Is my vaginal odor a sign of something serious? In some females, antibiotics can kill beneficial vaginal bacteria, triggering the growth of vaginal yeast. Like yeast infections, vaginal discharge in the case of STIs causes a mild smell, not urine itself. If you have lost or forgotten a tampon inside of you, you may be at risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), though the condition is quite rare. Some vaginal infections are a result of sexual intercourse, but the organisms covered in this topic area tend not to be ranked as seriously as other sexually transmitted diseases. Not only that, but the remedy for this odor is extremely easy and can be done in your own home.

When symptoms are present, they often include: Wear cotton or cotton-lined underpants. Using these over-the-counter products may subdue the odor temporarily, but they can end up aggravating the irritation and other vaginal symptoms in the process. List of brands, since the vagina is a warm breeding ground for bacteria and yeast, do two female partners have a higher risk of passing a yeast infection to each other? About four in 10 vagina-havers who get a UTI will get another one within the next six months, according to OWH.

If you have diabetes, keeping blood sugar levels stable is a way to avoid yeast infections.

Perfumes and other products, such as scented tampons, can alter the chemistry of the vagina and give rise to bacterial vaginosis. Vaginal yeast infection symptoms commonly include: Here are some frequently asked questions that other women have had about a fishy vaginal odor. What causes bacterial vaginosis? If the funky odor lingers after you clean it, it's worth talking to your doc to check for any possible infections and put your mind at ease.

But having it come out clumpy or smelling like the raw fish market is not good, and it could be a sign of a yeast infection, sexually transmitted infection (STI), or chlamydia. There is some support for the theory that RVVC results from an especially intense inflammatory reaction to colonization. If there’s an odor, it’s usually rather mild and yeasty.

Vaginal Yeast Infection (in Women and Men)

Include yogurt and other probiotic sources in your daily diet to restore the healthy balance of bacteria in the body. They had to spend years doing internships and residencies where they dealt with every manner of gross, horrifying ailment, and they have become desensitized to all of it. But there's nothing to worry about if you conclude a vitamin is making your pee rank. These bacteria normally help to limit yeast colonization. Yeast infections often cause thick, white, clumpy vaginal discharge that usually doesn’t smell (or only smells slightly different than normal). So, it is best to err at the side of caution and consult a doctor before trying out a new remedy. Morton says an infection such as trichomonas, which is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), can cause your vagina to have an odour. It is in the same family as onions, therefore acting in the same manner.

Rinse well and pat dry. Sometimes, you may not even realize that something is stuck in the vagina, such as a split condom, which is why it is recommended that you sanitize it properly. Most vaginas have their own natural scent, which is totally normal. This means there’s too much “bad” bacteria thriving at that level and not enough “good” bacteria able to them at bay. You’ve probably heard that eating pineapple or citrus fruits can make you smell sweeter down there, and that fried foods can make you stinky. Here are a few things that might cause your vaginal odor to go awry:

What is a yeast infection? Is vaginal odor during pregnancy common? The person that is saying it does not smell is pulling our leg,” Dr.

Topic Overview

But even if an STI doesn't cause urethritis, urine could still pick up a smell from irritation in the vagina, she adds. Another potential hormonal cause is menopause, during which reduced estrogen levels cause vaginal tissue to thin and become less acidic. Who should use a home cholesterol test kit?, “Because we get back to that good bacteria that’s in the vagina, and when we douche it sort of wipes away that good bacteria that needs to be there,” Parnell says. The overdiagnosis rates of BV indicate that antibiotics aren’t always needed when you have concerns about odor. If you suspect a UTI, talk to your doctor immediately so you can get started on an antibiotic. Nearly three times out of four, they're treating themselves or calling a doctor for a medicine to treat a problem they don't have, said Hoffstetter, who co-directs the SLUCare Vulvar and Vaginal Disease Clinic, which specializes in treating women who have chronic pain, unhealthy discharges or skin problems in their vaginal area. Yet, if you already have been diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes (or even gestational diabetes, which can happen when you’re pregnant) and then start having sweet smelling urine, it’s a sign that you’re not handling your disease well, according to the U.

Yeast infections usually are not caught from a sex partner. Douching and the use of scented vaginal hygiene products such as deodorants, powders, and gels can irritate or damage the vaginal lining and invite infections. Type 2 diabetes is typically diagnosed in adults, according to the CDC , because it develops over many years. Kaaki says medication from the sulfa drug group can also cause your urine to smell bad.  Their vaginal discharge may also change in appearance, becoming frothy or shifting in color. BV affects nearly 30% of women in their child-bearing years.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection is the first step to getting treatment.


Your vagina can also turn unusually smelly in the wake of cervical cancer. While BV is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), multiple sexual partners can upset the bacteria balance in the vagina, causing BV. But still, maybe it’s best to drink a glass of water before or after your morning (and afternoon, and maybe even night—hey, we don’t judge) cup of coffee, just to head off any dehydration. If treatment is necessary, your doctor likely will prescribe antibiotics either in pill form or a vaginal gel or ointment. If you have vaginal discharge that doesn’t seem normal for you (with or without other symptoms), talk to your healthcare professional. Coffee is also a diuretic, meaning it makes you have to pee a lot, flushing your body of extra fluid and sodium.

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Unusual vaginal odor is therefore a normal occurrence during pregnancy and does not require medical attention, unless it is accompanied by a burning or itching sensation in the genitals. Negative feelings about vaginal odor can lead to difficulties with self-esteem and body image. Causes of vaginal odor, you should always see a doctor if a fishy vaginal odor is accompanied by other unpleasant symptoms like itching, burning or bleeding. “You always have a certain amount of ammonia in your urine. Most vaginal odors aren't anything to worry about, so as long as a shower clears thing up, you're probably good to go.

Pregnant women are also more prone to UTIs,” Dr.


Uncomplicated thrush is when there are less than four episodes in a year, the symptoms are mild or moderate, it is likely caused by Candida albicans, and there are no significant host factors such as poor immune function. However, a woman experiencing her first yeast infection should talk to her doctor to rule out other causes. But when yeast grow out of control, they can trigger an infection. If you notice a smell, it’s most likely not because of a yeast infection. First, go see your doc STAT (to make sure everything's OK).

This produces a noticeable smell that you can detect after a strenuous exercise session.

How Do You Get Rid Of Vaginal Odor?

For many, that smell may be quite pleasant, appealing even (note: )Discharge is typically thick and white–comparable to a “cottage cheese” texture. If it's amber- or honey-colored, or even a dark orange, you probably need to up your water intake. It can also smell sour sometimes. Cosmetic dentistry, in adults and older children, signs and symptoms of oral thrush may include:. Avoid using scented soaps, bubble baths, and vaginal deodorants, which can actually aggravate symptoms by causing further imbalance in or the vaginal flora. (5) because lactic acid-producing lactobacilli are fewer.

But if it's a pale straw or transparent yellow color, you're well hydrated, which means your urine could be smelly for another reason. Make sure you follow the directions and use all of the medicine, even if your symptoms go away before you finish. You could have a urinary tract infection (UTI), which means you'll need to cycle through a dose of antibiotics. One even told me to eat less sugar. Taking probiotics and eating yogurt with “live and active cultures” may help restore the bacterial balance in the vagina, she says.

Fishy Vaginal Odor

These factors may lead to or worsen genital itching and burning. Teaching boys to practice good hygiene from an early age is extremely important, according to Elist. This is probably the least likely scenario here, but certain genetic disorders are associated with a bad urine odor. The partner of someone who has a yeast infection does not automatically have to be treated unless symptoms appear.

(5), allowing it to become a breeding ground for different bacteria or an infection. The two most common are Bacterial Vaginitis and the yeast infection. Trimethylaminuria: A healthy vag's scent can vary based on your activity level.

It occurs in all age groups. Can consuming some food items lead to vaginal odor? Part of the problem is that you could have more than one at the same time. The normal acidity of your vagina keeps bacteria and yeast in check, essentially cleaning itself. Our apps, while I made mine directly on the stovetop, you can also purchase a yogurt maker, if you want to take the thinking out of the process. These infections may cause a change in vaginal odor. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

  • Some of the medicines used to treat yeast infections are available without a prescription, but you shouldn't just buy one if you think you have a yeast infection.
  • That's why he usually tells women to pay attention to what affects their odour at any given time.
  • This condition is often linked with excess growth of bacteria that are typically found in the stool.
  • Although yeast infections may spread from one sexual partner to the other, it's rare.
  • It is difficult to recognize the difference between a yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis.

How To Prevent Odor

Inflammation of the vaginal area can occur because of poor hygiene but is often a result of infection in or around the vagina. You'll probably need your doctor's help to sort it out and choose the right treatment. Periods may lead to odor, many times due to the clotting and drying of blood, not necessarily an infection. Leaving a foreign body in the genital area for too long can give rise to the following symptoms: Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Cracked, irritated skin, poor latch or biting. What are yeast infection symptoms? A Hungarian study of 370 patients with confirmed vaginal yeast infections identified the following types of infection:

It’s completely natural and normal for your vagina to have some kind of scent. Therefore, there is a paucity of background bacteria, the vaginal epithelium is thin, and the vaginal pH is elevated (higher than 4. )If doctors and women had access to an external solution like Lume all along, overdiagnosis of BV would not have been such a problem. Smell something. But when she’s out at a nightclub and women are cracking jokes about another woman in the restroom (“She nasty! )Kaaki says urine is made of mostly water, but it also has salt (sodium, potassium and chloride), uric acid and urea.

A yeast infection can cause itching, redness, and a lumpy, white discharge. It often leads to itching and other irritating symptoms. If you have it when you are pregnant, it increases the risk of miscarriage, early (preterm) delivery, and uterine infection after pregnancy. Do you maintain proper hygiene? Lume will also not cover up symptoms of internal infection, so you don't need to worry about hiding a condition that does need to be treated with antibiotics. Can vaginal yeast infections be prevented?, a yeast infection causes itching or soreness in the vagina and sometimes causes pain or burning when you urinate or have sex. But know that this doesn't signify that anything is medically wrong. Some women experience a change in vaginal odor before their period, which is related to bacteria and acidity levels in the vagina at different times in their menstrual cycle.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Yeast infections are most often due to the fungus Candida albicans. Experts aren’t sure what causes BV or how some people get it, but they do know that it usually occurs in people with vaginas who are sexually active. It is equipped with glands whose secretions naturally wash away the bacteria and other impurities from the vaginal walls. If dry mouth isn't the problem, have your dentist do a thorough checkup to rule out any dental health issues, like gum disease, which Boghosian says can be caused by plaque.

This condition was formerly known as Gardnerella vaginitis after one type of bacteria that commonly cause the condition.

The increased sense of smell might cause a pregnant woman to notice the smell of urine more, even though it hasn’t really changed,” Dr. So, if you have any of the symptoms, just call your doctor and get checked out. Here are seven of the more common reasons the smell of your vagina might change: That includes any kind of fluid you drink, not just water. A fishy vaginal odor after unprotected sex could be normal if the smell is subtle or it goes away after bathing and has no accompanying symptoms like itching or burning. There are over-the-counter creams that you can use on your vulva to help calm the irritation. Your smell can also change throughout your menstrual cycle so be sure to track your daily symptoms using the Flo app.

So if you've never noticed an odor after your morning cup of joe, you're probably in the clear.)

You should also be on the lookout for symptoms of yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis, 3 infections that can cause changes in your vaginal discharge.

What is Urine?

Your doctor will also examine your cervix for swelling and redness, and your vaginal walls for dry, white spots. Uncomplicated[edit], unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), not every woman experiences the usual itching, burning, weird discharge symptoms right away. Additional reporting by Syeda Saad. If that scent becomes unpleasant, though, it could indicate a problem.

A yeast infection can cause a yeast-like smell and a thick, white discharge, as well as itching, soreness, and burning during urination and intercourse. Change your tampons and pads regularly, according to the heaviness of your menstrual flow. That's because they can't process sugar the way most people can, meaning they have excess glucose in the blood, which the body tries to get rid of through the urine. There’s a higher likelihood the actual issue is coming from regular, day-to-day odor that’s external and not an internal, vaginal infection. But he notes when you use the bathroom your urine mixes with vaginal discharge and it’s hard to distinguish where the smell is coming from. Some females may also notice a discharge that resembles cottage cheese.

Most Often, It’s Day-to-day Odor Causing Any Smell Down There

Girls who have diabetes that isn't controlled are more likely to get yeast infections. These could be signs of a serious infection called toxic shock syndrome. In contrast, women infected with the Trichomonas vaginalis parasite usually develop a strong vaginal odor along with itching or discomfort during sex or urination.

"When your body is dehydrated , the urine has a strong odor and appears dark in color,” says Sherry Ross , MD, an ob-gyn at Providence St.

Be sure to speak to your doctor if you notice a fishy odor during or after your pregnancy. These symptoms tend to get worse over time. You may also try using a female condom, as BV can occur after sex. Do postmenopausal and prepuberty females suffer from bacterial vaginosis, which can cause vaginal odor? Women who are not sexually active may develop BV or yeast infections. But make no mistake: Sorry, we could not find any Health Center for your search. Certain home remedies can even end up exacerbating your condition.

Your Vagina Smells Like Bread or Beer

Sometimes trichomoniasis (or trich, pronounced “trick”) is called vaginitis too. If you are experiencing persistent vaginal odor and you have tried improving your hygiene practices, it may be time to see a doctor. This vaginal discharge may carry a mild smell, which is perfectly normal, unless it becomes unusually pungent or is accompanied by vaginal discomfort and other adverse symptoms affecting the urogenital area. Strong odors, itching and irritation, and unusual discharge are all signs you may have something other than just unusual vaginal odor. Other treatments after more than four episodes per year, may include ten days of either oral or topical treatment followed by fluconazole orally once per week for 6 months. Then head to your doctor, as bad breath could be a symptom of various medical conditions such as sinus or lung infections, bronchitis, gastric reflux, a tonsil infection, and even some liver or kidney diseases. If your pee is smelly and is accompanied by cloudy urine and pain in your back or side, see a doctor to get that kidney stone out of there ASAP. Doctors frequently go by brief, inadequate sniff tests, and lab tests for BV are all too often unreliable by their nature.

Foul-Smelling Urine: Medical Conditions

Proper feminine hygiene primarily entails changing your innerwear daily and keeping your vagina free of excessive sweat or moisture. And while it's completely natural and normal for your vagina to have some kind of scent, certain vaginal smells can signal something's wrong. Complicated thrush is four or more episodes of thrush in a year or when severe symptoms of vulvovaginal inflammation are experienced. Hormonal changes during menopause may alter the scent of the vagina, and leave the vagina feeling dry. Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections usually don't cause vaginal odors. So if you find yourself running to the toilet more than usual, you may want to get your blood sugar levels checked, says Dr. The preferred method of treatment is antibiotics.

More serious, but rare issues, include anaphylaxis, a severe kind of colitis, and kidney failure.

Can Vaginal Discharge Be Prevented Or Avoided?

“There shouldn’t be a strong odor and it shouldn’t smell like the zoo or fish. Three things you didn’t know about yeast and yeast infections. They can either be over-the-counter or prescribed by your doctor. In addition, douching can alter the normal vaginal flora, which may actually predispose you to develop conditions such as BV. The vaginal area sweats because it has lots of sweat glands and hair follicles. You're dehydrated. Its hallmark is a foul-smelling vaginal discharge that’s off-white or grayish.

Your doctor can help you decide the best course of action after diagnosis. But taking them can lead to a vaginal yeast infection. Luke’s Hospital of Southcoast Hospitals in New Bedford, Massachusetts. That often occurs after taking antibiotics that kill bacteria, which allows the yeast to grow without competition from the “good” bacteria that normally keep them in check.

A normal discharge does not smell bad and is not accompanied by redness, swelling, or itching. Uncontrolled diabetes causes sugar in the urine, making it smell sweeter. It's not always easy to figure out what's going on, though. Not only does douching not clean your vagina, but it can also mess up the microbiome (a. )So, if it happens regularly after drinking a cup of Joe, it's really NBD. So don’t put off mentioning any unusual vaginal odor that’s got you feeling self-conscious or keeping you from enjoying intimate moments. People can treat these infections using over-the-counter medicines.

Yeast Infection vs. Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

It’s delivered via a tampon-like device. Although it can be darned uncomfortable, it's not the end of the world. Also called trich, this is a common sexually transmitted infection that usually has no symptoms and is easily treated with antibiotics. First, it should be noted that there are different types of vaginal infection. Generally, if you have vaginal odor without other vaginal symptoms, it's unlikely that your vaginal odor is abnormal.

Here are the five most common causes of unpleasant vaginal odor, and (where relevant) how they're treated.


If an object is left in the vaginal cavity for too long, it can become a breeding ground for germs, which can lead to an infection. Unlike most vaginal infections that are typically associated with a strong fishy smell, a yeast infection generally triggers vaginal discharge that is mostly odorless. I typically advise patients to place 1 cup of baking soda in a bathtub and soak for 15 minutes. You usually get heavier discharge during pregnancy, if you're sexually active or if you're using birth control. Two of the most common ailments that are spread through sexual contact are trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis. Your doctor can also give you tips on relieving burning and itching.

This infection is an STD, although men rarely have symptoms.


The sample can be tested to find out if you have bacterial vaginosis. According to the National Human Genome Research Institute , trimethylaminuria is more common in women, and symptoms can worsen or become more noticeable around puberty, before or during your period, after taking oral contraceptives, or around menopause. Some females may feel self-conscious about the scent of their vagina, but it is normal for a healthy vagina to have a slight scent. What treatment options do I have?

The same hormones that gestate a baby (again, estrogen and progesterone) are also at work during your regular cycle, albeit on a smaller scale, says Dr. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis. Does chlamydia have a fishy odor? Changes that may signal a problem include an increase in the amount of discharge, a change in the color, smell or texture of the discharge. Bacterial vaginosis (usually just known as BV) is the most common vaginal infection in women ages 15 to 44, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and it happens when there is too much of certain bacteria in your vagina. But it can lead to more serious problems.

Can menopause cause vaginal odor?

Not using scented or flavored products in or around the vagina: For starters, the vagina is self-cleaning and has its own helpful bacteria and yeast, explains Dr Tami Prince, gynaecologist at Women's Health and Wellness Center of Georgia. Can thrush go away on its own in babies without treatment? Basically, the strange urine odor is the bacteria's fault (because bacteria is what causes UTIs in the first place).