5 Reasons Why Does My Vagina Stink

Why Does My Vagina Stink

How is your vagina meant to smell like? The fun fact is that your vagina has a natural scent. However, sometimes this scent might not be something that would please you, but it is what it is. So, if you are experiencing an unpleasant smell down there, there could be many other different reasons. We have compiled them here along with their respective treatment options for you.

Why Does My Vagina Stink?

Women have a natural vaginal scent that can change throughout the menstrual cycle. However, a strong odor can be a sign of an infection. So, if you’re noticing a vaginal stink, these could be the reasons;

  • Poor hygiene; generally, poor hygiene can bring the stink effect to your vagina. Taking a warm daily shower with a mild soap can help to feel clean and fresh in general.
  • Vaginal infections; a strong odor can be as a result of yeast infection, too much bacteria around the vagina (bacterial vaginosis) or sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) such as trichomoniasis.
  • Tight-fitting clothing or fabric; tight fabric does not allow free circulation of air to your vagina. This, in turn, accelerates the trapping of sweat and bacteria to your vagina which can cause the stink.
  • Fake vaginal cleaning products; fake products that claim to “clean” your vagina can be harmful because they remove the fluids that naturally clean your vagina. These products can irritate the vaginal area hence bringing vaginal stink.
  • Your diet may also affect your vaginal odor; a healthy vaginal odor is usually as a result of the vagina’s natural pH balance. Foods have different levels of acidity which react with the vagina’s pH. Therefore, including the following foods and drinks in your diet can cause an unpleasant vaginal stink:
  1. Strong spices
  2. Smoked foods
  3. Excess onion or garlic
  4. Broccoli or asparagus
  5. Drinks like coffee or alcohol

Types of Vaginal Stink

Fishy vaginal odor

Your vagina is naturally filled with bacteria and when there is an overgrowth, this condition is called Bacterial Vaginosis (commonly known as BV) which causes a “fishy” odor. Sometimes, symptoms of BV may include a thick and frothy discharge that is white or grey, which causes itching and fishy smell, especially after sex or washing with soap.

Sweet or beer-like vaginal odor

The presence of yeast in your vaginas is a sign of good health. But sometimes this yeast overgrows and causes a yeast infection. The discharge looks like cottage cheese which brings a sweet or beer-like odor.

Sour or stale stink

This stink is caused by Trichomoniasis infection. Trichomoniasis infection is caused by a protozoan, a microscopic, one-celled animal called a trichomonas, which is a sexually transmitted infection.

Onions or garlic-like odor

This happens when you eat a lot of onions or garlic which results in excreting onion or garlic smell in your urine, and your vaginal discharge may change temporarily in smell, as well.

Tips to Get Rid of Future Vaginal Stink

Choose your clothing wisely

Breathable cotton is less likely to hold moisture close to the vagina hence making it more difficult for bacteria and other sources of stink to accumulate to your vaginal area.

Maintain the right diet

The right diet is good for a healthy body, and that includes your vagina. consider eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. 

Vaginal hygiene

Safe, gentle vaginal hygiene practices can reduce your vaginal stink. Some strategies include:

  • Changing underwear daily.
  • Urinating immediately after sex.
  • Taking a shower after exercising.
  • Washing underwear in unscented products.
  • Using a gentle, fragrance-free soap on the vagina when using.
  • Wiping front to back to prevent fecal matter from getting into the vagina.

Consider your menstrual products

Some menstrual products trap odor, compounding this effect. To reduce the stink, consider changing your menstrual products frequently.

Other healthful habits that can help you reduce the risk of vaginal stink:

  • Avoid oral sex with people who have thrush in their mouth.
  • Avoid using scented or flavored products in or around your vagina.
  • Concider limiting the number of sexual partners and practicing safer sex. 
  • Keep your vaginal area dry to prevent yeast growing. Towel off after a shower, and avoid sitting in wet underwear or swimwear for long.
  • Take antibiotics only when need be. Antibiotics may kill beneficial vaginal bacteria, triggering the growth of vaginal yeast. It’s good to seek advice from your doctor before taking any antibiotics.

When Should I see the Doctor?

If you experience a serious odor, often other symptoms will appear alongside the stink.

See your doctor if an odor is accompanied with the following symptoms:

  • Pain during sex
  • Itching or burning
  • Thick and cottage cheese discharge
  • Vaginal bleeding unrelated to your period

The Final Word

The best way to keep your vagina smelling healthy is to take a shower regularly. Use warm water and mild soap to wash the outside of your vulva. Also, consider wearing clean and dry underwear. You should also avoid using products with fragrances, which can cause irritation, infection and hence the stink to your vagina. If your vaginal stink bassist, seek guidance from your doctor.