Get Rid Of Vaginal Odor

Vaginal Odor Causes

Vaginal odor affects millions of women worldwide. Learn and understand what are the common signs, symptoms and causes for vaginal odor.

Vaginal Odor: A Bacterial Infection, or Something Worse?

Do you experience these symptoms?

 Pungent or fishy vaginal odor

 Itching, pain or swelling of the labia around the vagina

 A gray or yellowish vaginal discharge that comes with a foul smelling odor

If you noticed and experienced these symptoms, it may be cause by an inflammation or it can also be a sign of a bacterial vaginal infection. However, before you make an appointment to visit your doctor or gynecologist for any diagnosis, the following answers may further explain exactly what are the causes that's causing your vaginal to produce the unpleasant fishy smelling odor.

Poor Hygiene

Poor personal hygiene habits can lead to a strong vaginal odor. Ensure that you wash your genital area with lots of warm (not hot) water and mild, unscented soap. Trim the pubic hairs regularly since long and thick pubic hair can trap moisture when you sweat, providing the perfect breeding ground for "bad" bacteria, leading to a noticeable odor around your vaginal.

Bacterial Vaginosis

The vagina is normally full of good bacteria that help maintain its pH level and keep infection out. However, when the normally-present good bacteria is rinse or flush away (by douching or the use of scented perfumes or body wash), the bad bacteria proliferate, resulting in bacterial vaginosis. The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis is most often recognized by a grayish white vaginal discharge with foul, fishy odor.

Yeast Infection

Another common causes for smelly vaginal odor is vaginal yeast infection. In addition to extreme itching and burning sensations, a yeast infection can also cause a thick vaginal discharge with strong odor. Fortunately, antifungal vaginal inserts and creams can be used to successfully treat yeast infections and many are available over the counter at your local pharmacy.


Vaginitis is a type of umbrella term which simply means an inflammation of the vaginal area. Yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis and other vaginal odor causes are often grouped under the term vaginitis. Vaginitis inflammation can also be caused by STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

STDs like Chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and genital herpes can also cause vaginal infection resulting in vaginal odor. A smelly vaginal discharge, swelling, abdominal pain and burning during intercourse or urination are common symptoms of a possible STD. While condom use does help prevent the spread of Chlamydia and gonorrhea, other diseases like genital herpes can still spread even through safe sex practices, and lead to a foul vaginal smell or a fishy odor.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease, also known as PID, can cause some symptoms, or none at all until weeks after the infection. Abdominal pain, vaginal odor and discharge are the most common symptoms. Irregular bleeding is also a factor in pelvic inflammatory disease. Many women do not even know that they have pelvic inflammatory disease until it is too late. Left untreated, PID can cause severe fertility issues and pregnancy problems.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer symptoms are usually masked and dismissed by women as symptoms of PMS or "period pains". Pain during urination, unusual bleeding and an unusual heavy vaginal discharge, which ranges from watery to thick and milky may be present. Cervical cancer symptoms vary from woman to woman, and cervical cancer may not even be noticed until the stages are more advanced.

Medications that May Cause Vaginal Odor

Certain medicines, especially antifungal creams and ointments used to treat yeast infections, may cause vaginal odor. Fluconazone (diflucane) and other "-azole" medications may lead to vaginal odor as they destroy the bacteria that leads to a yeast infection.

Other Causes of Vaginal Odor

Excessive washing, douching, tight clothes and certain chemicals (scented body washes, antibacterial soap, etc) can also irritate the vagina and cause vaginal odor. Eating too much spicy foods such as curry can sometimes also affect the smell of your vagina.

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