Each vagina has its own unique smell. It is only natural that the genitals smell in a certain way, but if you smell something different than usual, it could be due to a simple situation such as hygiene practices, personal care products, the type of underwear you use, or your diet. or it could be bacterial, such as a urinary tract infection. Therefore, it may be useful to pay attention to the smell coming from the vagina.

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What is vaginal odor?

Vaginal odor is a faint odor coming from the genital area. This odor produced by vaginal secretions is normal and usually mild. Odors caused by bacterial causes such as infections are usually unpleasant and abnormal. But not all flavors are bad. Reasons such as the menstrual cycle and pregnancy can also cause various odors in the vagina.

Is vaginal odor natural?

vaginal odor

Yes! Your vagina may not smell like anything, but if it smells, it doesn’t have to be pleasant! Many parts of your body, such as your scalp, belly button, and armpits, have a characteristic odor. On some social media platforms such as Tiktok, you may see that some apps are made to make the vagina smell like fruits or flowers, but this is definitely not the case.

For example, Sarah Deisach, owner of the world-renowned pleasure goods company Early to Bed and a sex educator. “Regardless of what the culture tells us, the vagina should not smell like flowers.” speaks. On the other hand, dr. Felice Gersh says that vaginas usually smell like copper, musk, or meat.

What causes vaginal odor?

vaginal odor

The natural fluids secreted by the vagina cause vaginal odor. This is completely normal! If you still smell more from your vagina, it may be because:

  • Sweat
  • poor hygiene habits
  • Diet
  • Hormonal changes
  • bacterial vaginosis
  • Trichomonas infection

In more rare cases, bad breath can also be caused by:

  • cervical cancer
  • vaginal cancer
  • Rectovaginal fistula

What to do at home with vaginal odor

If your vagina smells a little worse than usual and you don’t have other symptoms, you can take care of it at home. However, if the smell is heavy and persistent, it is better to consult a specialist.

1. Shower Regularly

vaginal odor

A bad smell could mean you just need to take a shower! “Sweat, dead skin, and dirt can accumulate in the vaginal area,” Gersh says. speaks. Regular hygiene can prevent bad breath from your vagina. “You can use your finger to run warm water around the vulva.”

2. Do not wash the inside of the vagina!

vaginal odor

You can easily wash the outside of your vagina (vulva), but never touch water or soap on the inside. Gersh, “Your vagina is a self-cleaning machine.” speaks. “The natural structure of bacteria inside the vaginal canal is designed to keep the canal healthy and clean, and you don’t have to do anything for these bacteria to work properly.” Flushing the vaginal canal is very dangerous as it can upset the pH balance.

3. View your last used products

vaginal odor

Have you changed your shower gel, detergent or toilet paper recently? All of this can take a toll on your vagina, Gersh says. The vaginal area is very sensitive and can cause an allergic reaction to certain foods. If you’ve recently changed the products you use or the brand of underwear you wear, this could be the cause of bad breath.

4. For water

vaginal odor

We all know the benefits of drinking plenty of water. It is very important to drink enough water, especially for healthy body tissues. Daisach reiterates the benefits of water for healthy sweating and fluid production.

5. Eat a balanced diet

Here’s another point that keeps coming up. A balanced diet is just as important as drinking water for the proper functioning of every part of our body. Fatty foods can cause an unpleasant odor in the vagina. Daysach “Foods with a very strong smell, such as asparagus, garlic, onions, can affect the smell of the vagina.” speaks.

The smell “heals”, which should be avoided

The vaginal odor removal methods you see on social media often lead to the opposite of what you want. What’s more, when you say you’ll miss a scent, you can seriously damage your vagina.

1. Application of the pouch

You definitely shouldn’t use a pouch when washing your vagina. While pouches kill the bad bacteria in the vagina, they also kill the good bacteria needed by the natural environment of the genitals.

2. Products

In no case should you put foods such as cottage cheese, yogurt, garlic into the vaginal canal! Yes, unfortunately there are those who do.

3. Fragrant hygiene products

There are many products on the market such as scented pads and toilet paper. This can damage the natural balance of the vagina. Choose fragrance-free products whenever possible.

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When should you see a doctor about vaginal odor?

It’s best to talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about the smell. It may be helpful to consult a doctor, especially if any of the following conditions apply to you:

  • You have recently had sexual intercourse with a new partner
  • If you have symptoms such as pain, irritation, burning, or vaginal discharge that is not normal
  • If you are pregnant or want to become pregnant

Even if an infection isn’t the cause of vaginal odor, your doctor can help.

How to prevent vaginal odor?

Even if you don’t currently suffer from vaginal odor, there are certain things you can do right now to prevent problems in the future.

1. Get to know your natural vaginal odor

If you don’t know what your normal smell is, you won’t be able to tell when something abnormal is happening. That’s why you need to recognize the normal smell of your vagina. “The most common sign that something is wrong with your vagina is a change in smell,” Gersh says. he explains.

2. Opt for cotton underwear

Cotton is better for your body to breathe than other materials. It also prevents infections as it does not retain excessive moisture.

3. Avoid tight clothing

vaginal odor

“Any tight-fitting garment can trap moisture in the crotch area,” says Gersh. speaks. As we mentioned above, excess moisture can cause bad breath and infections.

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