Vaginal Odor Image

Smells down there. What is normal and abnormal when it comes to vaginal odor?

One of those topics that people don’t talk about but often have questions about is odor. Women may feel embarrassed to talk about smells coming from the vaginal area. Sometimes these smells are normal but sometimes they may indicate a problem. Let’s dive deeper into the topic of vaginal odor.

What Is Normal and Abnormal When It Comes to Vaginal Odor?

It is normal for your vaginal area to have a smell. The smell may vary depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, if you have been exercising, hormonal changes, diet, or if you had sex. Every vagina has a unique smell to it. The vaginal smell depends on the acidity or pH of your vagina.

If your vagina has a very strong or unpleasant odor it could be a sign of a medical problem. This is especially true if the odor lasts for several days or smells fishy. Other symptoms that may go along with a foul-smelling vaginal odor that indicates a problem would be unusual vaginal discharge, burning, or itching. If you have any of these symptoms you should reach out to your gynecological healthcare provider for an evaluation.

Causes Of Unpleasant Vaginal Odor

The most common causes of unpleasant vaginal odor include bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis which are infections. Your gynecological healthcare provider can determine what is causing your unpleasant vaginal odor by doing an exam and taking a sample of vaginal discharge. If necessary, your gynecological healthcare provider will prescribe medication.

How To Prevent Vaginal Odor

Remember it is normal to have a mild vaginal odor. If you have a foul-smelling or fishy vaginal smell that lasts several days or weeks then you should see your gynecological healthcare provider for an evaluation to figure out what is causing the smell. To keep your vaginal area clean and healthy, practice good hygiene, drink plenty of water, wear breathable clothing, don’t douche, and practice safe sex.