Why Your Vagina Smells and What to Do About It

In one study, only 33. Vaginal discharge is often minimal and sometimes absent. Its hallmark is a foul-smelling vaginal discharge that’s off-white or grayish. Masking the odor doesn't fix the problem that is causing it, and the products you use to do so may make an infection worse.

So in pregnant women, doctors typically recommend treating the infection even when it’s not causing symptoms, Dr. However, it is most common in young girls before puberty, particularly girls with poor genital hygiene. “You can pass BV on to your partner, but as of today the CDC does not recommend partner treatment,” she says. For many, however, the fishy odor is the only symptom. If an infection is present, there will be a vaginal smell that is strongest after sexual intercourse, and perhaps an increased amount of thin vaginal discharge, which may be white or discolored. Thrush, itching is not common, but may be present if there is a lot of discharge. A vaginal discharge is often present at some stages in the menstrual cycle.

  • It is important that both you and your partner get treated.
  • The vaginal discharge usually is white, lumpy, and has no odor.
  • The vulva may be red and swollen.
  • Tight-fitting or nonabsorbent clothing, which leads to heat rashes.

Increase or change in the vaginal discharge, including gray, green, or yellow discharge. Does aloe vera cure yeast infection?, for this reason, the garlic suppositories remain a favorite remedy for the treatment of yeast infections among many women around the world. Scan through the scents below to see if your smell is on our list, but don’t hesitate to get yourself checked out by a professional either way. People with bacterial vaginosis usually experience the following symptoms: You want to do something to make it stop, now. A condition, such as functional ovarian cysts, may cause pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding when you are not having your period. Unfortunately, it really, really stinks.

For many women though, the smell is the only symptom. There is an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria, and “good” (protective) bacteria are overwhelmed or can’t keep up. Those who have multiple sex partners (or whose partners have multiple partners) and those who don’t have sex for a while and then resume an active sex life are more at risk, Dr. Some women get frequent yeast infections for no obvious reason. Vaginal malodor can also be symptomatic of primary vaginal cancer, especially if it is accompanied by a bloody vaginal discharge that is unrelated to your normal menstruation. BV may increase the risk of preterm delivery. The most common explanation for an unpleasant vaginal odour is an infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV), which produces a fishy smell.

  • Another important precautionary measure that can minimize the risk of sexually transmitted infections in sexually active individuals is.
  • As such, in the absence of pain, soreness, burning, and dyspareunia, BV has been considered a noninflammatory condition—hence, the term vaginosis, and not vaginitis.
  • You need a prescription from your doctor to get the yeast infection pill.
  • This odor changes with hormonal shifts during pregnancy, menopause, and the menstrual cycle.
  • That said, vaginal odors outside your typical smell can be a sign that something's amiss.
  • Minkin, so BV on its own is pretty harmless.
  • About half of women who have bacterial vaginosis do not notice any symptoms.

What Can Cause Vaginitis?

Perhaps there's a smell that's a little, well, funkier, than usual. Cullins says, "an unpleasantly smelly odor can be a sign of an infection that needs to be treated right away, especially if it's accompanied by an unusual discharge. "A type of vaginal infection caused by a one-celled organism that is usually transmitted through sex. You accidentally left a tampon in there. Louis woman has tried to gently educate her high-school students in the girls’ locker room when she gets a whiff of that unmistakable smell. Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of STDs. What can I do to prevent initial infections or recurrences? Examples are bacterial vaginosis, which is the most common cause of the vaginal odor, and trichomonas.

About This Item

In initial studies, women found it easy and comfortable to use, and the L. When buying underwear, make sure that it is made of a breathable fabric. Bacterial vaginosis is a mild infection of the vagina caused by bacteria. The severity of your pain and other symptoms you have may help determine what is causing the pain. How to get rid of a yeast infection fast and naturally at home. A young girl with unusual vaginal symptoms should be evaluated by her doctor to determine the cause.

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This video is in partnership with NutraBlast in agreement to express my honest opinions about their products. The intensity of vaginal odor can vary during the course of the menstrual cycle. Masterson says that intercourse (specifically the low-acid pH level of sperm) can trigger an ammonia smell, and so can any lubricants and spermicides you might have used.

Your Diet May Affect Your Vaginal Odor

If you have it and you are exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (including HIV ), you are more likely to catch the infection. Sex may be uncomfortable or painful. But it can occur in women of any age. A tampon that’s been left in your vagina for days or longer can smell rancid or foul. You'll probably need your doctor's help to sort it out and choose the right treatment. Panay, Nick, and Ricardo Maamari. A sign of bacterial vaginosis can be a "fishy" smell, which may be worse after sex. A normal discharge does not smell bad and is not accompanied by redness, swelling, or itching.

Fishy Vaginal Odor

The infection most commonly associated with a change in vaginal smell is bacterial vaginosis. Answered by Dr. But FYI, here are a few abnormal reasons your vagina might smell.

When the vaginal discharge and sweat combine, the unpleasant fishy smell of trimethylamine becomes increasingly pronounced and gives rise to a strong genital malodor.

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The most likely culprit behind this scent is bacterial vaginosis (BV), the most common vaginal infection in women ages 15 to 44, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In women with bacterial vaginosis, the balance is upset. Avoid tight jeans, panty hose without a cotton crotch and other clothing that can trap moisture. How long has it been since you first noticed the vaginal odor? Subramanian, Chithra, et al. How long does nystatin take to work? Talk with your pediatrician before giving any probiotics to your baby. It's totally normal to have some kind of scent down there, and no matter what soap commercials tell you, it shouldn't be a light floral one.

And, yep, those bacteria give your vag its signature scent.

A healthy vagina may have a subtle but not unpleasant odor, but when the bacteria is out of balance due to an infection, our noses are likely to detect it right away. Vaginal odor can stem from an underlying vaginal infection or a noninfectious cause. Avoid douching and irritating agents such as harsh soaps and feminine hygiene sprays. Follow these tips to maintain feminine freshness at all times and prevent bad vaginal smells from occurring: A strong or foul vaginal odor, or a change in vaginal odor, may be a sign that you have an infection.