Vaginal odor

December 7, 2014 admin 0 Comments

vaginal bacteriaVaginal odor is, as may be deduced from the term, any odor/smell which is emitted from the vagina. Now, it is completely normal for a vagina to have a slight odor- this is absolutely natural. This can not be stressed enough: it is completely natural. However, strong odor (often times described as a fishy smell) is not a common nor normal occurrence and may quite possibly be the symptom of a more serious problem.

Such a vaginal order is often related to other vaginal symptoms such as irritation, itching burning and/or discharge- all of which indicate a more serious issue.


When will my vaginal odor change?

As mentioned above, it is quite normal to have a slight vaginal odor, and this odor may vary is strength during one’s menstrual cycle. It can also be especially noticeable immediately after sexual intercourse. Another common cause of vaginal odor can be common sweating.

Although you may feel the temptation to to have douche or apply a vaginal deodorant to reduce vaginal odor, in reality such products might actually cause vaginal symptoms, such as irritation, to worsen.



What causes vaginal odor?

As mentioned above, a slight vaginal odor is normal, natural and healthy. The odor is caused by bacteria (both healthy and otherwise) growing inside the vagina in a harmonious balance.  When this balanced is upset and the bacteria  in the vagina multiply in an imbalanced manner, the odor will become stronger.


Common causes:

  1. Trichomoniasis (see below)
  2. Improper hygiene habits
  3. Tampon left in vagina

Less common causes of strong vaginal odor:

  1. Rectovaginal fistula
  2. Cervical cancer
  3. Vaginal cancer


Which infections can cause vaginal odor?

  • Bacterial vaginosis — this occurs when there is an overgrowth/ imbalance of the natural bacteria in the vagina and is the most common infection which will cause an odor.
  • Trichomoniasis — this infection is transmitted sexually and may also cause a strong vaginal odor.
  • S.T.I. (Sexually Transmitted Infection): May also cause a strong vaginal odor. However, gonorrhea and chlamydia infections do not normally lead to vaginal odors; the same is true for yeast infections.

As a general rule of thumb, if you have a vaginal odor (be it strong or otherwise) without any other vaginal symptoms, it is improbable that the odor is a sign of a more serious problem. REMEMBER: a slight vaginal odor is absolutely normal and should not cause worry if no other vaginal symptoms are present.


What can I do about vaginal odor?

 If you are worried about uncommon and/or constant strong vaginal odor, see a medical specialist, especially if you show other vaginal symptoms and sign, i.e. irritation, burning, itching and/or discharge.


To reduce vaginal odor, you can try the following:


  • Frequently wash and cleanse genitals with a large amount of water.
  • Do NOT douche; all vaginas contain and need both bacteria and yeast. The normal acidity level found within the vagina maintains bacteria and yeast in check. However, by douching, you may in fact upset this balance and that is when trouble sets in.

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