Your vagina is meant to have a smell just like any other part of your body! Firstly, because your groin area contains a collection of sweat glands and secondly, your vagina contains numerous bacteria that constantly changes its odor based on your pH levels. It is completely normal for your vagina odor to change due to your menstrual cycle, hygiene habits hydration level, food intake, medication and overall health status. Majority of vaginal odors include coppery, musky, meaty or fleshy although sex can alter your vaginal scent for a few hours, particularly if there was an exchange of bodily fluids.
If your vagina has an odor that isn’t accompanied by any symptoms that could indicate infection etc. there are some ways to combat the odor on your own. Below are some tips to help with that!
It is common for your vagina to accumulate sweat, dead skin and dirt which can affect its smell. Maintaining personal hygiene can help avoid the accumulation of these factors and potential bad bacteria. Even if the odor is present and you don’t have time to shower, take a warm and soft washcloth and wash the outer lips and vulva with water. Additionally, loofahs aren’t a suitable substitute for washcloths as they can create small tears to the delicate genital skin and have the potential to expose the area to infection.
You can wash the outside of your vagina, but it is important to never wash the inside with a washcloth or soap. The inside of a vagina is self-cleaning and is designed to keep itself healthy and clean. Washing the inside of your vagina, especially with fragranced soaps can disrupt its natural process and upset your pH levels. Doing so can put you at risk of developing infections which can irritate the vagina and worsen its odor.
If your vaginal odor seems different, think back to any recent changes that may have caused this. Ask yourself questions such as:
Try to consider all avenues such as the type of underwear you have been wearing (fabric) and if your body has come into contact with different lubricants or condoms. Think through what your vagina has recently been exposed to which could cause disruption or irritation.
Like many things, drinking plenty of water is beneficial to your vagina’s overall health. It can encourage healthy sweating and fluid release.
A balanced diet is always good for the body and the mind. A healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. These types of foods contribute to a softer vagina odor compared to greasy fast foods. It is good to note that some strong-smelling foods such as asparagus, garlic and onions can contribute to a stronger smelling vagina. Cutting out those types of foods can return your vagina back to its normal scent if it seems too strong.
As mentioned above, it is important to never wash the inside of your vagina. That includes with products such as douches and scrubs that are marketed as internal washes. These types of products may claim to eliminate odor but they also eliminate the good infection fighting bacteria that is needed in your vagina.
There are a large number of fragranced produced that can be damaging to your vagina’s delicate ecosystem. Some of these include perfumed tampons, pads and toilet paper. It is important to avoid products such as these as your vagina can be negatively impacted by fragranced products.
Cotton is a more breathable material compared to other fabrics and can wick away sweat and fluids from your body. Other fabrics have the ability to trap excess moisture and can upset your natural bacteria levels which lead to infection. Excess moisture can promote an overgrowth of yeast which can affect your vaginas bacteria and upset your natural scent.
Wearing tight clothing can trap moisture in the groin area which can have stinky and irritating side effects. “Getting plenty of oxygen between your legs is vital to good vaginal health.” If you are noticing a change in vaginal odor or want to reduce your chances of changing vaginal odor, avoid wearing skin-tight jeans and leggings.
All in all, there are some vaginal odors that can indicate a larger health problem. If you think this may be you, it is recommended to contact your doctor to stop your symptoms from getting worse.
Veeda natural feminine products are made without fragrances, chemicals, synthetics or dyes ensuring that the most sensitive part of your body only comes in contact with the purest, irritation free ingredients. Our products are both functional and comfortable offering ultra-absorbent leak proof protection without compromising on quality. Made with GMO-free cotton, Veeda products are dermatologically and gynecologically tested making them hypoallergenic and safe for daily use. Feel comfortable counting on Veeda to be your choice of safe and reliable period care every month.
Click here for everything you need to know about using tampons whether you’re a new tampon user or simply want to learn about potential better practices around precautions, inserting, removing and disposing a tampon.
Medical Disclaimer: Articles are intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. Ask a medical professional if you have any health-related questions or concerns.
Kassel, G. & Holland, K. (2022). 7 Tips when dealing with vaginal odor.https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-get-rid-of-vaginal-odor#its-natural
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