All Articles Tagged "vaginal odor"

It Turns Out, A “Normal” Vagina Should Smell More Sour Than Sweet

April 12th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Every vagina is different, and therefore, every vagina has a relatively distinct scent. But if one had to define what a “normal” smell is, what would it be?

I know, that’s hard to say. But the good folks at Broadly decided to do some investigating, and we were intrigued by the answers they found.

They spoke to Dr. Maria Mendes Soares of the Mayo Clinic about this query, while also seeking out other expert opinions. What they found was that your vagina’s bacteria, known as the vaginal microbiota or the vaginal flora, is what helps to keep bad bacteria from growing by producing lactic acid (Lactobacillus) and hydrogen peroxide, and is also what keeps infections and bad odors at bay. According to Dr. Mendes Soares, the flora works to keep your vagina’s pH around 4.5, which is reportedly somewhat acidic. So a slightly acidic pH level equals out to what kind of scent?

“It’s likely that your vagina has a slightly sour smell,” author Bethy Squires wrote. “There will also most likely be a slight musty smell, from sweat that builds up in the nooks and crannies of the human body. Neither of these smells should be overpowering. In a blog post on WebMD, Dr. Heather Rupe says you should be able to smell a vagina from one foot away.

That’s normal.”

It’s unclear if Dr. Rupe meant that you should be able to smell it with clothes on, but it’s definitely something to test. You know, with someone who knows you well–and your vagina.

But it was pointed out that, of course, that fishy smell we talked about yesterday is not healthy. In fact, it could be a sign of a condition like bacterial vaginosis. But for the most part, your vagina should have an “ever-so-slightly” acidic odor, or musk, thanks to lactobacillus. Nothing too intense at all. This lactic acid found heavily in the vagina, can also be found in your food, including some favorite yogurts and beers, which are also characterized as having a “pleasant sourness” or “subtle mustiness” according to the site.

It was also noted, though, that eating certain things can temporarily contribute to whatever odor is emanating from your vagina. For instance, if you eat foods heavy in onion or garlic, you might notice a different smell coming from down there (Side note: One of our staff members even admitted that when she consumes foods heavy in garlic, she does notice a difference in odor down there). So don’t freak out if you take on a scent that’s not what you’re used to after dinner, as you could simply be secreting.

But you probably know the difference between a light acidulous smell and a strong odor that just won’t quit. If you’re dealing with the latter, you need to see a doctor (like your gynecologist). But if not, no need to be worried about doing the most to smell like a bed of roses, piling up your Target basket with Summer’s Eve, or eating all the sweet fruits you can to smell as sweet as possible. You’re just fine.


Girl Talk: How Do You Tell A Friend They Have An Odor Down There?

April 11th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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If you had an odor emanating from your nether regions and couldn’t really tell just how bad it was, would you want someone to say something? What if it isn’t a consistent odor? What if it has been around for some time? You know, something your friends notice but try and deal with because they love you? Some would say if you really care about an individual, you wouldn’t let them walk around in such a way. But is there really a nice and less than insulting way to inform one that they have a smell going on that’s on the pungent side?

Probably not. And that’s presumably why some don’t say anything at all.

I thought about this after an intense smell ended up coming out of the bathroom recently installed on our office floor. As the ladies went in and out to use it on a particular day, they came back into our corner of the room asking, “Did ya’ll notice a smell in the bathroom?” At the mention of the mysterious odor, eyes popped and each one said something to the effect of, “Girl, I was wondering what was going on!”

As previously mentioned, I have an odd penchant for holding my bladder for a long time so that I can get as much work done as possible. So I was the only one who hadn’t gone into the restroom by that point on that day. When I finally headed in, Pou-Pourri in my hand so I could be prepared for whatever extreme scents might waft in my nose, I opened the door and there it was. Incredibly strong when compared to the odorless bathroom we had all dealt with the day before. After spraying my Pou-Pourri in the toilets to help with the smell and then doing my business, I went back into our corner of the office.

“Did it smell like sour vagina to you?” A colleague whispered. And when I thought about it, it hit me that that was exactly what it was. And then I felt bad.

I’ve smelled that redolence before, back in college, and even in high school, and I also didn’t know how to handle it then. A girl who lived on the same floor as me had that scent a lot of the time, so much so that you could smell it in her room when you went in to chat. As did a young woman I played volleyball with and was close to for years. I assumed the odor came about because of their periods, but every time they sweat hard, there it was. I wasn’t 100 percent sure I smelled like a bed of roses myself, so I tried not to judge and assumed I was overreacting. I mean, no one else said anything outright about it.

But as I got older, I realized that was probably because people were hoping women like the two I knew would figure it out for themselves. No one wants to tell anybody they smell. While we’ve all had a moment where we’ve put our heads down and noticed something less than pleasant, there are people who either don’t realize their own odors, or just don’t know how to take care of it, so they don’t. And when that happens, you don’t know how to tell them. You don’t want to run the risk of being offensive, but you also don’t want to be the one who knew they smelled for years when they had no clue.

Like a friend of mine who knew a girl in college whose odor was so bad, she literally almost threw up when it was particularly strong. A fellow friend inevitably noticed the odor, and while my colleague and the shared friend knew how bad things were, they still didn’t tell the young woman. They just couldn’t. But the good news is, it didn’t seem to hold her back. The young woman had no problem moving about at work, meeting guys, and eventually, getting married. As Mrs. Pearly from Friday After Next once said, “Somebody like it!”

But how do you go about such a situation when you think it’s bad enough to hold a girlfriend back?

“I worked with a lady once who had bad odor and some snickered behind her back about it, and others avoided her,” said a woman in a forum, “meaning this lady had virtually no friends. It took a brave co-worker to tactfully take her aside and speak to her about it. She said the lady acted totally surprised and seemed to have no clue. Turns out she also had sinus issues and her sense of smell wasn’t very good. She immediately remedied the situation.”

Could it be that easy?

Many people recommend just outright telling a friend and actually helping them with the issues behind why they may not have taken care of the odor. Others suggest telling the friend to drink more water. And a few actually said a fishy smell is more common than we think. But what do you say?

I do think pulling people to the side and having a conversation with them is probably the best and most genuine way to go about it all–but then again, based on my own experiences, that’s easier said than done…

Ways To Stop Vaginal Odor In Its Tracks

December 21st, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

Every vagina has an off day. Thankfully, whether it’s caused by the food you’re eating or a monthly pH change, there are things you can do to stop vaginal odor in its tracks.

Is Something Fishy Going On Down There?

October 15th, 2015 - By Raven Carter
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As women we have a lot of paranoia when it comes to how we smell downstairs. We know there should be a little odor, but what classifies as a smell versus a stench?

Let us help you out by telling you everything you need to know about vaginal odor in under 2 minutes: what causes it, what cures it, and why you most likely need to calm down and let nature do it’s thang.

You’re welcome.

15 Things You Didn’t Realize Can Cause Vaginal Odor

April 16th, 2015 - By Julia Austin
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credit: iStock photo

credit: iStock photo

You shower regularly, you eat a healthy diet and you change your underwear daily – and even wear a panty liner, but for some reason, you still have a funny stench downstairs. This can make you feel uncomfortable when your partner wants to perform oral on you, or even when people come close to you, not to mention at the gynecologist. If you’re struggling with vaginal odor and have tried everything under the sun to rid yourself of the problem, here’s what you should know about the various causes of it so you can stop feeling self-conscious.


Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Allergy to condoms

According to We Belong Project, some women are allergic to certain materials in condoms, which can throw off vaginal bacteria and cause odor. Switch to a few different types of condom over the course of a few weeks and see if the stench improves. This will take a little trial and error.


Male Scientists Launch Product To Make Vaginas Smell Like Peaches

November 23rd, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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If you are looking to change how your vagina smells, two scientists have come to your rescue! Both Austen Heinz and Gilad Gome plan to launch a probiotic supplement that will help women change their vaginal scent to the sweet smell of  peaches.

Inc. reports Heinz and Gome debut their product at the DEMO conference in San Jose, California. In their presentation, the scientists outlined how women will be able to genetically change the scent of their genitals. The product will be made by Cambrian Genomics’ DNA printing technology and will be financed via a crowdfunding campaign platform named Tilt. Besides making vaginas smell like St. Ives, the product Sweet Peach will prevent women from suffering from yeast infections or health problems that are caused microorganisms.

In his presentation, Heinz shared:

“The idea is personal empowerment. All your smells are not human. They’re produced by the creatures that live on you. We think it’s a fundamental human right to not only know your code and the code of the things that live on you but also to write your own code and personalize it.”

Heinz noted he and Gome chose peach as a scent in order to connect women better to their genitals. The smell will also allow the consumer to know the product is working properly. The two scientists decided to focus on changing the scent of women’s genitals because “it is less complicated and more stable. “ They also noted, it is easier to test their probiotic supplement on the vagina because it only has one interference per month.

Across social media sites, women have debunked Heinz and Gome’s product, finding it offensive that two male scientists aspire to change how women naturally smell.

Do you find this new product offensive? Listen to Heinz and Gome’s presentation below.

MN, M.D.: When It Comes To Vaginal Odor, What’s Normal?

April 8th, 2013 - By Mercy Edionwe MD
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Q: When it comes to vaginal odor, what’s normal and how can you improve your smell?

It is important to talk not only about vaginal odor but also vaginal discharge because that is what usually causes the odor you smell.  It is quite normal to have vaginal discharge because it helps in lubricating your female parts and acts as a “cleaner” to help remove cells and bacteria from your system.  Usually, vaginal discharge can be clear, white or light yellow in color.  Things like sex, diet, your menstrual cycle, contraceptive use, pregnancy, antibiotics, and the use of hygiene products can influence the colors and the odor of vaginal discharge.  Just like your breath or your feet, having a certain mild odor from your vagina can be normal.

When should you be concerned and how do you improve the smell? 

First of all, you know your body.  If you smell vaginal odor that is stronger than what you feel is normal, it may just be the body telling you that something is wrong.  There are certain smells that have been linked to certain infections.  For example, usually if your vagina starts to smell “fishy,” it is likely because of an overgrowth of a certain bacteria that causes an infection called bacterial vaginosis.  In addition, symptoms such as itching, burning, redness, soreness, greenish-yellow discharge, bleeding, pain with sex, stomach pain, or pelvic pain suggest that you are dealing with something not normal.  If this is the case, talk to your doctor about it.  It might be an infection that needs to be treated or may signal something else of concern with your female parts.

It is common practice to use feminine hygiene products or to douche the smell away.  Douching changes the delicate balance and ph of your vagina, which potentially leads to an overgrowth of infection-causing bacteria (eg, yeast infection).  Overall, douching is not a good option for vaginal odors as it can cause or make worse any infection within your female parts.

However, there are other ways to keep your vagina healthy and prevent any smell from occurring.  First of all, it is best to use water or unscented non-soap cleanser to clean your female parts.  Don’t be afraid to use your hands to wash your “va jay jay.”  Try to avoid using washcloths.  When you go to the bathroom, wipe from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria from your butt region to your vagina.  Either rinse your female parts with water or pat it dry after going to the bathroom.  Try to avoid using scented products as it can irritate your female parts or potentially cause an infection.  Wear cotton or cotton-lined underwear to keep the area cool.  Avoid tight pants and skip the pantyhose in the summer.  Lastly, as certain STDs (eg, gonorrhea, Chlamydia) can also cause a smell “down there,” practicing safe sex will help reduce the risk of getting these diseases, and ultimately, getting a certain smell from them.

What Would You Do? Addressing Your Co-Worker’s Period Funk

February 20th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Last night, my sister and I were watching TV when some type of feminine hygiene commercial came on. In the commercial the women were dispelling myths about their periods. All of the myths were indeed false, until one woman said, “I used to think that people would be able to smell my period.” Immediately, I looked over at my sister. There was some truth behind that myth. If you wash properly and there are no other vaginal health issues, then people shouldn’t be able to smell your period. But, if you neglect your personal hygiene, there’s a good chance the funk might hit the fan…like literally.

If you don’t believe this is true, check out this absolutely humiliating story about a woman who woke up late for work and didn’t shower in the morning, though she was on her period.  Here’s how her day at the office played out.

Suddenly, Corynne noticed something was amiss. It smelled like an “animal died.” I didn’t smell it. Funny how that works. Corynne was screaming how bad it smelled. “It’s coming in waves,” Olivia said…But then I did smell it. We moved around, and strangely, wherever I moved, we had pinpointed and isolated the spot!.. It was my period-blood-overflowing vagina all along…

She didn’t realize it was her period blood until she went home and used the restroom.

And then — AS ONE DOES — I went to the bathroom. That’s when I nearly passed out at the smell of my now near-toxic-fumes-level of massive menstruation…

In this woman’s defense, she mentioned that up until that day, her flow was too light so she took a supplement to increase blood flow. Well she certainly, got more than she bargained for. And though her story is a bit of a hot mess, there’s a lesson to be learned here. The lesson is when you’re on your period, wash your vadge, two or three times a day if you have to and change your napkin or tampon often. Hopefully, these are lessons we learned right around puberty when our mothers handed us our first sanitary napkin. I know in my house, my mother warned me about vaginal odor saying, “By the time you smell yourself, someone else has already smelled you.” I don’t know how true that is; I’d like to think if my vadge stinks, I’d be the first to know. But I can understand why she said it. It was a warning not to be caught slippin.’ Don’t be foul.

If however, you found that you were one of the coworkers in the situation above and you knew that the odor was coming from your coworker’s pants, how would you handle it?

Would you pull her aside? Would you ignore it or would you wait until she left the room and talk about her with the other employees? If you would tell her, how would you go about having that conversation? What would you say to make her aware of the issue without humiliating her anymore than necessary? Do tell.