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Vaginal Odours: What’s Right & What’s Not

What’s Not: Reducing Vaginal Odours

Sometimes, trying to get rid of the odour might actually make things worse by:

  • Excessive rinsing or scrubbing
  • Using soaps that may irritate, such as perfumed or antibacterial soaps
  • Douching
  • Spraying perfumed deodorant “down there”

These types of acts can harm the good vaginal flora (bacteria that reside there) and prevent the growth of other species. You could detect a stronger stench when there is an imbalance between these organisms and an expansion of unhealthful germs. However, even that might not be an issue.

Common Infections That Cause Vaginal Odours

When a strong or strange smell is accompanied by additional symptoms like irritation, itching, burning, or discomfort, you should think about consulting a doctor.


Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted illness (STI) that has a slight odour, in addition to a greenish frothy discharge, and may also irritate and hurt during sexual activity. Having several sex partners and not using proper protection are risk factors. To prevent long-term issues, trichomoniasis should be treated.

Bacterial vaginitis (BV)

Bacterial vaginitis (BV) can cause increased vaginal discharge, irritation, burning, and occasionally itching in addition to having a fishy odour. It is brought on by an overabundance of anaerobic bacteria that upsets the harmony of beneficial bacteria living in the vagina. While many women have no special risk factors for acquiring BV, this ailment can be induced by engaging in fresh or frequent intercourse, douching, or smoking. Antibiotics can be used to treat it, however, some women may require extended rounds of therapy if the problem reappears.

Yeast Infection

A yeast infection may be associated with a sweeter, beer-like odour. It is typically accompanied by a thicker, clumpier discharge and may include itching, irritation and rawness or skin breakdown. The condition can be triggered by antibiotic use (which can eliminate the good bacteria that normally colonize the vagina), poorly controlled diabetes and sometimes certain menstrual products. Treatment with an antifungal medication is the standard treatment.

What’s right: Reducing Vaginal Odour

While it is impossible to completely remove vaginal odours, you may be able to lessen their intensity by practising some straightforward healthy habits and avoiding behaviors that upset the normal balance of bacteria:

  • Put on breathable underwear. Yoga pants and underwear made of lycra and spandex are less breathable and can trap germs around the vulva, increasing odour. When resting at night, think about wearing more breathable cotton underwear or going completely bare.
  • Avoid the use of perfumes, powders, deodorant sprays or other scented products in the vaginal area.
  • Wash gently and do not use antibacterial soap and scented soaps.
  • Remember to wash gently if you need to wash more than once throughout the day because of activities or exercise. Avoid overwashing your vulva and vaginal region with soap; in certain instances, you might even want to think about simply rinsing with water.
  • Avoid wearing damp or wet underwear for extended periods of time as this might encourage the growth of bacteria.
  • After swimming in a lake, river, or chlorinated pool, take a shower.
  • When not absolutely required, avoid wearing panty liners or pads since they increase the amount of moisture contact with the skin.


Vaginal odours may be altered as a result of changes in diet or personal hygiene. Think about the things you are using or what you are doing differently if you start experiencing a change in odour. By making a few little adjustments to your habits, you might be able to remedy the problem.

Concerned about your vaginal health? We can help. Click here to chat with a doctor.

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