Get Rid Of Vaginal Odor

Fishy Vaginal Odor

Experiencing vaginal odor with a fishy smell? Learn exactly what causes the fishy odor and how to get rid of it.

What’s Causing That Fishy Vaginal Odor?

Something smell fishy…and it shouldn’t be. If you’ve got a foul smelling, fishy genital odor, there’s likely one main culprit - bacterial vaginosis. Fortunately, there are lots of ways that doctors can treat and diagnose this buildup of bad bacteria in or around your vaginal. It used to be believed that one main bacteria (Gardnerella vaginitis) was to blame for that unpleasant, musty smell, however doctors now believe that a certain combination of bacteria can cause bacterial vaginosis - even in women who are not sexually active.

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) can cause that noticeable fishy smell as well as white or grey discharge. The amount of discharge varies from woman to woman, so if you notice a fishy genital odor and color "that isn’t right for you", it’s important to seek out treatments as soon as possible.

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Getting Rid of that Fishy Smell

The first step to ridding yourself of a fishy vaginal odor, is to wash the affected area using warm water with a mild, unscented soap. Resist the urge to use any kind of flowery scents or even douches, as these may flush out the "good" bacteria and make the fishy vaginal odor even worse. Cleaning the area after sexual activity or excessive sweating can minimize your chances of developing bacterial vaginosis.

Sweat + Tight Fitting Clothing = Fishy “Urine” Smell

Many women notice a fishy vaginal odor when they exercise or wear tight fitting clothing. G-strings, thongs, lace teddies and other super sexy lingerie should be saved for special occasions and not everyday wear. For best results, light, breathable cotton seems to be the preferred choice to let the vagina "breathe" and "air out". Tight fitting clothes only seek to keep your natural body odors and sweat closer to your skin - which can cause a tell-tale odor.

Treatments for Fishy Vaginal Odor

Your doctor may recommend a course of antibiotics to help clear up bacterial vaginosis. Most doctors or gynecologists will perform a pelvic exam to rule out other external causes of a fishy vaginal odor such as Chlamydia, herpes or vaginosis (a catch-all term for other unpleasant vagina problems like yeast infections, vaginitis and such). Once the pelvic exam is complete and sample cultures taken, the doctor will examine the discharge under a microscope. Here, differences between the most common vaginal infections can easily be seen. Bacterial vaginosis looks nothing like a yeast infection, for example, even though they have similar symptoms.

Fortunately, even though it’s embarrassing to have that fishy genital odor, bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease and your partner will not need to be treated for it. Within a few days of taking the prescribed antibiotics, the fishy odor and discharge should disappear completely with little to no incidence of a relapse.

Avoiding Other Causes of Vaginal Odor

To summarize, even though that unmistakable fishy vaginal odor can be cured by antibiotics, it’s important to remember that another, more serious (and irritating) vaginal issue - a yeast infection - can develop when all of the "good" bacteria have been destroyed by antibiotics. To prevent a fishy vaginal odor, talk with your doctor about your options and the medications you’ll be prescribed.

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