Vaginas smell – and that’s a fact. Healthy vaginas, in fact, can have different scents all throughout the month, with stronger and more subtle variations of unique smell manifesting during the different parts of one’s menstrual cycle.
So, despite what others might say, YES, vaginas are supposed to have a smell. Some women naturally emit strong vaginal odours while others don’t. Sweating heavily or having unprotected sex can also temporarily change the smell of your vagina.
However, while a scent signifies that your vagina is healthy and its pH is properly balanced, a change in its smell can sometimes be a sign that something is amiss down there. Sometimes, an unusual odour coming from your vagina can signal a health problem such as a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. In some cases, it can simply mean that you have just finished your period.
So, how can you tell the difference between a normal change in vaginal odour from one that tell you that you might have a health concern? Read on.
Metallic Scent: Not so Bad
A metallic scent coming from your vagina is most common when you’ve just had your period or had an intimate contact with semen. Both can change the pH of your vagina (usually acidic) into something more basic. In both cases, the metallic scent should only be temporary. If it persists for a longer period of time and is accompanied by itching or a discharge, it is time to visit your specialist.
Fishy Scent: Bad
An intense fishy smell coming from your vagina can be a sign of two common vaginal infections known to women: bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis. Both infections give off a fishy scent as a symptom. They can also come with a white or gray discharge. These infections can, however, be treated with prescription antibiotics from your health care specialist.
Yeasty Scent: Bad
Yeast infections oftentimes do not have any scent at all, so you’ll know that you have them from their other symptoms such as itchiness and a thick, cottage cheese-like discharge. In some cases, however, there can be a faint bread-like odour, one that can smell a bit musty. This scent can help you distinguish which type of infection is irritating your vagina.
Musky Scent: Not so Bad
Having a musky scent down there typically means that you have been sweating a lot. You also might be wearing tight-fitting bottoms or synthetic fiber underpants – both can prevent skin from ‘breathing’, leading to a stronger scent than usual. Washing your vulva with clean water and mild soap and changing your skinny jeans once in a while should change this scent if you find it a little too strong. However, it doesn’t signify that anything is wrong medically.
If you need more help regarding this topic, feel free to setup an appointment with Dr. Fay Weisberg today!