How should a healthy vagina smell?
Healthy vaginas have a natural smell. As we strive to disguise all odors using scented soaps, deodorants, and panty liners, it is easy to forget that the genital region has a perfectly natural smell of its own. Vaginas should have its own scent, however, vaginas should never smell bad.
Healthy discharge has a slightly acidic smell. An acidic (low) pH indicates that the lactobacilli in the vagina produce plenty of lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide, which is essential for the vaginas natural defense. These protective, beneficial bacteria ensure that the vagina can fight harmful bacteria and restore environmental balance.
Occasionally, the discharge can turn more acidic. This could cause a reaction that sometimes result in bleaching of the fabric in your underwear. The next time this happens, remember that it is a sign of good vaginal health!
Influenced by hormones
Hormonal changes in your body can modify the smell of the vaginal discharge. Thus, it is not uncommon that the odor changes throughout the menstrual cycle, and even throughout your life. During your menstruation cycle, the discharge can sometimes smell slightly metallic from the iron in your blood. Hormonal changes, for example during pregnancy or menopause, can also alter the vaginal odor. A healthy vagina has an acidic smell, but it is important to remember that the vagina should never smell bad.
Healthy vaginas do not smell bad
There may be several factors that could cause a bad smell from the vagina. For example, a forgotten tampon can quickly cause an unpleasant odor, so if you notice a strange smell, it could be helpful to verify that you have not forgotten a tampon. A smell reminiscent of fish is a typical symptom of bacterial vaginosis, an infection that affects every third woman of reproductive age.
Learn more about vaginal health:
Seek advice or healthcare if you notice that your vaginal discharge has become abnormal or has an unpleasant smell, or if appears together with other symptoms such as discomfort or pain from the genital area.