Get Rid Of Vaginal Odor

How to Get Rid of Vaginal Odor

Vaginal odor (feminine odor) can be an embarrassing condition for many women. Find out how you can get rid of this smelly odor quickly and permanently.

What Is Vaginal Odor?

Nearly every woman has had to deal with the awkward and unpleasant embarrassment that is vaginal odor. While the vagina normally has a typical feminine odor, a fishy smell or a urine odor in the genital area can indicate something more serious. If you’re suffering from a strange vaginal smell, the first step is to pinpoint the cause and treat it as soon as possible to avoid any future complications or infections.

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Signs and Symptoms of Vaginal Odor to Watch Out For

Vaginal odor is typically caused by an overgrowth of "bad" bacteria which can lead to inflammation on or around the vaginal area. A change in the color of the vaginal discharge or a distinct fishy vaginal odor can indicate infection problems.

Vaginal odor is most noticeable after sexual intercourse and may be accompanied by itching, redness or swelling of the labia around the vagina.

What Causes Vaginal Odor?

Vaginal odor can be broken down into both medical and non-medical causes. Some can be remedied right at home while others must be tended to under a doctor’s care.

Non-Medical Causes

Yeast Infection - The vagina normally contains a healthy amount of microorganisms and fungal, including Candida, a form of bacteria whose overgrowth can lead to a vaginal yeast infection. When certain types of antibiotics are taken, this kills off the "good" bacteria that help keep Candida in check thereby causing itching around the vulva, clitoris and labia regions as well as a thick, smelly vaginal discharge.

Douching and Perfumes - Douching and vaginal perfume sprays can kill off the "good" bacteria, which can in turn cause bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is common in women of reproductive age and produces a fishy vaginal odor as well as a milky colored discharge.

Poor Hygiene - Keeping the vaginal clean is as simple as washing with warm water and mild soap. Be sure to use soaps that are free of scents, colors, dyes and other abrasive ingredients that could harm the delicate vaginal area.

Medical Causes

Chlamydia - Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can cause vaginal discharge as well as abdominal pain in women. Signs and symptoms may not show up immediately, but if left untreated, Chlamydia can become very serious and can even be passed on during pregnancy from the mother to the unborn baby.

Gonorrhea - Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease which can cause a pus-like discharge from the vagina, resulting in a foul smelling odor from the vaginal. Gonorrhea can re-infect a partner even after they have initially been treated for the disease.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) - PID can occur when bacteria spread from the vagina up into the cervix and pelvic area. It causes heavy vaginal discharge with a noticeable and unpleasant odor. Many women do not even realize that they have PID because the signs and symptoms may not manifest themselves until weeks later. However, if left untreated, PID can cause permanent infertility and reproductive damage.

How To Get Rid of Vaginal Odor

Stop using scented soaps and body washes - Opt for plain or mild, unscented soap and wash gently with lots of warm (not hot) water.

Avoid douching - Vaginal douching can upset the healthy balance of "good" bacteria in the vagina.

Wear loose cotton undergarments - Avoid wearing any panty hose or (leather and synthetic) clothings that may block the flow of air to the vaginal region. Instead wear loose cotton panties to allow proper ventilation to help eliminate vaginal odor.

Did you remove that tampon? - You may have vaginal odor because of a forgotten tampon.

Eat more yogurt - Yogurt replenishes the healthy bacteria in the gut, including the vaginal area and may help get rid of a yeast infection if caught early enough.

There are also very effective herbal remedies that can be employed to provide a favorable outcome. Tea tree oil and neem bark extracts are renowned for their profound antifungal and antibacterial properties. These remedies are available in the topical solution form as well as suppository form.

Whether you’re just noticing a telltale odor or are concerned about repeat bouts of vaginal odor, don’t forget that it’s important to talk with your gynecologist or family doctor about your medical history, any risk factors, sexual activity and lifestyle habits to rule out any serious causes of vaginal odor.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vaginal Odor

Extreme vaginal odor is an embarrassing problem faced by a lot of women. Here are some useful frequently asked questions that will help you know more about this condition.

1. Why do women have vaginal odor?

Vaginal odor is a fairly common especially among women who start menstruating or are of child bearing age. Every female has a distinct feminine odor that is pretty normal. The odor can have variations depending on the menstrual cycle of each woman and returns to baseline with time. However, if the odor is persistent or is recurrent, it could be the consequence of some kind of infection. In this case, it needs to be addressed by a medical practitioner.

2. Why do I experience vaginal odor before and during my period?

Your period is the result of a complex set of chain reactions triggered by changes in hormones during the menstruation cycle. These varying hormonal levels trigger increased secretions through the cervix at the onset of your period which can cause a slight variation in the vaginal pH level resulting in some women to experience a sudden change in vaginal odor. In most cases, it should subside when you complete your period. However, if the odor is persistent and smell really bad, it could be indicative of the onset of some kind of infection, most probably bacterial vaginosis. However, a clear diagnosis of the problem can only be made by consulting with your doctor.

3. Change in vaginal odor but no infection. What's wrong?

Vaginal odor need not necessarily be always attributed to infection. Every woman has a distinct smell. This is perfectly normal. Poor personal hygiene is a probable cause. The odor can also change from time to time, especially so during menstruation or pregnancy. Any change in vaginal odor simply reflects a change in the pH value of the vagina. In most cases, this is subjective and the smell is never detected by anybody even close to you. You need to be concerned about this only if it is persistent and the smell gets more intense, making it noticeable to people close to you.

4. Fishy vaginal odor after sexual activity. What is wrong?

Fishy vaginal odor is the most commonly caused by bacterial vaginosis. The condition is seen among women who are not even sexually inactive, although bacterial vaginosis can be transmitted sexually as well especially among women who are bi-sexual. However, this being said, there has been no conclusive proof to suggest that sexual activity is responsible for causing this condition.

5. Is it normal to have a vaginal odor after taking birth control pill?

Birth control applications like NuvaRing and spermicides can cause vaginal irritation. Women who take birth control pills on a regular basis are found to be more susceptible to develop infections as a consequence of hormonal levels being manipulated with. The intensity of symptoms or smell may depend on the sensitivity levels of each woman.

6. Can taking Vitamin C help get rid of vaginal odor?

There is not much solid evidence to confirm that intake of oral vitamin supplements helps to eliminate vaginal odor. However, recent studies have thrown light on the fact that intravaginal suppositories of vitamin C do promote the healthy growth of "good bacteria" in the vaginal area helping to relieve symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, which is the key cause of bad vaginal odor.

7. Are there any foods that help with vaginal odor?

  • Eating plain, non-sweet, organic yogurt that is rich in friendly bacteria Lactobacillus help fight vaginal odor and restore the baseline vaginal pH levels.
  • Garlic is another powerful natural antibiotic that provides a variety of health benefits. Having garlic added to your daily meals can be really effective to control vaginosis-induced vaginal odor.
  • Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as tuna or salmon fish, nuts, and flaxseeds are great immunity boosters, helping you to fight infections of the vaginal area more effectively, and preventing vaginal odor.
  • Some of the goodies you need to avoid if you are concerned about vaginal odor include aged cheeses, sweetened food, alcohol, and yeast products.

8. What supplements get rid of vaginal odor for good?

There is a wide spectrum of products that could help treat vaginal odor. Femanol is one of those products that would prove to be extremely helpful. Another supplement is Fem Dophilus. These probiotics work on replenishing the natural bacteria of the vaginal flora, making it easy to fight those infections and control vaginal odor.

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