As explained on Women’s Health, regardless of what you may have thought by now, it is completely normal for a vagina to smell. Similarly to the gut, the vagina also has its own microbiome which contains a lot of bacteria and yeast which are essential.
And, the vaginal smell is unique to every woman, i.e. the smell of your vagina may not necessarily be as strong or as mild as that of your sister or your best friend. However, there are cases when the smell is unpleasant and weird. If it is followed by other symptoms such as itching or excessive discharge, it is worth investigating.
This being said, in today’s article, we will present a list with details about the 5 different types of vagina smells and their meaning.
5 Types of Vagina Smells & their Meaning
- Fishy smell
If you smell a fishy scent down there, the underlying cause may be bacterial vaginosis, a common vaginal infection in women aged 14 to 44, according to the CDC. The infection is a result of an imbalanced pH in the vagina and excessive presence of bad bacteria. Although the exact cause is not known, this infection is harmless; however, you need to restore the balance to get rid of it. You can opt for a pH gel at your nearest pharmacy to address it. If this does not treat the infection within a week or so, consult your gynaecologist because you may require treatment with antibiotics.
A musky vaginal odor is often caused by trapped sweat due to wearing synthetic underwear and exercising. This smell usually goes away after showering with some water and mild soap. To reduce this smell in the future, opt for cotton underwear and avoid sitting in sweaty clothes.
Blood from your period is known to change the vagina’s pH and it may contribute to a tinny or coppery odor. Usually, the smell disappears once the bleeding stops. If it still lingers, opt for a vinegar and water douche. Avoid overly-scented shower gels or soaps because they can additionally worsen the pH.
This smell is a result of excessive bacteria found in a confined space and it may happen after leaving a tampon in the vagina longer than you should have. If it is left behind for too long, the bacteria may lead to toxic shock syndrome. So, if you cannot remove the tampon on your own, consult your gynecologist who can eliminate it with the help of a speculum and can also ensure there is nothing left behind.
A thick, yellowish discharge which is caused by a yeast infection may release a yeasty scent, similar to that of beer or yeast. If it happens together with symptoms are like a burning sensation and redness around the vagina and pain after peeing, you need to treat the yeast overgrowth. Consult your pharmacist or gynecologist for an OTC or some other beneficial remedy.