Vaginal odor – the foundation of many a cringe-worthy commercial. “Do you ever get that not-so-fresh feeling?” ? There are many misconceptions about vaginas, but one of the most common revolves around its smell. Some women are insecure about the way their vagina smells, but the truth is, your natural vagina smell is totally normal! Perfume for your privates, on the other hand, is not. The vagina is a complex ecosystem consisting of fluids and bacteria that maintain a balanced pH level and contribute to its natural scent.
So, What is a ‘Normal’ Odor?
While scent varies from woman to woman, a ‘normal’ smell is slightly musky or even slightly acidic. This may fluctuate due to any number of factors, but according to gynecologists, a healthy vagina can be smelled from up to a foot away. The important thing is to get familiar with your lady scent, so you’ll know if anything is amiss.
Why Does My Vagina Smell?
Your natural scent is all part of a healthy, functioning, self-cleaning vagina – a pretty cool thing, if you ask us! But sometimes your vagina may smell just a bit, off. Here are a few possible culprits:
Hormones – Throughout your cycle, hormonal fluctuations contribute to variations in scent – different secretions just smell different.
Diet – Your vagina is you and you are what you eat. Food influences pH levels in your body, and can cause changes to your signature scent.
Sweat – You probably smell a little funky everywhere else on your body after spin class, so why would your vagina be any different? Those spandex shorts are likely restricting air flow, so try wearing moisture-wicking underwear and change out of those sweaty clothes ASAP.
Sex – A romp in the hay combines sweat and various secretions, so it’s totally normal to smell differently after sex. Just remember to go pee when you’re finished to prevent UTIs!
Infection – If you notice a sudden, drastic change in vaginal odor that is accompanied by vaginal itching, or unusual discharge, you should contact your doctor. These could be symptoms of bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection.
If You’re Considering Douching…
Don’t do it! Your vagina is fully capable of cleaning itself, so there’s really no need for douching or other intensive cleaning –despite what all those flowery packages in the feminine care aisle are telling you. These methods can strip the vagina of its natural flora, and thus disrupt the delicate pH balance. But, if you’re planning to wash, keep it strictly external and remember that warm water is enough to keep your vagina happy and healthy.
Please note that advice offered by Tips For Healthy Living may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners