Although you might not realize it, a slight vaginal odor is perfectly normal. It might smell somewhat tangy, metallic, or even sweet, depending on various factors like the point in your menstrual cycle, the food you ate, and whether you exercised recently. While you might be tempted to mask these smells through douching or vaginal deodorant, they are the result of a healthy vagina and do not need to be covered up. In fact, tampering with normally functioning vaginal bacteria can disrupt your vagina’s performance, resulting in irritation or other issues.
However, not all vaginal odor is normal. Persistent or unusually strong odors, especially in conjunction with other symptoms such as irritation or discharge, are indicative of an underlying health problem.
The simplest reason for vaginal odor is poor hygiene. Not properly cleaning the vaginal area on a regular basis, or possibly forgetting about an inserted tampon for a few days, can cause strong and unpleasant odors. In those cases, it’s important to clean your vaginal area by washing the outside region gently with a warm washcloth and unperfumed soaps, ensuring that no water or soap gets inside your vagina. Diligent maintenance can go a long way to prevent infection, so it may be wise to wash the region more than once per day while on your period if you find yourself prone to odor.
Another cause of vaginal odor is an STD known as trichomoniasis. It is the most common curable STD, but only about 30% of people show symptoms of infection, with women showing more signs than men. Those signs may include genital burning and itching, pain during urination, and a pale foul-smelling discharge. Because trichomoniasis is a parasitic infection, it is important to visit your doctor for treatment, as the underlying issue will not be resolved by merely suppressing the symptoms.
But the most common issue resulting in vaginal odor is known as bacterial vaginosis. Like trichomoniasis, it is often described as creating a strong ‘fishy’ smell, and symptoms such as pale discharge, vaginal itching, or a burning sensation during urination may accompany the odd smell. While the infection is occasionally symptomless, if you do notice any signs, you can schedule an appointment with your health care provider for an examination.
Rather than a parasite, bacterial vaginosis is caused by an imbalance of the ‘good’ and ‘harmful’ bacteria in your vagina. The imbalance turns your normally acidic vagina more alkaline as it overgrows with bacteria, which is what creates the odd smell – and the imbalance itself can have different causes. As mentioned before, tampering with your vagina through methods like douching can create a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Researchers also believe that sexual activity is linked to bacterial vaginosis, as having new or multiple sex partners can upset the vagina’s bacterial balance. If you believe you’re suffering from a bacterial infection, talking to your doctor about the best treatment methods is a must.
But whether you’re noticing unusual odors due to lack of hygiene or an infection, it’s always worth treating those uncomfortable symptoms – and that’s where Your Blissful’s products shine best. Our all-natural solutions provide immediate relief to vaginal discomfort by reducing irritation and odor, all while supporting the delicate balance of vaginal bacteria. No matter the cause, you deserve to live a life free of pain and discomfort, so if you are suffering from unwanted vaginal odor, consider turning to Your Blissful for assistance.