Vaginal Odor – Causes, Treatments and Prevention
This is a natural process, even when we try to eliminate/conceal all of our power through the use of deodorants, perfumes or shaving lotions.
When we sweat, we smell different. When we wake up, we have bad breath. All these odors are caused by various species of bacteria that our body produces, and of course our skin. Smells that are relatively easy to prevent by good hygiene, such as showering or brushing your teeth regularly.
Table of Contents
- 1 Vaginal odors
- 2 5 possible causes of vaginal odor
- 3 How to get rid vaginal odors naturally
- 4 How can vaginal odors be avoided?
- 5 Last words about vaginal odors
But, what to do when the smell coming from the vaginal area is unpleasant? Scrub? In-house deep cleaning? No, none of that! The elimination of vaginal odors is much more complicated than, for example, eliminating bad breath.
The vagina is an organ that is not only difficult to reach but also, as for the natural bacteria that inhabit the vagina, are in delicate balance. In addition, vaginal odors can be caused by factors that can be difficult to resolve. The vagina has a certain characteristic smell! Naturally, this aroma is produced in order to attract men for procreation.
All this sounds like we are “animals”, but it’s the original function it has. In most cases, no one is aware of this aroma. But, sometimes the smell can change to an unpleasant smell that is sometimes described as the smell of “fish”, or smell of “dampness”.
It is in most cases a clear signal that the natural bacteria in the vagina are out of balance. What can be the result of an inappropriate pH value in the vagina, the degree of acidity? The latter is very important since even a small change in acidity will create an imbalance in the natural bacteria of the vagina.
5 possible causes of vaginal odor
1. Bacterial vaginosis, Candida, ETS
If in addition to the unpleasant odor of the vagina, there is irritation, itching, burning, along with unusual discharge, then you are likely to have a bacterial infection. Infection is known as bacterial vaginosis. There may also be Candida, a fungal infection.
To determine whether it is a fungal infection or a bacterial infection, medical clinical examinations are needed. The doctor can make the diagnosis and prescribe a drug to relieve discomfort and unpleasant vaginal odor, quickly.
There may also be a sexually transmitted disease (STD). This can happen if you have had unprotected sex with a (new) partner. Again, it is advisable to contact the doctor, possibly together with the couple. If you want to have unprotected sex, the first thing you have to do is to rule out the presence of sexually transmitted diseases. If both are “clean”, they can have unprotected sex. At least with regard to STDs!
To avoid unintended pregnancy, of course, it is also necessary to take preventive measures by other means, for example, through the pill or the IUD.
2. Chemical products
The smell of the vagina can also be associated with the aggressive chemical detergent you use to wash your underwear. More and more detergents are ‘enriched’ with all sorts of perfumes and other additives to make the scent simply delicious.
What smells good, is clean! At least that’s the general assumption. But ultimately, it is not necessary for your underwear to smell to be clean. Anyway, it is also true that a pleasant aroma is a delight. Try to find detergents as pure as possible. A detergent that cleans your underwear, nothing more and nothing less.
The vaginal odors may also arise from the use of products that contain many chemicals. Think about the products you use to shave your pubic hair, in order to wash the vagina and its surroundings, as well as the intimate scents. All these products interfere with the acidity of the vagina, which is usually assumed to be between 3.5 and 4.5. In regular trade you can find many products for washing and shaving, which protect the acidity. Of course, you should prefer these products.
But again: Buy the purest product without unnecessary additions.
Some women are very susceptible to fungal infections when treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are well known to be effective in killing harmful bacteria. But they cannot distinguish between good and bad bacteria, so that they destroy whatever bacteria they find ahead. This immediately causes an imbalance in the vagina, which can result in a fungal infection. It can also have consequences for the intestinal flora, but that’s another story.
At the time you take antibiotics, there is the possibility that a few days later you notice the unpleasant vaginal odor, usually accompanied by a discharge similar to cottage cheese. With the forgiveness of the lovers to the cottage cheese!
The annoying thing is, firstly the treatment with antibiotics. However, there may be important reasons for eradicating the infection as soon as possible. But after that it is very important to restore balance in the vagina. Once again, the doctor has the solution. Please do not hesitate to ask.
4. Poor hygiene
Inadequate hygiene can also be a cause of bad odor in the vaginal area. Incorrect hygiene is often the first influence on the most sensitive parts of the body, ie the vagina and its surroundings. The use of wrong (chemical) products has just been exposed. But, in addition, it could be the lack of shower every day, or not to do it with the frequent frequency.
Washing with ordinary soap, to ‘clean’, especially the inside of the vagina and want to clean deep, is a wrong approach. There may also be problems if you use a tampon that is too long or you do not regularly replace sanitary napkins. All these facts can cause irritations, infections and, obviously, unpleasant vaginal odors.
Sex can also cause unpleasant odors. No, I’m not talking about an STD, but about sperm. When the sperm comes in contact with the natural fluids of the vagina, the acidity of the vagina may be affected, which in turn can lead to an unpleasant vaginal odor.
Some women may even develop allergic reactions to the partner’s semen. Unless you are trying to conceive, it is advisable to remove the sperm from the vagina, possibly by a shower. Wash the area around the vagina with normal water or with a modified detergent (pH). The faster you remove the sperm from the vagina, the lower the risk of imbalance of the vaginal bacterial flora.
How to get rid vaginal odors naturally
Vaginal odors are not very pleasant, and can lead to embarrassing situations. In most cases, restoring the acidity of the vagina allows solving the problem, it is usually the root of the problem. The change in acidity is often temporary, and, over time, it returns to normal. But you can accelerate this process by applying one or more of the following options.
Natural yogurt (without pasteurizing) contains many bacteria, including Lactobacillus. Precisely, they are the bacteria you need in the vagina to restore balance, and therefore to combat vaginal infections and odors.
There are two ways to restore pH balance, and therefore to solve the problem of vaginal odors:
- Eat three times a day a serving of plain yogurt. While it is the most convenient, but it is less effective than the next solution.
- You can apply the natural yogurt directly into the vagina. The easiest way to do this is to dip a tampon (of course that new), for 5 minutes in the yogurt. Then apply the tampon in the vagina, and leave it for 2 to 3 hours. Then you remove and delete the tampon, you can do this daily for 4 or 5 days, that if they must be consecutive.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is antibacterial and antifungal! These characteristics ensure that apple cider vinegar can be used almost for everything. Apple cider vinegar has, for example, excellent results in skin diseases and to combat skin infections. However, it is too strong to apply directly on the delicate skin of the vagina.
To recover the pH value of the vagina, which will eliminate the unpleasant vaginal odors, you must dilute two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Drink a glass 3 or 4 times a day, then you will notice the results quickly, rather than smell.
Apple cider vinegar = apple vinegar, do not confuse the name. That yes, you should know that it is not the typical apple vinegar you see on the shelves of the supermarket.
One of the links takes you to the recipe, in case you are interested.
3. Vitamin C for vaginal odors
While vitamin C is not able to immediately resolve fungal or bacterial infections, it is wise to think about consuming that vitamin daily. Namely, vitamin C strengthens the immune system and helps the body to fight infections quickly and effectively. Which can be very useful if you suffer from vaginal odors due to bacterial vaginosis or Candida.
You can choose vitamin C supplements. This is, of course, the simplest solution, but it is not as effective as consuming vitamin C from natural products. If you opt for vitamin C from food sources, you can choosssing for citrus fruits, strawberries, green and red peppers, kale, broccoli, pineapple, and kiwi. One of the advantages of eating citrus fruits is that they help restore the pH balance of the vagina.
The consumption of this fruit brings many advantages to the health of the urinary tract and intestinal tract. The vagina benefits amazingly! Blueberries have antifungal and antibacterial properties. In addition, they are rich in vitamin C, which further strengthens the health of the intestinal tract and urinary tract.
Nutritional supplements based on blueberries are often prescribed for women with problems in the genital area. Blueberries can also cure bladder infections completely. If you want to eliminate unpleasant vaginal odors, you should eat about 200 grams of blueberries daily. An alternative is to drink about 4-5 glasses of cranberry juice.
And if you’re not a fan of the particular bitter taste of cranberry juice, you can turn to dietary supplements. You can buy them without prescription in health food stores and pharmacies.
5. Boric acid
Another solution to recover the pH in the vagina is the use of boric acid. Boric acid has a very high acidity, so it is not advisable to use it directly on the skin or in the vagina. However, there are special suppositories that you can apply. Boric acid helps to slow the growth of harmful bacteria, significantly reducing the pH of the vagina.
6. Baking powder
Due to the antibacterial properties of baking powder or baking soda, it is a very effective home remedy to combat vaginal odor. Add half a cup of baking soda to the bath and relax for 20 minutes enjoying the hot water while the baking powder does its work. After the bath, dry gently so that sodium bicarbonate remains on the skin, so you can take full advantage of the benefits of baking powder for the skin. Baking soda leaves skin very soft.
7. Tea Tree Oil
Just like boric acid, tea tree oil can also serve when there are problems with vaginal odors. But tea tree oil is too strong to apply directly to and around the vagina.
- In order to apply it, dilute the tea tree oil with water or olive oil.
- Soak a cotton ball and gently apply the solution to and around the vagina.
- Leave to stand for 10 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
- You should repeat the procedure 3 times a day for 4 days.
The symptoms of infection will be reduced, to the point that vaginal odors will be a thing of the past.
How can vaginal odors be avoided?
1. Careful Hygiene
To avoid vaginal odors in the future, it is very important to take appropriate hygiene measures. This does not mean that from now on you will have to shower three times a day. On the contrary, these types of solutions do not contribute to correct the imbalance in the vagina. Normal washing on the outside is sufficient. Normally, the vagina is able to clean itself.
If you take a shower or wash, be sure to use a custom product. Choose a product specially formulated to protect the value of vaginal Ph. I already mentioned it before: Choose a product as pure, without unnecessary additions.
2. Forget the vaginal showers
Flushing the inside of the vagina, using a vaginal shower, can be detrimental to the balance of the vaginal flora. Even a vaginal shower with pure water, without any soap, is detrimental to the pH value, making it vulnerable to attacks of fungi and bacteria. Again, remember that the vagina is perfectly capable of cleaning itself. All you have to do is clean and wash the external parts, with water, possibly with a custom product.
3. The 6-hour rule
When the menstrual period arrives, every month, it is important to regularly change the sanitary towel or tampon for a new one. You should always apply the 6-hour rule: A tampon or sanitary napkin can NOT be used for more than 6 hours, preferably less time. You should reconsider the use of tampons, their use is somewhat controversial.
Of course, they are easy to use, at first glance very hygienic, but a tampon closes/locks /covers the vagina. The blood begins to solidify, particularly between the tampon and the wall of the vagina. If you do, you may irritate the vaginal wall by removing the tampon. In the worst case, if the tampon stays too long the vaginal wall may be damaged.
In addition, bacteria in the blood can seriously alter the balance in the vagina, increasing the likelihood of bacterial vaginosis, which in turn will produce unpleasant vaginal odors again.
My advice: If you are sensitive, use only sanitary towels and change every 6 hours. Preferably before.
4. Intimate scents
If you experience unpleasant vaginal odors, it can be very tempting to use an intimate spray. Especially if you have a special date in perspective. But in the long run, its use will only make the problem worse. Perfumes usually contain alcohol and can dry and irritate the skin. Especially when applied to sensitive areas of the skin, such as the labia majora.
The problem with intimate sprays is that they do not solve the problem, they just mask it. And finally, the problem will be, thanks to alcohol and chemical components, greater. If you have found a permanent solution to control vaginal odor, you can use an intimate spray a couple of times. But definitely, no habit forming! However, for that special event, you could make exceptions.
Remember, the body will never produce unpleasant odors if health is normal. But fashion dictates that we must use perfumes to smell good, especially for the couple. However, the power of pheromones (hormones that determine the degree of sexual attraction) is weakened, and ultimately can be harmful. Not only for the person but also for your partner.
5. Wear cotton clothing (attractive)
To stay healthy, the skin needs to breathe. It is known that a humid environment, for example, around the vagina, is very vulnerable to the development of molds. So make sure the intimate parts can breathe.
You can achieve this by wearing underwear made from natural materials. Cotton is the best choice because it is a breathable fabric and can prevent moisture around the vagina. You are probably thinking that cotton underwear is not very attractive. The point that is not true. Take a good look at a lingerie store, and you’ll see that there are plenty of sexy cotton underwear.
Sexy silk panties? Save them for special occasions!
You can strengthen your immune system to a large extent by consuming products rich in probiotics. When it comes to restoring pH balance in the vagina the best yogurt is sugar-free, eat natural yogurt. Probiotic yogurts are rich in bacteria Lactobacillus, bacteria that normally inhabit the vagina.
If you eat natural yogurt daily, it not only aids the immune system but also improves pH balance in the vagina. And if you suffer from vaginal odors, you can increase the dose of yogurt 2 or 3 times a day. Another option is to apply the yogurt directly into the vagina. The method already mentioned.
7. Clean the toilet seat
We all reacted with great suspicion to the toilet seat of a public toilet. It is best to clean it before you sit down. But at home, it is important to regularly clean the top and bottom of the toilet seat with a good antiseptic product. Toilets seats are the natural residence of all kinds of bacteria, which can be easily transferred to the skin and (eventually) to the vagina.
8. Safe Sex
When having sex with a new partner, it is always a good idea to use condoms. Not only to prevent unwanted pregnancies but also to protect and protect the couple against sexually transmitted diseases.
In addition, a condom can prevent the transmission of a fungal or bacterial infection, even though they are not formally classified as sexually transmitted diseases. The best is a test to ensure that there is (unconsciously) an STD, a fungal or bacterial infection between the partner.
If the results are negative, what will actually be positive, you can have sex without a condom.
However, even if you only have sex with your regular partner, unpleasant vaginal odors can still occur, then it is possible that this may be a response to your partner’s sperm. In that case, it is advisable to use condoms.
Last words about vaginal odors
The vaginal odor can be very embarrassing, especially if you have an exciting date over the weekend with a guy. Follow the advice I gave you, to eliminate that nasty vaginal odor.
And if you are sensitive, you also implement one or more preventative measures. In this way, the risk of vaginal odors will be as small as possible.
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