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Here are 3 things the smell of your period blood is saying about your health

Published on:9 October 2020, 10:49am IST
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.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Your period blood is the window to your health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

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? If you have ever got a whiff of your period blood, you know it has a strange odour. But do you know that your period blood has a tale to tell about your health? If not, then read on to know all about it!

But before that, have you ever wondered why does period blood smell in the first place? 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. But 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.

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Also, according to Dr Manisha Ranjan, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospital, Noida, 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. 

She says, “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.”

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

Here are three things your period blood smell has to say about your health:

1. There are chances that you might have bacterial vaginosis
Dr Ranjan says, “If your period blood smells fishy, 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.”

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.

Your period blood smell also keep you posted about when to change your pad
If your period blood smells like a rotten meat loaf, 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 concluded.

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

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

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.