Is it natural to have a vaginal smell?
If commercials had you believe that your vagina should be smelling like freshly bloomed flowers, then you couldn’t be farther from the truth. Considering the natural smell of a healthy vagina, it smells somewhat musky or earthy. Sometimes, there may be a slightly fishy tinge to it.
But with a wide range of offerings on the market from scented menstrual products to douches, it’s hard to accept your natural vaginal odour as something completely natural. Moreover, the vaginal flora changes daily depending on your activities, diet and even your menstrual cycle. So let’s take a look at the kind of odours that you can expect your vagina to flaunt.
What are the different types of vaginal odour?
From normal to abnormal, here is a range of medically accurate vaginal odours that you should get acquainted with:
- Fermented - A sour aroma resembling yogurt or beer is pretty common among vaginas and come from the good bacteria lactobacillus. It helps to keep the natural acidic pH of the vagina which reduces the growth of bad bacteria.
- Metallic - Usually during periods, the iron in blood imparts a metallic smell to the vagina and this is a completely natural and healthy odour to have.
- Sweetish - The sweet, earthy smell of the vagina is again linked with the good bacteria that make up your vaginal ecosystem.
- Chemically - If you have a vagina smelling similar to ammonia or bleach, it can be due to urine buildup in your underwear. Strong-smelling urine is higher in ammonia content and is a sign of dehydration. This smell can also be indicative of bacterial vaginosis.
- Fishy - Sometimes, the vagina can smell like a rotting fish and can indicate the growth of anaerobic bacteria in your vagina, pointing to bacterial vaginosis. Another possible infection can be trichomoniasis, an STI that causes a pungent, strong fishy odour in the vagina.
- Herbal - If you have ever compared your vaginal smell to that of marijuana, you’re not alone. This can be a response to emotional stress, causing your vagina to smell smoky and herbal. The body usually has two types of sweat glands - eccrine and apocrine, with the former producing sweat to cool your body off. But the apocrine produces sweat as a response to emotions, and this may be the reason for the herbal, earthy smell.
Putrid - If you find your vagina smelling of rotten dead bodies, it could very well be indicative of a foreign object that you forgot inside your vagina - like a tampon. It is very important to remember and take out any internal menstrual product on time as it can lead to infections like toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
What can you do to get rid of unnatural odour naturally?
If you find your vaginal odour to be unnatural and bothersome, you can take a few measures to bring back your normal smell:
- Maintain good hygiene - Always keep your intimate area clean as the rest of your body. It is not advised to use soaps down there as they can be too harsh and disrupt the natural pH of your vagina. Make sure to clean the area during a shower, after sweating or post-sex.
- Try internal menstrual products - If you are someone who feels that your pad traps odour during your periods, you can try using internal menstrual products, like the Carmesi Organic Cotton Tampons or the Carmesi Menstrual Cup, to reduce your vaginal odour.
- Wear breathable underwear - Switch to cotton underwear if you wear synthetic ones to trap less sweat and reduce odour down there. Excess moisture can also lead to bacterial buildup which may lead to infections down there.
- Consume probiotics - Probiotics help to maintain healthy bacteria in the vagina while keeping you somewhat safe from infections. It also helps in maintaining the natural vaginal odour while restoring the vaginal pH.
- Use an intimate cleanser - If you feel water alone does not make you feel clean or keep your vagina smelling healthy, try the Carmesi Intimate Cleanser which is completely natural and safe for your vagina.
- Stay hydrated - Adequate hydration prevents bacterial overgrowth and irregular smells in sweat, both of which can result in less odour down there.
Try natural products like vinegar and essential oils - Some essential oils and vinegar have antimicrobial properties which may help reduce bacteria and promote a healthy vaginal smell.
When should you see a doctor?
As mentioned above, it is perfectly normal to have a vaginal odour that is slightly sweetish, tangy, musky or even earthy. But, if you notice an abnormal odour that makes you scrunch your nose, then it’s something worth looking into.
Also, if you notice any itching or burning sensation, pain, abnormal bleeding or discharge and pain, accompanied by a strong vaginal odour, it is time to visit a doctor.