All women have an intimate vaginal odor and this is perfectly normal. However, sometimes an unusual and unpleasant vaginal odor appears. What causes these odors? What can we do if our vagina smells bad or our discharge smells bad? We explain everything in this article.
What is a normal vagina smell?
So what is a normal vagina smell? Every vagina is different and therefore has its own smell. This intimate odor, which is often slightly acidic, varies from person to person and also with the periods of the menstrual cycle. For example, it can be stronger during menstruation or during ovulation when vaginal secretions are more abundant. The cyprine produced by our body when it is sexually excited can also change our vaginal odor.
Why does my vagina smell bad?
The vagina contains billions of lactic acid bacteria called lactobacilli. They constitute the intimate flora or vaginal microbiota and their purpose is to protect our vagina from infections by maintaining a slightly acidic PH, which is not appreciated by fungi and bad bacteria. However, sometimes this vaginal flora can become disrupted and gynaecological infections or imbalances can be triggered, resulting in a strong and unpleasant intimate odor.
Causes of bad intimate odor
Several factors can explain the disruption of the vaginal flora:
- Taking antibiotic drugs
- The practice of douching
- Wearing underwear that is too tight and causes friction and maceration in the vulva.
- Use of scented shower gels.
- Use of copper IUDs.
- Poor lifestyle habits, including excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption
Many women find that their vaginal odor is stronger during menstruation and this is normal. The presence of menstrual blood can lead to intimate iron odors or iron fumes. In addition, odor-causing bacteria love blood and hair and therefore thrive in the vulva and vagina during menstruation.
There is also blood in menstrual pads (tampons, sanitary towels, panties, panty liners) that can cause odor. This is why it is important to change your menstrual protection regularly.
How do I get rid of the odor down there?
It is possible to protect your flora and thus limit the risks of developing bad vaginal odors by following these recommendations:
- Do not shower your vagina from the inside. Nature has done things right and the vagina is a self-cleaning organ.
- Use organic cotton and chemical-free sanitary pads to limit irritation and infection.
- Wear cotton underwear that is more breathable than synthetic materials and avoid thongs and tight trousers.
- Have a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet and limiting your intake of sugar, alcohol and tobacco.
- Practice regular physical activity to manage your stress.
- Limit your use of shaving and full body hair removal, best to banish full body hair removal altogether as hair is a natural protective barrier against infection.
- Improve the balance of your vaginal flora with probiotics and vaginal suppositories containing Boric Acid.
If you’d like to know more about vaginal odors, get in touch with the Flower Power team!