The vaginal odor occurs from time to time; indeed, you might experience unpleasant odors when you are taking good care of your vagina and body. However, what is not usual is robust or persistent odors. The first thing you need to ask yourself if you notice that your vaginal smell is abnormal, then what is the natural smell of the vagina? As every woman’s vagina has different natural aromas, and it varies from person to person according to their health and diet.
Moreover, a healthy vagina’s usual scent might be best described as ‘fleshy’ or ‘musky.’ The women’s period may give it a slightly metallic smell for a couple of days. However, sexual intercourse may change the odor temporarily. The vagina in every woman’s body cleanses itself through vaginal discharge, as it is a natural process. If you let your vagina to its biological function, it can maintain a balanced healthy pH and helps to keep the bacterial infection away.
However, if you experience any weird difference in your vaginal smell, you might suffer from some potential problems. Some of the symptoms, such as itching, strong odors, irritation, and abnormal vaginal discharge, indicate some problem than having a strange vaginal smell.
It is a fact that the vagina is the home of millions of bacteria, and the structure of bacteria changes every day or even every hour. Experiencing a change in vaginal odor is quite familiar as these changes can result from your periods, good hygiene habits, or maybe you are you. Also, consider that the groin area contains many sweat glands, and have you ever wonder why your vagina isn’t unscented.
Tangy Or Fermented
It is usual for vaginas to smell like the sour or tangy aroma; some compare it to the fermented food smell. Indeed, sourdough bread, yogurt, and various sour beer consist of the same kind of healthy bacteria that control most of the healthy vagina such as lactobacilli. Do not freak out if It smells like the sour IPA you had on the last weekend.
- Reason For A Tangy Odor
The reason for a fermented or tangy aroma is that the pH of every vagina is slightly acidic, which is between 3.8 and 4.5. The lactobacilli bacteria is the reason for vagina acidity, and also it protects the vagina from overgrowing any lousy kind of bacterial infection.
Coppery like a penny
Many women reported that their vagina smells like metallic and coppery. This is the relatively normal odor of the vagina, and there is nothing to concern about. Rarely, it indicates a severe problem.
- Reason For A Coppery Odor
- Blood – the blood consists of iron molecules, which has a metallic scent. When women have their periods, the tissue and bloodsheds from their vaginal lining and pass through your vaginal canal. It is the main reason for the metallic scent of your vagina.
- Sex – a little bleeding after sexual intercourse is common. It is generally due to vigorous sex or vaginal dryness, resulting in scrapes or small cuts. To avoid this from happening again, use lube while having intense sexual intercourse.
Moreover, a coppery odor can also be the reason for vaginal bleeding. Usually, the metallic smell should not remain for more extended periods after your menstrual cycle is over. However, the pH level of vaginas may also change due to the contact between the vagina and semen, which can also result in a metallic scent. Suppose you notice abnormal vaginal bleeding, which is not related to your menstrual cycle or the metallic smell along with itching and vaginal discharge. In that case, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Sweet Like Molasses
When your vagina smells sweet, not sugar like sweet. Here sweet means earthy and robust, but do not worry; a sweetish tinge is nothing to concern about.
- Reasons For A Sweet Odor
- Bacteria – as mentioned above, the vagina is the home for millions of bacteria, which changes its pH on a daily basis. Sometimes your vagina may smell a little sweet.
Chemical Like A Newly Cleaned Bathroom
An odor like ammonia or bleach can be two different things, which can be the reason of your unhealthy odor of the vagina. Sometimes, this kind of smell persists, and you have to see your doctor.
- Reason For A Chemical Odor
- Urine – the urine consist of an ammonia byproduct known as urea. An increase of urine around your vulva or in your underwear could result in chemical odor. However, keep in mind if you notice a strong ammonia smell in your urine, that means your body is dehydrated.
- Bacterial Vaginosis – it is possible that your vagina smell like a chemical, which may be due to bacterial vaginosis. It is a widespread bacterial infection with several symptoms; if you notice any signs of this infection, consider talking to a doctor.
Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis
- If you notice a fishy or foul smell from your vagina
- You may experience white, thin gray, or green vaginal discharge
- If you experience vaginal itching, inflammation
- You may feel burns while urinating
If you undergo any of the above symptoms along with vaginal odor, it would be best for you to discuss the issue with the doctor. If the doctor cannot tell you the problem from first glance, they might order some tests to analyze the situation and start your treatment with the right knowledge.
Skunky Like Bo Or A Smoked Herbal, Earthy Scent
Many people notice some similarities between marijuana and body odor, but scientifically there is no research proving this similarity. However, thanks to the presence of sweat glands in the groin, at least these let us know why the body odor and the vagina sometimes smell the same.
- Reason For A Skunky Odor
- Emotional Stress: the human body consists of two kinds of sweat glands, eccrine, and apocrine. The eccrine glands’ function is to produce sweat to cool down the human body, whereas apocrine works according to human emotions. The apocrine glands can fill your groin and armpits, which can result in a skunky odor.
Whenever you are anxious or stressed, the apocrine glands generate a milky white fluid. However, the liquid does not have any odor, but when it comes in contact with the vagina, the bacteria present in your vagina produces an aromatic scent. To prevent this from happening, wear breathable underwear made from cotton, and if the problem persists, then talk with your doctor to know more about the issue and take the right action.
Fishy Or That Fillet You Forgot About
You might have heard about an unusual vaginal scent described as a fishy smell. Indeed, the fresh fish must not smell like that at all, but the decomposing fish might stand a chance for comparison. Why? Trimethylamine is the main reason; it is the chemical compound that is liable for the weird scent of abnormal vaginal scent and rotten fish.
- Reason For A Dead Fish Odor
- Bacterial Vaginosis – there are more likely chances of getting bacterial vaginosis when an increased amount of anaerobic bacteria is present in your vagina, although these anaerobic bacteria are odorous. If you notice any dead fish odor, then consider consulting with a doctor and finding the right treatment for your vaginal issue.
- Trichomoniasis – it is one of the most common sexually transmitted infection and easily curable with the use of antibiotics. Generally, it is mainly known for its fishy odor, and this infection is quite smelly. Moreover, it is more prominent for its fishy smell than bacterial vaginosis. Doctors suggest that wear protection prevent the chances of sexually transmitted disease. However, if you had unprotected sex and experienced its symptoms, consider talking with a doctor and treating yourself with the right treatment.
In some rare cases, a fishy odor is a reason for some curious problem, so it is best for you to discuss with a doctor as soon as possible after you notice these odors.
Rotten Like A Decaying Organism
A rotten smell that makes your face warp and your noise flinch that kind of odor is not normal. If you notice the vagina smell is decaying, like a dead organism, it might not be your vagina fault, but there is something inside your vagina that is causing the dead odor.
- Reason For A Rotten Odor
A forgotten tampon: irresponsible forgetting a tampon in your vagina and letting it remain in your vagina for days or even several weeks. Many doctors said that they had removed a lot of tampons from many women’s vagina.
However, you do not need to be embarrassed about this, but letting a tampon inside your vagina for weeks can cause odor like a decaying organism. So whenever you insert a tampon in your vagina, remember to remove it after the purpose is completed. Doctors say that it is perfectly normal and safe for you to remove a forgotten tampon by yourself.
When You Should See A Doctor
Generally, it is easy to spot an abnormal odor because these are the reason for scrunching up your face. In some cases, some people do not realize that they have an unusual odor. Moreover, keep in mind that smell like decay, dead organism, or rotting fish is the red zone odors, and it is necessary for you to discuss with the doctor.
Moreover, in rare cases, some people face vaginal odor along with other symptoms such as:
- If you experience burning or itching during vaginal discharge along with bad vagina smell
- You may feel pain while urinating along with a weird smell
- You might experience pain during unprotected sexual intercourse
- If you notice cheese-like thick cottage during vaginal discharge, it is not normal
- If you experience abnormal vaginal bleeding before or after your period, then it needs medical attention immediately.
If you see any of the above symptoms alongside a bad odor, then you need to talk with a doctor as soon as possible and find what causes it to happen and take the right treatment.
Smells Change, And That’s Ok
A slight increase in your vagina scent is quite normal, but remember that the way your vagina smells it is due to changes in its pH level. However, there are many reasons that can change your vagina pH. For instance, let talk about penile-vaginal sex as everyone knows semen has a higher pH level. It is usual to experience a different smell when semen is exposed to your vagina, and you no need to worry about this change as it is temporary.
Menopause in women’s bodies can have also affected the pH level of the vagina because the deficiency of estrogen level leads to vaginal dryness, and the vagina will end up with a lack of vaginal mucosa. The vaginal mucosa builds up the vagina’s lining and nourishes the lactobacilli bacteria to keep the vagina healthy. So, with the absence of these cells in your vagina can increase the level of vagina pH and make it more acidic.
Need our advice? You do not need to be afraid of understanding and knowing your vagina as, in the end, its aromatic glory. The more you understand the scent produced by your vagina day by day, the more you are getting prepared if something mishap happens in the future. Above all, vaginas can do many great things for us, and by the time we start understanding what these are all about, and we can explore more things.
Above mentioned are the seven different smells of the vagina along with their reasons that cause your vagina to smell like. A healthy vagina can smell like many other things, so you need to be prepared if you notice any unusual scent from your vagina and take several measures. If the smell persists, then getting an appointment with a doctor would be the best option for you. The doctor will examine the situation or may order some tests to perform to give you the right treatment for your vagina problem.