Why Does My Vagina Smell Weird? How to Get Rid of Vaginal Odor.

Bacteria found near the vulva combine with fluids to create the same odor-causing reaction on the vulvar area as well as inside the vagina itself. Autoimmune polyendocrinopathy–candidiasis–ectodermal dysplasia syndrome, like a typical fungus, yeast produces and excretes enzymes and toxins to kill, dissolve, and digest its food for assimilation. In addition, the long-term use of over-the-counter topical products to help block odor and itch can cause vaginitis. Like yeast infections, vaginal discharge in the case of STIs causes a mild smell, not urine itself. When we burn energy from fat, it releases chemicals called ketones.

  • Although you may be able to treat a yeast infection yourself with OTC remedies, see your doctor if this is the first time you’ve had these symptoms, your symptoms worsen, or these treatments aren’t working.
  • Breastfeeding and postpartum states can also contribute to atrophy.
  • He/she may also run a few additional tests to reach a more conclusive diagnosis.
  • This odor may become more noticeable after intercourse.
  • You could have an infection caused by bacteria, yeast, or viruses.
  • To restore access and understand how to better interact with our site to avoid this in the future, please have your system administrator contact [email protected]

When should you see a doctor? Vaginitis affects women of all ages but is most common during the reproductive years. And it can feel very isolating because you are hyper-aware of the smell, but mortified to tell anyone. That includes any kind of fluid you drink, not just water. If dry mouth isn't the problem, have your dentist do a thorough checkup to rule out any dental health issues, like gum disease, which Boghosian says can be caused by plaque. This acidic environment protects against the growth of pathogenic organisms and is key to maintaining a balanced vaginal bacterial environment. Over time, the buildup of menstrual blood and bacteria can lead to irritation, itching, and a strong, unpleasant-smelling discharge. In general, your urine contains the chemical compounds from food you’ve eaten.

If left untreated, the condition could cause preterm birth or a low birth weight for the baby. Smell something. Then head to your doctor, as bad breath could be a symptom of various medical conditions such as sinus or lung infections, bronchitis, gastric reflux, a tonsil infection, and even some liver or kidney diseases. Are you currently suffering from any infections? Often the capsule doesn’t disintegrate well, and the beneficial bacteria is needed near the opening of the vaginal canal. But what is more common is a slight overgrowth of Gardnerella that causes no infection symptoms, just a “fishy odor. These can affect the delicate pH balance of the vagina. However, visible warts are not always present, and the virus may only be detected when a Pap test is abnormal.

The foul-smelling urine from a UTI is caused in the same manner. Vulvovaginitis refers to inflammation of both the vagina and vulva (the external female genitals). Vulvovaginal complaints are one of the most common reasons for women to seek medical advice. There are many STDs with different symptoms. An example is estrogen, which controls the function of female reproductive organs. Perfumes and other products, such as scented tampons, can alter the chemistry of the vagina and give rise to bacterial vaginosis.

  • Women who do not practice basic feminine hygiene regularly are more likely to develop a foul vaginal odor.
  • Women at any age can have it – even teens and adult women who have never been sexually active, but it’s more common among young and older women who have had sex with one or more partners.
  • This introduces infection-causing bacteria and other germs into the vaginal area and eventually gives rise to a foul vaginal odor.
  • Gardnerella is a benign, normal occurring bacteria of the vaginal canal.
  • This is the smell of your period blood, and totally normal.
  • 26 It occurs when the normal Lactobacillus species in the vagina are replaced with anaerobic bacteria, resulting in reduced levels of hydrogen peroxide and organic acids usually present in the vagina.

Genital Herpes in Women (Symptoms, Signs, Treatment)

This topic can be a touchy subject, but I think it is time to talk about it. About half of women who have bacterial vaginosis do not notice any symptoms. One example is inflammatory vaginitis which is characterized by thick, mucoid, yellow to green copious vaginal discharge commonly seen in menopausal women. Then boric acid vaginally is also a great way to prevent Gardnerella overgrowth.

It is an abnormal tunnel-like passage or tract that forms between the rectum and the vagina, usually as a result of complications during childbirth.


The vaginal canal is naturally acidic being in a range of less than 4. Are baking soda soaks effective and safe for treating vaginal odor? Medical treatment that can help Treatment to stop or prevent that fishy smell will depend on what is causing your symptoms. We want our vaginas to smell ‘pretty’ and not like something resembling a creature from the deep blue. A lack of itching makes diagnosis of vulvovaginal candidiasis unlikely (range of likelihood ratios [LRs], 0. )Sometimes, you may not even realize that something is stuck in the vagina, such as a split condom, which is why it is recommended that you sanitize it properly. HuffPost is part of Verizon Media.

A yeast infection can cause a yeast-like smell and a thick, white discharge, as well as itching, soreness, and burning during urination and intercourse. The idea that vaginas "smell like fish" is used so often to put them down, it's almost hard to talk about the times when this particular vaginal odor can signal a real medical problem. While chlamydia infections are treatable with antibiotic medications, the best treatment for chlamydia is prevention. If STDs aren't treated, they can cause problems later in life, like infertility (the inability to have children), which is why girls who are having sex or who have had sex should see a doctor to get tested. While an abnormal smell is often associated with various infections, this is generally not the case with vaginal yeast infections. Change your routine Excessive sweating may be the cause of your fishy odor.

Yeast infections often cause genital itching, a thick white vaginal discharge, and other symptoms. Treatment may keep you from going into labor before it is time for your baby to be born. The most common explanation for an unpleasant vaginal odor is an infection called bacterial vaginosis. Yeast infections usually cause thick, white discharge, and may be itchy and uncomfortable. The vagina is naturally populated with multiple strains of good bacteria that exist in perfect equilibrium to form a healthy vaginal microbiome. Women of all ages get yeast infections. Sometimes a person might need a stronger form of boric acid.

Fishy odor during pregnancy - reason to start worrying?

You Can't Prevent Vaginal Discharge

They should abstain from sexual intercourse for seven days after all sex partners have been treated. It’s a self-cleaning organ. In addition, your sweat glands become more active during puberty and begin to release new chemicals. It's not uncommon to notice a strong scent when you're menstruating. After childbirth, women can be at risk for developing postpartum infections, which may include symptoms like a fishy odor. Although the discharge can be somewhat watery, it is generally odorless. She don’t take baths! For this reason, we highly recommend testing for common STDs (BV, Trichomoniasis, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea) if you think you have a yeast infection.

Adopt Good Hygiene Measures

15, 2020, 9 a. Yes, it is uncomfortable, awkward, embarrassing to say “I have a vaginal odor. Vaginal yeast infection symptoms commonly include: Another possible cause is trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection caused by a protozoan parasite. The abnormally unpleasant smell is usually accompanied by other signs of vaginal discomfort such as irritation, burning, itching, and discharge. Scented soaps and shower gels can cause irritation. Generally, if you have vaginal odor without other vaginal symptoms, it's unlikely that your vaginal odor is abnormal. I typically advise patients to place 1 cup of baking soda in a bathtub and soak for 15 minutes.

In fact, don't be shy about booking an appointment with your doc about any of these issues.

Other Smells

18 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0. Inside pain:, a total of 312 women used an antibiotic at least once. Use protection, but try to avoid latex condoms and spermicidal lubricants during sex. Many of these women are not sexually active. A vaginal discharge is sometimes present with this infection, but not always. When the vaginal discharge and sweat combine, the unpleasant fishy smell of trimethylamine becomes increasingly pronounced and gives rise to a strong genital malodor. This also helps prevent sweat from remaining in the area without proper circulation of air in the area. So many things about us have a scent, be it our sweat, hair, mouth, or freaking feet. If it doesn't in a few days, check in with your ob-gyn.

It is difficult to tell whether you have a yeast infection or an STD without testing because the symptoms are very similar. I used the HealthFare Femininva Boric Acid Suppositories and within days my symptoms cleared up. To minimize it, you can opt to shave your pubic hair or choose to get it professionally waxed; however, keep in mind that certain hair removal methods can be irritating and may increase infection risk. Yeast die-offs in the canine body, you will also need medical attention if your infection doesn’t respond to initial treatments, or becomes more severe with the appearance of rashes, fissures or sores, and also if the infection is recurring, (you have four or more instances a year). A yeast infection can cause itching, redness, and a lumpy, white discharge.

In some cases, vaginitis results from organisms that are passed between sexual partners, vaginal dryness and lack of estrogen. Treatment will depend on the cause of the vaginitis. You want to do something to make it stop, now. These reasons, among the ones listed in the beginning of this piece, is why many ladies would rather resort to getting rid of what seems to be BV on their own before visiting their doctor. Vaginal discharge usually isn't anything to worry about if it:

Can Perimenopause Cause Yeast Infections?

Most yeast infections aren’t terribly smelly, but occasionally the thick, cottage cheese-like discharge that’s a hallmark of the itchy nuisance has a faint scent of beer or yeast. I have another patient that will not have sex with her new, hunky boyfriend. Douching may aggravate symptoms and limit the vagina’s ability to self-clean with vaginal discharge.

, sweat, semen, blood, urine, cervical discharge).

It's definitely not healthy, and could be a sign of a tampon gone astray in your vagina during your last period, which is way, way, way more common than you think. Let’s start by exploring what the most common vaginal infections look like. Urinary tract infection (UTI) A UTI may cause foul or strong-smelling urine.

But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date.

General Tips on Preventing Vaginal Infections (Perineal Hygiene)

You may notice the smell gets stronger after you’ve exercised. So if you get a big whiff of sweet-smelling urine without even trying — and it's accompanied by pain when you pee — schedule a gyno visit. If this doesn’t take away the smell within a week or so, see your ob-gyn. Bacterial vaginosis is a type of vaginal infection. Plants that can clean indoor air, candida is normally found in the body, however the response and tolerance to candida overgrowth could be very different in different individuals. But, 2 out of 3 women who buy yeast infection medication don’t actually have a yeast infection. Products & services, in addition, “maintenance” yeast infection medication may be recommended to prevent future infections. They include asparagus, broccoli, certain spices like garlic, onions, and some types of fish.

Since the primary cause of foul-smelling urine is dehydration, Dr. It is most commonly caused by a bacterial infection, but can also be caused by a yeast infection or a sexually transmitted infection (STI) called trichomoniasis. Women’s Management of Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis and Experiences of Clinical Care: The bacteria from the infection can contaminate the urine and cause a distinct fishy smell. Bacterial overgrowth from a UTI causes a foul smell in urine.

Douching is a practice that should only be prescribed by a doctor if medically necessary. Lactobacillus acidophilus makes up the majority of the beneficial vaginal flora in 70% of women. Usually, infection occurs when a change in the delicate balance in a woman’s system takes place.

Period Blood Or Lost Or Forgotten Tampons

It is accompanied by other alarming symptoms, such as vaginal itching, pain, soreness, bleeding, and increased vaginal discharge. First, it should be noted that there are different types of vaginal infection. Adult women, in particular, have vaginal secretions that smell slightly musty, which should not raise any cause for concern. It can be dangerous for your health if they aren’t removed. At one time of the month there may be a small amount of a very thin or watery discharge. Doctors usually prescribe an antibiotic to treat bacterial vaginosis. Trichomonas vaginalis (400 ×).

Symptoms & Signs A-Z List

More than half experience several infections. If you notice a sweet smell down there, you might not be super inclined to think anything is wrong (it’s better than a rotten smell, right? )Kaaki says vitamin B and vitamin D can cause a similar smell. In rare instances, toxic shock syndrome (TSS) can result from bacteria entering the bloodstream, which can be life-threatening. I tell my patients, if you are uncomfortable with the word, “fishy,” use amine instead. However, this odor can change when infections or other health concerns are present. It is possible to have a yeast infection and not experience symptoms. You may also experience mild pain or pain during sex or when you urinate.

Beauty & Balance

It may lead to irritation, an unpleasant body odor, and embarrassment. A shower with mild soap is all the "feminine hygiene" you need. While a scent is a sign that your junk is healthy and has its pH properly balanced, a change in smell can sometimes be a sign that there's trouble, right here in Vagina City. But when she’s out at a nightclub and women are cracking jokes about another woman in the restroom (“She nasty! )We all know what seminal fluid is and I am going to get seriously TMI here. Pregnant women are also more prone to UTIs,” Dr.

The odor can become worse at the time or your period or after unprotected sexual intercourse.


As yeast develops most rapidly in moist environments, it is important to avoid leaving moisture on the vagina after cleaning. Talk to your healthcare provider. Next question, how do I balance my “aquarium”? If you have BV, you’re in good company—it is the most common vaginal infection in women between the ages of 15 and 44, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Iron gives blood a metallic smell. Not uncommonly, a woman can have itching, burning, and even a vaginal discharge, without having an infection. Follow these tips to maintain feminine freshness at all times and prevent bad vaginal smells from occurring: Rather than treating yourself with over-the-counter yeast creams or suppositories, it is best to see your doctor for an exam. Sometimes, the exact cause cannot be found.

Some people naturally emit stronger vaginal odors, while others don't. Sorry!, when the fermentation process ends, the S. Yeast infection (candidiasis) occurs when there is an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina, often due to antibiotic use or other factors that affect the natural balance of bacteria in the vaginal area. All of these descriptions could be considered normal. Many of the same measures that can prevent bacterial vaginosis, such as avoiding scented products and never douching, are also effective in preventing yeast overgrowth. I thought I had to deal with this for the rest of my life.

Connect With Us

Kaaki says it’s the vaginal discharge smell that changes, not actually the urine. The prolonged presence of a foreign object, such as a tampon, sex toy, shred of condom, and contraceptive device such as a cap or sponge, in the vagina can be a source of genital contamination. Drugs that treat certain types of infections. Having penile-vaginal intercourse with a new partner is usually the cause. An oral medicine almost always clears up this infection. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by overgrowth of the bacteria that occur natually in the vagina. I have had patients before coming to me that have taken rounds and rounds of antibiotics.

What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis? Below is a list of five common vaginal odors to look out for, explained with the help of Dr. Fishy smelling urine Fishy odor from your urine can be caused by a urinary tract infection (UTI).

Instead, when you shower or take a bath, use just a gentle soap and water to clean the area.

You might be thinking that if you have a fishy vaginal odor that the best thing to do is to vigorously clean the area inside the vagina or mask the scent with a perfume. What causes a vaginal yeast infection? Change pads or tampons often. It’s also common for people with vulvas to get infections in their urethra (the tube that carries pee from your bladder out of your body). But if you notice a stronger foul smell coming from those more subtle regions, pay attention. The sexually transmitted disease trichinosis can cause vaginal odor.

Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted infection, but it is seen more often in sexually active people.


The next question is, what probiotic do I use? A yeast infection can be caused by hormones, antibiotics, certain cleansers, or anything that throws off the gentle balance of fungus and bacteria in your vagina. It could be something as simple as a run away script or learning how to better use E-utilities, http: Some people are born with a rare disorder called trimethylaminuria, or ‘‘fish-odor syndrome,’’ which is another cause of abnormally offensive vaginal odor. A tampon that’s been left in your vagina for days or longer can smell rancid or foul. Symptoms of vaginitis may include itching and burning in your vulva or vagina, redness, vaginal discharge that is different than normal (strong odor, white or green color, very thick or foamy), pain during sex or masturbation, burning when you pee, and/or feeling like you have to pee often. The discharge usually is thin and dark or dull gray, but may have a greenish color.

It may have a slight odor, but shouldn't have an unpleasant one. I like the broad spectrum probiotic with Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus acidophilus by Orthomolecular Products called Ortho Biotic. Probiotics (beneficial bacteria): Gonorrhea, another STI, can also cause vaginitis symptoms. This infection is an STD, although men rarely have symptoms. In fact, if your breath smells like you just noshed on the entire grapefruit section of the grocery store, then head to your doctor immediately — it could mean you have diabetes, says Boghosian. Hassan, Sarmina, et al.

A type of vaginal infection caused by a one-celled organism that is usually transmitted through sex.

Self-help For Vaginal Odor

Unusual vaginal odor is therefore a normal occurrence during pregnancy and does not require medical attention, unless it is accompanied by a burning or itching sensation in the genitals. Prescription antibiotics in the form of a pill or vaginal cream, per the U. But in some cases it can lead to serious problems. Only you know your body.

Once you confirm your privacy choices here, you can make changes at any time by visiting your Privacy Dashboard. If, after diagnosis, your infection doesn't get better with treatment or comes back several more times within a year (a condition called recurrent or chronic yeast infection), your doctor may order a culture test of your yeast. STDs that are spread through bodily fluids are more likely to take hold if they come in contact with skin tears. Your doctor can prescribe you antibiotics or if you’re feeling a bit too embarrassed to see your doc, there’s over the counter solutions too. See your doc about what's going on down there, and she might prescribe something or recommend something you can buy OTC.

Yeast infections are most often due to the fungus Candida albicans.

Douches throw your vaginal biome out of balance, and can cause irritation and infections—which will not only feel uncomfortable, but ultimately make your vagina smell worse! You’ll also need to drink plenty of water as your body recovers and avoid coffee and soft drinks until your infection is cleared up. The parasitologic cure rate of intravaginal nitroimidazole creams is an unacceptably low 50 percent. These symptoms often are made worse by sexual intercourse. This means you may as well flip a coin to determine whether or not your doctor will give you an accurate diagnosis. What is vaginitis? These are just a few of many hygienic tips to improve vaginal odor. In initial studies, women found it easy and comfortable to use, and the L.