An offensive odor from the vagina is an ailment that many women suffer with and may be the cause of much embarrassment, especially during times of intimacy. Preventing vaginal odor is unavoidable but the presence of an offensive smell needs to be tackled as it may indicate other health related issues. In most cases, a ‘smelly vagina’ is harmless and proper hygiene will correct the problem.
The causes of vaginal odor may be a result of a number of factors that impact on the overall health of the affected area.
Vaginal infections (vaginitis) may result in a smelly vagina, typically the fishy odor from the vagina, that may occur as a result of a bacterial infection or even thrush. Typically, vaginal discharge may be noticed. Pain, burning and itching are other signs of a vaginal infection and if present with the sudden onset of a fishy odor, it should be further investigated by a doctor.
Things to note are:
– Poor hygiene of the vagina can also result in vaginal odor. Infrequent bathing or washing of the outer parts of the vagina, along with long and unkept pubic hair creates an environment for bacteria to thrive on the outside of the vagina. Coupled with perspiration, this will lead to vaginal odor.
– Frequent vaginal douching which may be performed to prevent vaginal odor can actually contribute to a smelly vagina. Douching kills normal bacteria that lives in the area thereby allowing ‘bad bacteria’ to invade the area and lead to vaginal infections and odor.
– Certain hormonal conditions, like pregnancy, during ovulation, oral contraceptives (the pill) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), may cause excessive vaginal discharge which may be a contributing factor to an offensive vaginal odor.
– Fungal infections of the skin around the vagina may lead to a damp moist smell in the area.
– Allergic reactions may cause inflammation as a result of hypersensitivity to certain textiles in the underwear, cheaper tampons or sanitary pads as well as soap or body lotions used in the area. Inflammation may lead to vaginal discharge with an offensive odor.
– A fishy odor often occurring at the time of menstruation (periods) may be a result of the menses coupled with poor hygiene. Regular change of tampons or pads as well as proper bathing and good hygiene should be practiced during your periods.
– Certain sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) may also contribute to vaginal odor and should be treated immediately once noticed.
Now you know…
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