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3 things that period blood smell says about your health

Period blood odour is a real thing, ladies. Whatever your period blood smells like, it always reveals something about your overall health and well-being. Read on to know more.
menstrual cup is easy to use
A menstrual cup has multiple benefits over a sanitary pad. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Nikita Bhardwaj Updated: 21 Feb 2024, 14:56 pm IST
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To be honest, no one in this world has a flowery-smelling vagina. Then, how can we expect our period blood to smell like lilies? Period blood smell can be a bit strange. But do you know that your period blood smell has a tale to tell about your health?

Well, blood is odorless. If you have ever experienced a finger cut, and if blood oozed out of it, then you must have observed there is no smell as such. So wondering why does period blood smell? When it comes to your vagina, the blood down there stays for a while, and comes in contact with air and bacteria – hence, the foul smell.  Health Shots got in touch with obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Manisha Ranjan to undertand all about period blood smell.

Why does my period smell so bad

Our period blood contains the extract of our unfertilized egg, blood, and uterine lining tissues as well, which is another reason for the bad odour. “It’s completely fine if the blood has some odour. But, if the period smell is unbearable then it does indicate some underlying health conditions that need immediate medical attention,” says Dr Ranjan.

period blood smell
Period blood smell has a lot to say about your health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3 things that your period blood smell has to say about your health:

1. There are chances that you might have bacterial vaginosis

‘Why does period blood smell like fish?’ there might be an infection, says Dr Ranjan says. “If your period blood smells like fish, then it indicates that you might have bacterial vaginosis. It’s a type of infection that gets treated with antibiotics. The bacteria gets mixed with blood, and due to its reaction with the iron content, it creates a funky smell,” she explains.

2. Bad period blood smell means you are not keeping your vagina clean

Periods or no periods – keeping your vagina clean is a mandate. “If your period blood has an onion-like smell, then it is an indication that your hygiene practices during the menstrual cycle are compromised. You should follow proper cleaning practice i.e. cleaning your vagina from front to back, and please no douching at all”, she suggested.

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3. It might also indicate that there is a shift in your vaginal pH balance

If your period blood smells a little on the sweeter side, don’t get hassled because it is completely normal. This happens when the pH level of your vagina shifts more towards the acidic side. “The pH balance of your vagina is usually 3.8-4.5”, she said.

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4. Your period blood smell also keep you posted about when to change your pad

If your period blood smells like bad meat, then it means that it’s time to change your sanitary pad or tampon. But Dr Ranjan has a piece of advice for you, she says, “Avoid scented tampons and other products, as these can cause irritation and allergic reactions. Also, one should frequently change pads, and tampons during those heavy flow days”, she says.

So ladies, don’t take the smell of your period blood lightly, as it has a lot to say about your health!

Does implantation bleeding smell like period?


To understand if implantation bleeding smells like period, it is important to comprehend what is implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding is a condition which women experience 10-14 days after conceiving a baby. There is light bleeding and people may even confuse this as a normal period. However, the number of days, colour of the blood as well as flow of blood is different. Usually, this should not be accompanied by a smell.

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About the Author

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content. ...Read More

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