If you are a female past the age of puberty, chances are you’ve already had questions about feminine odor. Different odors can signify different problems and though it may seem a little strange or a bit uncomfortable to contemplate, you should pay close attention to that part of your body and what it’s trying to tell you.
If your body has some health issues, your vagina will communicate through one or more ways be it a discharge, swelling, soreness, itching, burning sensations or odd odors. But what is a natural smell? And which odors should you be concerned about?
Here are 5 main feminine odors and what they may signify:
1. Musky Odor
This is actually the smell of a healthy vagina. According to the Mayo Clinic, “It is normal for your vagina to have a slight odor.”
If you are experiencing a “musky” scent, chances are it is merely the sweat glands in your vagina. This is a natural smell and one that you can counteract by washing with a mild soap. Vaginal hygiene is very important and must be regularly practiced to reduce the risks of infections.
2. Metallic or Iron Odor
This is a smell that comes with the completion of a menstrual cycle or after intercourse. The change in pH balance creates this odor. This should be only a temporary scent.
3. Fishy Odor
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) will produce a ‘fishy’ odor. Every vagina has naturally occurring bacteria. BV simply means that there is an overgrowth of bacteria in your vagina that your body is trying to battle. This is a common vaginal infection and it causes a vaginal odor as well as inflammation. But beware when trying to treat it with feminine hygiene products as it may do more harm than good. Usually probiotics or antibiotics are needed.
4. Sour or Stale Odor
This a sign of Trichomoniasis, which is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a tiny organism called Trichomonas vaginalis. This little parasite can infect men as well as women. It is accompanied by a strong foul smelling odor as well as a frothy yellow discharge. Other sexually transmitted infections such as Chamydia or Gonorrhea may have this same smell but can also be odorless accompanied by discharge and discomfort. Please consult your doctor if you think you are experiencing any of these.
5. Yeasty Smell
Although this is not a very strong odor it does indicate a possible yeast infection. Yeast infections are very common and can be caused by several things. Yeast infections can be treated with over the counter medications; although, severe cases may require antibiotics.