meant to have a slight odor and every person has a different vaginal smell. You should only worry when there is a strong, persistent, and unbearable scent.
The overwhelming feminine hygiene product ads showing ‘perfectly’ smelling vaginas exert high pressure on the teen girls who are easily confused. Your vagina doesn’t need any external cleansing agent to maintain its hygiene, it has a certain pH level that keeps unhealthy microbes at bay.
The vaginas have their own cleaning process and these intimate wash products do more damage than good. The medical professionals have all agreed to the fact that douches are harmful and cause Bacterial Vaginosis.
Millions of healthy bacteria and yeast play refugee in your vagina and they are responsible for your vaginal fragrance. The scent of your vagina changes as you age or depending upon certain factors like sweating, sexual intercourse, and menstruation.
So, want to know which scents are normal and which are not? Continue to read below to find out the cause for different smells and whether you need to worry or not.
Different Types of Vaginal Odors;
1. Musky or Fleshy
The culprit: Sweat and discharge in your panties
Did you happen to wear nylon or polyester underwear on a busy day with a lot of physical chores? A workout session and a non-breathable fabric can trap the sweat and discharges causing a musky smell.
Switch to cotton knickers and replace your sweaty clothes as soon as possible. A hot shower can help to get rid of the smell.
2. Tangy or Fermented
The culprit: pH levels and good bacteria
It is very common for the vagina to produce a tangy or sour smell. The natural acidic pH present in the vagina and the good bacteria ‘Lactobacilli’ are responsible for your vagina to smell like fermented foods such as yoghurt, sourdough bread, or beer. It is the most natural smell of vaginas and there is no need to worry.
3. Metallic or Rusty
The culprit: Your period
Throughout the menstrual cycle, you might experience a coppery or coin-like smell. Vaginal bleeding when comes in contact with the pH can produce a metallic smell down there.
Wash only the exterior vulva with unscented soap or warm water to maintain proper intimate hygiene. This metallic or rustic smell should go away once your period is over. If it lingers or you experience bleeding unrelated to the menstrual cycle, then consult your doctor to avoid any health issues.
4. Sweet like Earthy
The culprit: Your diet
Verdict: Mostly normal
Sometimes your secret spot can smell sweet like robust and earthy and this usually because of your diet. Citrus fruits, asparagus, and garlic are known to alter the way vaginal discharges and urine smells.
Very rarely the sweet odor can be a sign of yeast infection. If you have any slightest doubt of infection, book an appointment to consult your gynecologist.
5. Bleachy or Ammonia
The culprit: Bacterial vaginosis or sex
Verdict: Slightly abnormal
Bacterial Vaginosis, a bacterial vagina infection can sometimes smell like ammonia instead of a dead fish. If the scent doesn’t fade away in a couple of days consult your ob-gyn.
The bleachy smell can also be caused during intercourse by sperms that have a low acidic pH level. The lubricants and spermicides can also trigger the scent of ammonia.
Along with this smell, if you have a burning sensation when you urinate then the culprit might be dehydration.
The culprit: Bacterial vaginosis
The most common vaginal infection is a sign of overgrown bad bacteria down there which alter the pH balance of the vagina. Fret not, BV is not a sexually transmitted infection and most of the time it can be treated with a pH gel to restore the balance and remove the smell.
If it doesn’t help your ob-gyn can prescribe an antibiotic to get rid of the infection.
Fishy or foul-smelling vaginal discharge can also be a sign of Trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and it can be treated easily with antibiotics.
The culprit: Forgotten tampon
A rotten scent like a decaying organism that makes you cover your nose is not a healthy sign at all. This putrid odor can be caused by a forgotten tampon that is stuck in your vagina for many days. An overgrowth of bacteria in a confined space can lead to many serious infections.
You can remove the tampon on your own and if you fail do not hesitate to seek help from your doctor, especially if you have flu-like symptoms.
How To Get Rid of The Vaginal Odor?
Are there any safe methods to get rid of the unpleasant vaginal odor? Yes, there are some ways to eradicate this issue and maintaining good hygiene is the first step you should practice.
1. Keep your vagina clean
Wash your vagina daily with warm water. Regular cleanings are important but do not get carried away by the expensive intimate product ads. Do not practice douching as the inside of the labia is very sensitive to chemicals and soap.
You can use a gentle soap without any perfumes to clean the exterior folds of the vulva. Your vagina is acidic and capable of killing the bad bacteria on its own. You just need to use warm water to wash them away. Make sure you wipe from front to back to avoid spreading microbes to your vagina.
2. Avoid tight underwear
Avoid synthetic, polyester, or silk panties, tight-fitting pantyhose’s, thongs, and girdles. Pure cotton made panties are breathable and do an excellent job of wicking away the sweat formed in the secret area of your body.
3. A pH product can help
Over-The-Counter (OTC) products like pH gel can help in restoring the natural pH level of your vagina. But if you do not see improvements in few days, immediately consult a doctor to find the right medication.
4. Frequently change your menstrual products:
If you are sitting on a wet pad for a longer time, you may notice a strong odor down there on your period days. Whether you use a sanitary napkin, or menstrual cup, or tampon, make sure you change them frequently to cease the trapping of bad bacteria in a closed space.
5. Condom to prevent sexual odor
During sexual intercourse, when semen or lubricants comes in contact with the vaginal fluids alter the pH level of the vagina and contributing to a strong scent. One can use a condom to prevent semen from contacting vaginal fluids. You can urinate immediately after sex to clear any foreign constituents. Avoid using scented or flavored sexual products to prevent any irritation or allergy.
6. Include probiotics in your diet
Probiotics are proven to spread healthy bacteria throughout the body, including your clitoris. They can aid in preventing vaginal infections caused by bacteria and yeast, thereby reducing the stingy odor.
Message from Bliss naturals
The vaginal odor along with symptoms like itching, irritation, burning, and pain should not be ignored and immediately brought to the attention of your ob-gyn. The more intense the odor is, the more intense the problem.
Vaginas are the most miraculous thing happened in women’s life. We should embrace its natural scent of glory, free of shame and embarrassment.