Our expert says:
Vaginal smells can be caused by several factors. The most common cause is vaginal bacterial overgrowth known as bacterial vaginosis, which has a "fishy" or "musty" smell. "Fishy" smells can also result from vaginal infections, such as trichomonas vaginalis, and, in some women, from semen in the vagina. The vagina could also smell "yeasty" because of vaginal yeast overgrowths.
Synthetic underwear, pantyhose, tights, and Latex exercise clothes do not allow air to circulate around the vulva (the outer lips of the vagina). A moist environment promotes overgrowths of normal skin bacteria that could cause vaginal odor.
A physical exam by a doctor can determine whether or not the odour is being caused by something that is treatable with a medication, such as for bacterial vaginosis, trichomonas, and yeast. In these cases, the unpleasant smell usually goes away after the treatment. The physical exam can also detect other health problems that might cause unusual body odours.
To change vaginal odor caused by overgrowths of normal skin bacteria, try the following:
Wash your vulva with warm water and unscented, gentle soap with mild antibacterial action (this will help keep the skin intact and make it less likely for microscopic cracks to develop, where bacteria like to grow).
Wear underwear and exercise clothes made from materials that "breathe," such as cotton.
Wear loose pajama bottoms or a night gown, or nothing at all, to let your vulva "breathe."
Keep your vulva as dry and aired as possible because bacteria love moist, dark, and trapped environments.
Don't use antiperspirants, deodorant tampons, and powders with talc or perfumes or other feminine hygiene ingredients, because they can be irritating.
Douche no more, since it has been linked to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). If deemed necessary, douching should be done only under the direction of a health care provider. Otherwise, douching is not recommended.
Vaginal odour could also be caused by excessive sweating (known as hyperhidrosis) in your vaginal area because it produces a moist environment. You may just be one of the women who needs to bath twice a day, similar to men who have to shave twice a day.
Dr Elna Mcintosh
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
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