Vaginal Odor

Female Orgasm Vaginal odor is a very common complaint among American women. Before we discuss the causes of vaginal odor, a brief explanation of the issue is in order.

Some vaginal odor is natural

Human bodies are not made of plastic. Every woman's vagina has an aroma. This aroma can vary throughout a woman's monthly cycle, and can change based on diet, clothing, even the weather. A woman should become familiar with her normal scent so that she can note any changes in the scent, which may be a cause for concern.

This idea is important because no one can expect to completely eliminate odor from any part of the human body. Odors, sometimes strange and occasionally offensive, are a side effect of life.

Strong vaginal odor

Just as some people have strong body odor, some women have strong vaginal odor. This may be normal for them and, in that case, there is little that can be done about it.

Strong vaginal odor that isn't natural is frequently caused by bacteria. This can often be reduced by taking the following steps:

- Keep your vulva as dry and aired as possible because bacteria thrive in environments that are warm, moist, and dark.

- Wash your vulva with warm water and a gentle antibacterial soap. This kills bacteria and also helps to prevent the formation of microscopic cracks in your vaginal tissue, where bacteria hide.

- Wear underwear and exercise clothes made from natural materials, such as cotton, that can "breathe."

- At night, don't wear constricting garments. Wear loose pajama bottoms or a cotton nightdress – or even nothing – to let your vagina breathe. Constricting clothing encourages sweat as well as the kind of environment bacteria love.

- If you are experiencing a fishy vaginal odor after intercourse, don't worry. It's perfectly natural.

Vaginal odor as a symptom

A strongly fishy or musty-smelling vaginal odor may be an indication of a bacterial infection. Bacterial vaginosis and the infection known as trichomoniasis vaginalis are relatively common and produce a strong vaginal odor as a side effect. Any woman who has a bacterial infection of the vagina should be evaluated by a doctor to insure that this is not related to any sexually-transmitted infection.

Several sexually-transmitted infections are associated with strong vaginal odor and vaginal infections. Vaginal infection might be associated with one of these diseases:

  • Syphilis
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Genital herpes

If you have engaged in high-risk sexual behaviors and you are now experiencing a strong vaginal odor, talk to your doctor immediately.

Tips to avoid vaginal odor

First, understand that some vaginal odor is natural, just another part of the wonderful creation that is your body.

Excessive sweating, and the subsequent moistness, can lead to strong vaginal odor. Follow the tips above regarding dress and washing, and include the following:

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and high sugar consumption
  • Avoid excess heat

Don't douche! Douching should only be done under the care of a doctor, as it has been linked to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Pay attention to your diet and whether it affects your vaginal odor. Eating certain foods, like asparagus and garlic, sometimes has a strong effect on vaginal odor.

Learn more about fishy vaginal odor