Every vagina smells a little different, and that’s totally normal. It’s usually a mixture of sweet, musky, and metallic scents depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, if you’ve recently had sex, etc.

But if you notice that it’s starting to smell like rotten eggs, decay, or another seriously gross odor, that’s a red flag.

It’s a normal part of life

The vulva is home to trillions of bacteria that keep the area in balance. It’s also a place of secretions that are designed to be both arousing and protective. Because of this, every vulva has its own unique scent, which is why many women find it normal to smell like onions or garlic on a hot day.

But if you’re noticing a really strong or foul odor, it could be a sign that something is wrong. That’s why it’s always a good idea to talk to your gynecologist about it if you suspect that it might be an infection or an abnormal change in pheromone levels.

For example, if your vulva starts to smell like rotten bread or fish, it could indicate a high level of estrogen in the area. This may occur during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy or during menopause. It can also be a sign of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia or gonorrhoea.

Symptoms of this condition include itching and painful vaginal discharge. The best way to treat it is with antibiotics. Other helpful measures include drinking plenty of water and wearing loose, breathable underwear. You should also avoid douching because it can cause bacterial vaginosis, and you might want to use a lubricant that’s unscented.

Related:  What Does an Outie Vagina Look Like?

It’s a symptom of vaginitis

Sometimes a vulva can get a funky smell like fish, garbage, bread, or bleach. This is a sign that the normal balance of bacteria in there has gone out of whack and it could mean a few things. A few examples of this would be a yeast infection, bacterial or fungal infections, or if you accidentally swallowed semen. If this happens, you’ll want to contact your gyno as soon as possible. They will most likely prescribe you antifungal medication. Also, you’ll want to avoid scented feminine hygiene products and tight-fitting clothes. Douching is also a bad idea as it will only further upset the pH balance down there.

A strong fishy smell in the vagina is a symptom of bacterial vaginosis, which is inflammation of the vagina caused by an imbalance of good and bad bacteria. It can cause itching around the labia and vagina, a gray or white discharge, and pain when you pee or have sex. Another cause of a strong fishy vagina smell is a condition called rectovaginal fistula, which is an abnormal opening between the rectum and the vulva. It typically causes a fishy odor, but it is also accompanied by swelling and bleeding in the vulva and pelvic area.

There is a lot of uninformed noise on the internet about whether or not your vulva should smell, so it’s important to remember that every vulva has a unique smell and it’s totally normal. If the smell becomes overwhelming, contact your gyno and they will help you figure out the problem.

Related:  Why is My Vagina Twisting?

It’s a symptom of a sexually transmitted infection

Every woman has her own natural odor, and it’s totally normal to have a little something going on down there. It can change during certain times, such as when you’re menstruating, pregnant or going through menopause. But it’s also important to note that your hygiene habits can make a difference, too. Certain foods like garlic, onions, mint, turmeric, red meat and vinegar can cause vaginal odors to be particularly strong. You can also have a foul smell if you’re not drinking enough water or wearing tight, restrictive clothing that can hold in heat and moisture.

A strong odor, especially one that smells fishy, can indicate bacterial vaginitis (BV) and is a symptom of an imbalance between good bacteria and bad ones. It’s also accompanied by other symptoms, such as thick white discharge, itching around the outside of your vulva and burning when you pee or have sex. It can be triggered by having new sex partners, douching or smoking and can easily be treated with antibiotics.

If you notice a fishy odor and other signs that your BV has gotten out of hand, like itching, a green or yellowish discharge or pain during sex, it’s time to talk to your gyno about an infection. You might also want to see your doc if you’re experiencing other symptoms, like painful or irregular periods or a skunk-like smell that indicates a yeast infection.

Related:  How to Make Your Vagina Taste Good

It’s a symptom of a yeast infection

While the natural odor of your vulva is normal, there are some things you should be aware of. A fishy smell or rotten garbage odor can be signs of yeast infection, which occurs when a strain of yeast (candida) overgrows. While most healthy people have some amount of yeast in their bodies, when it overgrows, you can experience symptoms like itching, a thick white discharge and pain when peeing or having sex.

The fungus can be triggered by antibiotic use (which wipes out the good bacteria that colonize the area), uncontrolled diabetes and certain menstrual products. The odor itself is typically sweeter than usual and can be accompanied by itching and a clumpier, thicker discharge. In most cases, the odor can be treated with an antifungal medicine.

Other factors that can lead to a funky vaginal odor include poor hygiene, tight-fitting clothing and not washing your genitals regularly. You should also avoid douching, as it can throw off the pH balance in your vagina and cause a host of problems, including infections. Keeping your diet in check, showering daily and using mild soap can also help. If the odor gets worse or you’re experiencing other symptoms, you should see your doctor for further evaluation. She may prescribe antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection, or she may recommend something else, like RepHresh vaginal gel, which works to correct your pH.