Does my vagina smell normal? 3 different vaginal odours that you should get checked out

Despite vagina’s being a self-cleaning mechanism, certain changes can cause unusual odours and smells permitting from the nether regions. Often it’s nothing to worry about and could come down to something as simple as wearing tight clothing. But other times it could be a signal for something far more serious

Every vagina

has a smell. A normal, healthy vagina

, discharged a mild and musky scent.

Our vaginas, which measure around three to six inches long, are self-cleaning wonders, which means it keeps itself healthy by maintaining the correct pH balance.

The vagina contains a lot of “good” bacteria, which helps maintain the ideal pH balance, which can be slightly acidic.

Occasionally, different odours may be present, which experts agree is perfectly normal, but any foul or unusual smell could be a sign that things are out of balance.

If this is the case you may need to get yourself checked out.
Warning smells

Any unpleasant smell coming from your vagina could be a warning sign that something needs to be checked out.
Fishy odour

If your vagina smells fishy, it could be aor trichomoniasis, according to Dr Ayanthi Gunasekera, Specialist Registrar in gynaecology at London Gynaecology.

Bacterial vaginosis will also usually present itself with a frothy, grey or green discharge, and a course of antibiotics is needed.

For trichomoniasis, the discharge may be a green, yellow colour with a course of antibiotics also needed.
Yeasty smell

If your vagina smells yeasty, meaning sweet or a bit like beer, it could be a sign of thrush. In this case you should look out for other warning symptoms including intense itching, redness, dryness, pain or burning.

which resembles cottage cheese and treatment includes over-the-counter medication.
Smell similar to urine

A urinary tract infection (UTI) causes an ammonia or urine odour with related symptoms being incontinence, a burning or stinging sensation when urinating.

The discharge for a UTI includes leaked urine with a course of antibiotics needed.

Dr Gunasekera recommends pelvic floor exercises, urethral bulking agents or operations to help strengthen the continence mechanism.

Normal vaginal discharge has a mild, musky scent that is not unpleasant. This means that a slight smell is normal.

If unusual odours are ignored it could lead to vaginal problems which may affect fertility, desire for sex and ability to reach ***.

Ongoing vaginal health issues can also cause stress or relationship problems and affect self-confidence.
How to keep clean and smelling fresh

“Vaginas have a natural odour that can change over time and with your cycle,” explained Dr Gunasekera.

“It is important to have good hygiene practices, but this should not include vaginal douching or using perfumed products (including perfumed sanitary towels) to cleanse the vagina as these products and practices can disturb the natural bacterial flora of the vagina.

“Each woman’s odour is different, and it can change temporarily. The vagina is self-cleansing.”

Dr Gunasekera explained how using certain perfumed washes or soaps down there may do more harm than good as they are known to disturb the natural balance of the vagina.

“This can lead to further changes, becoming a vicious cycle that is sometimes difficult to get on top of.

“Use only water to wash, dry well, wear cotton underwear and let your vagina ‘breathe’ by avoiding wearing tight clothing all the time.”

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