There’s a common misconception going on that the vagina shouldn’t smell. Every vagina has a different scent, which is actually a combination of beneficial vaginal bacteria, the food you eat, your personal hygiene and the amount of sweat your body produces. Some women use perfumes and gels in order to cover up the smell, but this is a dangerous habit that can disrupt your vaginal pH balance and cause further problems.
Some women have a stronger vaginal odor than others. If your vagina smells fishy and is accompanied by swelling, pain or discharge, it may be an indication of a certain health problem. This is why you need to recognize the 5 common vaginal odors. Here they are:
- Metallic smell
A metallic smell coming from the vagina is common after your period has passed or after internal ejaculation which disrupt your vaginal pH. The smell usually goes away after a while, so if it continues for a longer period, you need to visit your doctor.
- Fishy smell
A fish smell from the vagina is usually a sign of trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis, which may be a result of bacterial imbalance or an STI. Both condition give off a fishy smell which is usually accompanied by a grey or white discharge.
- Musky odor
If your vaginal odor has turned musky and heavy, you’re probably wearing tight panties that give the organ no space to breathe. This also makes you sweat more, so make sure to wear looser panties and use a light soap to clean your vagina well.
- Yeasty scent
A yeasty scent is a sign of yeast infection which is accompanied by thick and white discharge and itchiness.
- Rotten smell
If your vagina gives off a rotten smell, it’s a sign of a serious problem that may require immediate medical attention. It may be a lost tampon; this problem is more common than you can imagine. A lost tampon will stay in place until it’s removed by a professional and slowly rot, causing further problems.
According to Sara Gottfried, MD and author of the book The Hormone Treatment, there are other factors that affect your vaginal scent as well. “Many girls find after having their intervals that there’s a distinct smell,” she says. In order to keep your vagina healthy and smelling normal, all you need to do is wash it with a mild soap regularly. Wearing cotton panties is also a must – artificial fabrics stimulate sweating which may result in bigger problems. Make sure your panties are loose too in order to keep your vagina healthy.