Do you want to get rid of your funky period smell? Try these 5 hacks

To avoid the period smell, it is important to keep the vagina clean and fresh. Here are 5 tips that can help do just that.

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Aayushi Gupta Published on: 21 Jun 2022, 13:45 pm IST
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To all the menstruators, do you get paranoid over your funky period smell? Well, just as everyone’s periods are different, the smell is also different for everyone. But it is common! Actually, it has to do with your daily hygiene practices, especially during menstruation. While it’s important to maintain regular hygiene down there, you should try to take them up a notch when you’re bleeding. And when you don’t, you may end up inviting a smell.

While you may want your vagina to smell like fragrant flowers, this is not normal. So, always expect a peculiar smell or something strange down there. However, if this smell gets unpleasant during periods, here’s what you can do about it.

Health Shots got in touch with Dr Madhushree Vijayakumar, Consultant-Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Hebbal, Bengaluru, to understand whether this may be a cause for worry and how you can avoid it.

period smell
Everyone experiences period smell. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

She says, “Menstrual blood can have different smells based on a variety of factors. It is important to find out what the different odours could be and what causes them, so appropriate measures are taken to reduce them.”

Some of the common menstrual odours are:

1. Metallic

Sometimes period blood can smell metallic, usually due to the presence of iron in it. This is usually nothing to worry about, but it should not last for long after the period ends.

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2. Rotten

If your period blood smells rotten, the reason is usually the exiting of blood and tissues along with bacteria. The smell could be stronger on days when the flow is heavy. The rotten smell could also be due to the sanitary pad or the tampon being left for too long.

3. Fishy

This smell is a lot stronger than the usual odour. The fishy smell usually indicates a medical issue like an infection (bacterial vaginosis). If you also have symptoms like burning during urination, irritation or itchiness, or vaginal discharge outside of the bleeding, you need to visit your doctor.

There are certain measures you can take to keep your period smell to a bare minimum, says Dr Vijayakumar.

Here are tips to keep your vagina smelling good during periods:

1. Menstrual hygiene

If your period blood smells like fish, that means you need to change your pad or tampon. This is the most basic yet crucial factor in combating odours during periods. So, maintain hygiene by:

  • Changing your pads or tampons every 4 to 5 hours, even if the flow is light
  • Avoid holding urine for a longer period of time
  • Every time you go to the washroom, wash your genitals
  • Avoid wearing two pads at a time. This can cause odours and infections. A better option is to stick to one pad and change it more often, or use a larger pad
  • Do not remain in sweaty clothes for a long time
  • Do not exert during period and rest enough
  • Say no to douching
  • Don’t use razor
  • Keep the vaginal area clean and dry .

2. Shower daily

Bathe twice a day to maintain period hygiene and avoid an unpleasant period smell. You can also use hot water as it can also help relieve period cramps and pain. Aside from that, while bathing, rinse from front to back and clean the outer areas of the vagina with water only. Cleaning it from the inside can disrupt the pH level, increasing the risk of infection and odour.

period smell
Hot showers and periods go hand in hand. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Wear cotton clothes

Wearing tight pants or other restrictive clothing can prevent oxygen from reaching the vagina, resulting in odour during menstruation. Wear breathable cotton undergarments and skin-friendly clothing when you’re on your period.

4. Use menstrual cup

Use menstrual cups instead of pads and tampons to avoid the odour of your period. Menstrual cups can be worn for an extended period of time (up to 10-12 hours). This will also aid in maintaining the pH balance of your vagina, resulting in no period blood odour.

5. Avoid scented products

As the vagina is a self-cleaning mechanism, using scented washes or other products on it can cause irritation and allergic reactions. It is sufficient to clean your vagina with plain water.

Along with these tips stay well hydrated and consume a nutritious diet.


Simple hygiene precautions can go a long way. Always consult your doctor if the odour does not subside or becomes too strong. It could be an indication of an underlying problem that requires medical attention.

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About the Author
Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More


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