Did you know in medieval times, people found an unexpected connection between vaginal discharge and seduction? Back then, some people used vaginal discharge as perfume, recognizing that the natural scent played a part in sparking romantic feelings.
In fact, in a more recent time, researchers decided to explore this idea further. A survey was conducted and researchers found that about 75 percent of men identified the smell of the vagina as a major factor in arousing their desires.
The survey also shows that men reacted more enthusiastically to the vaginal scent of women close to ovulation. This is because, during the middle of the menstrual cycle, the female body releases extra pheromones that boost sexual attraction.
But we know that could go wrong with unpleasant vaginal odor. It’s a topic that’s a bit embarrassing to talk about for many, and even more embarrassing to deal with for those who experience it.
Often, it’s linked to a vaginal yeast infection—which isn’t always the case. That’s why it’s crucial to figure out the root cause.
A slight odor is normal for everyone’s vagina. Just like each person has a unique personality, everyone has a distinct vaginal scent, even if they maintain good hygiene.
The smell might be akin to lightly fermented milk or musk. Even though the bacteria Lactobacillus usually dominates the vaginal walls, everyone’s vaginal is a tad different. Plus, the lineup of microbes in your vagina can shift over time.
If, however, you notice a strong or unpleasant odor, like a fishy smell, it might signal an underlying health issue. So, while your body’s natural scents are pretty amazing, stay in tune with any changes and consult a healthcare pro if something seems off.
What Causes Vaginal Ordor?
Sometimes, vaginal odor is accompanied by other signs like itching, burning, irritation, or discharge. If you notice these additional symptoms, then there might be something going on that needs a closer look.
However, if your vaginal odor doesn’t come with these other signs, it’s probably just your body being its usual self. Often, conditions like chlamydia, gonorrhea infections, and yeast infections don’t bring about unusual vaginal odors. But let’s take a closer look at the possible causes, shall we?
1. Hormonal Changes: Sometimes, during your period and the time between ovulation and your next period, these hormones can make your vaginal secretions have a slightly different smell than other times in your cycle.
2. Menopause Phase: During menopause, the levels of a hormone called estrogen drop. This might make the tissue in your vagina thinner and less acidic, leading to changes in smell.
3. Retained or Forgotten Tampon: Well, sometimes people forget to remove a tampon after their period is over.
It might seem like an odd thing, but it can happen if you’re prone to forgetting. When this occurs, it can cause problems such as infection. Also going for more than 4-7 hours without removing your tampons is just as bad.
The buildup of menstrual blood and bacteria can make your body feel uncomfortable. You might feel itchy, and there could be a strong smell.
If you find yourself in this situation, your gynecologist can help. They’ll safely remove the tampon and take care of any possible infection.
This is why taking care of your body is important. If you think you might forget, you can set reminders on your phone to avoid infection.
4. Bacterial Vaginosis: Bacterial, where normal bacteria overgrowth occurs in your private area. This can make things uncomfortable and cause an odd smell.
This is normal and happens to lots of women, especially those who are in their reproductive years. It’s connected to things like miscarriage, premature birth, as well as getting other infections. One big sign is a “fishy” smell.
5. Your Diet: Think about how the foods you eat can make your breath smell different, they can also change the way your vaginal ordor smells. Some foods like asparagus, garlic, and fish can have an effect on how things smell down there.
If you notice a change in smell after eating certain foods, you can try not eating them and see if the smell goes back to normal.
Getting Rid of Vaginal Ordor With Natural Remedies
1. Eat More Vegetables and Fresh Fruits
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and cabbage stimulate circulation, preventing vaginal dryness, so eating a lot is recommended. You either can add them to salads or make yummy smoothies.
Fresh, organic fruits promote your overall health as well as keeping the vaginal clean. They have vitamins and minerals that help your body stay healthy and strong.
Vitamin C which is a key component in keeping your body’s defense system strong—can be found in tasty foods like oranges, guava, strawberries, kiwi, colorful peppers and avocados—avocado have been known to promote vaginal health and also helps with libido as it’s rich in vitamin B6 and potassium, that help supports healthy vaginal walls, reducing the bacterial growth and lower infection risks.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is packed with great antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can actually help battle vaginal odor. Giving yourself a bath with apple cider vinegar can be a helpful move.
It works by tackling toxins and bacteria that are responsible for the odor, and at the same time, it helps bring back the right acidic balance to your lady parts. Another way to use it is by mixing a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water and sipping on that each day. It might just make a difference.
3. White Vinegar
like apple cider vinegar, white vinegar is quite effective. It helps neutralize odors by breaking down protein. to get rid of vaginal odor, a white vinegar bath might just be what you need, and even help balance your pH levels.
All you need is about half a cup each of white vinegar and sea salt mixed into warm bath water. Hop in a few times a week and see for yourself.
Using garlic to fight off odor may seem odd, but for what’s worth garlic isn’t just about flavoring your dishes – it is packed with antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
Think of it like a natural antibiotic that could really come to the rescue when it comes to getting rid of foul odor.
The antifungal properties in garlic are strong enough to fight against yeast infections.
How do you make garlic your new best friend?
You can mix it into your meals—raw or cooked, your choice—If you’re not a fan of chowing down on cloves, no worries. You can find garlic capsules at health food stores or even go hardcore and have one or two raw garlic cloves on an empty stomach, paired with warm water.
Our bodies are a whole ecosystem of bacteria. Some are bad news and can make us sick, but others are responsible for keeping things balanced and our health in check.
But sometimes, things get a little out of hand due to illness, antibiotics, or even stress. That’s when health issues can sneak in, and this is where probiotics come to play.
Probiotics are similar to the helpful bacteria already living in our bodies. You can find them in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and tempeh.
Probiotics also come in supplement form, and help to boost your digestive system. Most of the research on using probiotics for tackling vaginal odor focuses on their effectiveness against BV-related odor.
Feminine Hygiene Tips and Practices
Say No to Chemicals: You might have heard about things like washing inside using special products. But guess what? Those products can sometimes make things worse. They have chemicals that can bother your body and cause problems.
Instead of using those not-so-great products, you can try simple and natural ways to keep things comfy.
Gentle Cleansing: Wash the external genital area with warm water daily. You can use a mild, fragrance-free soap if preferred.
Front to Back: Always wipe from front to back after using the toilet to prevent transferring bacteria from the anal area to the vaginal area.
Avoid Douching: Steer clear of douching, as it can disrupt the natural pH balance and lead to infections.
Cotton Underwear: Opt for breathable cotton underwear to allow air circulation and minimize moisture, which can help prevent infections.
Avoid Tight Clothing: Avoid wearing overly tight pants or underwear, as they can trap moisture and promote the growth of harmful bacteria.
Change Wet Clothes: Letting your body breathe helps too, change out of wet swimsuits or damp workout clothes promptly to prevent moisture buildup.
Regular Showers: Take regular showers, especially after physical activity or sweating, to keep the vaginal area clean.
Use Unscented Products: Choose unscented sanitary pads, tampons, and intimate products to reduce the risk of irritation.
Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water is important for maintaining hydration, especially the vaginal area.
Practice Safe Sex: If sexually active, practicing safe sex and maintaining good genital hygiene can help prevent infections.
Just like you might smell different after running around or playing exercise, and sweating, our bodies can have different smells too. Sometimes, after sex, the way things smell can change a bit.
Even as you go through your monthly cycle, things might smell a little different. Plus, sweat can also make a difference in how things smell.
Eating well and maintaining personal hygiene all goes hand in hand—which supports your overall health, including vaginal health, and in turn you’ll reap the benefits.