While many women do not like the smell of their own vagina, the fact of the matter is that a healthy vagina doesn’t smell bad (many men and women will tell you that it smells great, or barely has a detectable odour) A healthy vagina naturally contains a wealth of bacteria which keep it in working order and clean, much like your other internal organs.
Truly bad vaginal odor is a result of infections or bacterial imbalances and you should see a doctor to solve this problem.
Read below for information on keeping your vagina fresh and healthy and smelling normal.
Watch out for infections and diseases. These are the major causes of serious vaginal odor. Examples of such infections and diseases include yeast and bacterial infections (the most common causes), STIs, STDs, or viruses like herpes. Even much more serious problems like some kinds of cancer or internal ruptures can cause vaginal odor. You will need to monitor your body for other signs of illness and if you really feel that your vaginal odor is unnatural, see your doctor.
One thing to look out for are unusual discharges from your vagina. Brown, green, or chunky white discharges are signs of infection and you should go see your doctor as soon as possible. Just remember that some discharge is normal and healthy but it should not smell.
Be aware that certain sexual practices cause vaginal odor. Any introduction of foreign bacteria can upset the delicate balance in your vagina and so sexual practices can have an effect. Certain practices in particular can set off a reaction, namely anal sex before vaginal sex, oral sex, and the use of objects or food as penetrative methods.
- If you wish to engage in these practices, use protection (like a condom) and change it in between activities
Check for foreign objects.
Foreign objects lodged in the vagina will cause your body’s immune response to react and try to attack the object. This can cause bad odor as well. Tampons that have been forgotten or left in for too long, pieces of a broken condom, or objects used in sexual play are examples of such causes for odor.
Be careful to practice proper hygiene.
Improper hygiene can lead to a buildup of bacteria around your vagina and vulva. This will cause odor, though it may not necessarily cause an infection. If you want to reduce odor, keep yourself and your clothing clean. Lose clothing can prevent smell too.
Avoid really hot baths and hot tubs.
Surrounding your vagina with overly hot water will kill much of your body’s natural bacteria which preserves the delicate balance of your vagina. Avoid sitting in very hot water too frequently or for too long.