If you have often wondered why you smell weird down there, despite maintaining vaginal hygiene, you are not alone. With many products promising you a rose garden-smelling-vagina in the market, it becomes essential to understand why your vagina has bad odour. The vagina houses bacteria and any imbalances in the vaginal flora can cause a bad smell. Read on to why this happens and some useful and practical tips on how to get rid of vaginal odour.
Vaginal odour is any smell that originates from the vaginal area, which can be influenced by factors such as pH levels, infections, or other underlying conditions. Gynaecologist Dr Kavitha Kovi explains, “Vaginal odour requires medical attention are often described as strong, fishy, foul, or unpleasant, and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as unusual discharge, itching, burning sensations, or pain during urination or sexual intercourse. Any significant change in vaginal odour that is persistent, disruptive, or markedly different from the usual scent should be evaluated by a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.”
Menstrual cycle, sex, or even intercourse can cause the vagina to smell different. Dr Kovi explains, “Vaginal odour can be caused by imbalances in vaginal flora, infections like bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis, poor hygiene, or forgotten tampons, among other factors. Hormonal changes, dietary habits, and certain medications can also influence vaginal odour.”
While vaginal smell can change frequently, there are some factors to consider to understand if it’s a matter of concern. “While slight changes in odour can be normal and related to diet or hormonal shifts, persistent or strong vaginal odour may indicate an underlying issue that requires medical attention. Persistent and strong odours that are accompanied by discomfort, itching, or unusual discharge may signal an underlying issue,” says Dr Kovi.
It is important to understand that these symptoms might indicate infections such as bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis, both of which require proper medical diagnosis and treatment for resolution.
Once you have ruled out any serious cause for the vaginal odour, you may want to consider these options to naturally get rid of vaginal smell. There are lots of things and habits that can be included in your personal hygiene routine which can make sure that your vagina doesn’t have a bad smell.
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The vagina can be sweaty or accumulate dirt very easily. Dead skin also collects here and all these things can affect the way your vagina smells. It is important to clean it well. While a bath will work for sure, a warm washcloth might also do the trick here. However, make sure to not wash inside the vagina.
If the cloth of your undergarments doesn’t allow air to pass through, there is a chance that organisms will be trapped around your vulva area. Opting for breathable underwear will help a lot. In fact, there is no need to wear underwear in the night at all.
Douching means washing the inside of your vagina with water or other fluids. This can disrupt the natural pH balance. It can also enhance the growth of natural bacteria. Yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis can also happen due to douching.
Including yogurt or fermented foods can help in your vagina smell good. Including these in your diet will maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your vagina. Not only will this help the vagina smell better, but reduce the risk of infections as well. Water helps to eliminate the ammonia-smell which comes when waste in your urine gets concentrated.
Keeping away from scented products can actually help your vagina not smell bad! Such products tend to change vaginal chemistry, and this can lead to bacterial vaginosis.
Practicing safe sex can help prevent the development of vaginal odour. Wearing a condom helps keep sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections at bay. These, often, effect the balance of vaginal bacteria, and can result in a bad smelling vagina as well.