Vaginal Odour: What Changes as Women Age

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As if hot flashes and night sweats aren’t enough, some women also have to endure changes in body odour as a part of menopause. These changes in one’s body odour can lead to dejection, embarrassment, and anxiety most especially in social situations. However, body odour can be controlled so women can still regain their confidence. The most important thing is to understand the root cause of these changes and why they occur during menopause.


What is body odour?

Body odour is a by-product of sweating; our body’s natural cooling system. The body has two types of sweat glands namely:


Eccrine glands – These glands are located all over the body and they produce odourless sweat. The sweat is released onto the body’s surface.


Apocrine glands – These glands produce fatty sweat inside glands and they are located near hair follicles. The sweat produced is pushed to the surface when women feel stressed or anxious.


In the case of apocrine glands – located on the scalp, underarms and groin area – the sweat produced contains fatty compounds. Bacteria is known to feed on this sweat when secreted to the skin’s surface, and the resulting fatty acids, waste products, and ammonia form a palpable odour that is unique to every woman.


Body Odour Changes and Menopause

Several menopause symptoms can increase sweat production which leads to changes in body odour. Hot flashes and night sweats, in particular, have a strong effect. There are psychological symptoms, however, such as anxiety and panic attacks can lead to an increase in the incidence of sweating. More sweat makes certain changes in body odour more noticeable.


So what are the causes of changes in body odour?


For some middle-aged women, hormone fluctuations are the primary cause for the changes in body odour. Estrogen is a neurochemical responsible for helping regulate the hypothalamus – the part of the brain that controls body temperature. When a woman’s etrogen levels drop, a false message is sent to the hypothalamus, saying that the body is overheated. The body, then, increases in sweat production, thus, changes in body odour occur.


Other Causes of Body Odour

In addition, there are other factors that play major roles in the changes in body odour. Here are some of them:





*Garlic and onions

*Spicy foods

*Synthetic fabrics



*Kidney disease

*Magnesium and zinc deficiency



What to Do

If changes in your body odour are bothering you, you can try improving it by having lifestyle changes. You might want to try the following:


*Eating a well-balanced diet rich in magnesium and zinc.

*Practicing stress reduction techniques (yoga or meditation).

*Wearing breathable cotton clothing.

*Bathing regularly.


However, if you are experiencing other symptoms that might be indications of something more serious, consult a healthcare professional right away.



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