The bad vaginal odor responds to an imbalance in the pH of the area, so the objective to be pursued is to stabilize it again.
One of the symptoms that causes concern in women is bad vaginal odor. Although at some point it does suffer, the truth is that its appearance produces feelings of insecurity and difficulties in the sexual sphere.
In this article we want to review its main causes and some recommendations that would help to request medical support early. And, of course, we invite you to control it so that it does not cause more discomfort when leading a normal life.
A silent symptom of Vaginal odor
The vagina has a slight odor that is usually not easily perceived. However, when your pH suffers some kind of imbalance, it is a little stronger and can be felt several inches away.
Furthermore, the symptom is not only embarrassing for the sufferer; but it can also be accompanied by other discomforts typical of vaginal infections .
For this reason, although it is possible to neutralize it with baths and products for external use, it is essential to know what it is due to in order to give it a complete and effective treatment. Next, we invite you to find out a little more about it.
What is the bad vaginal odor?
Under normal conditions, the vagina produces a type of discharge that keeps the area moist. In this way, imbalances in its natural pH are avoided. These release a mild odor, described as the lactic odor of yogurt due to the presence of lactobacilli (natural bacteria) in the flora that protect the organ against infections.
The truth is that the smell can vary in each one , depending on their hormonal activity and the moment of the menstrual cycle that they are going through. But what is not normal is to perceive a strong and unpleasant smell (like “fish”); since these alterations can be a symptom of infection.
There are several factors that are capable of altering the vaginal pH . However, according to a study conducted by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care , unpleasant odors generally occur as a side effect of bacterial or yeast infections.
Causes of vaginal odor
Some of the people who suffer from it associate bad vaginal odor with poor intimate hygiene. However, although it is one of the possible causes, this annoying symptom can also be caused by:
Bacterial vaginosis .
Consumption of some foods.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Wearing clothes that are too tight or damp.
Use of products during sexual intercourse.
Yeast infections , such as Candida albicans; which is the main cause according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Lack of control in the growth of bacteria in the vaginal flora.
Excessive use of soaps and perfumes for the intimate area.
Infrequent change of intimate pads or tampons.
How to control the bad smell of vaginal discharge?
To control the abnormalities of the vaginal discharge, especially in case of bad smell, take into account a series of recommendations.
Improve intimate hygiene
As a first measure, it is essential to guarantee correct intimate hygiene. For this reason, it is essential to use neutral soaps , if possible, without perfumes; since these help to keep the bacterial flora in the area in balance.
On the other hand, Mayo Clinic staff points out that among the things to avoid are the following:
Do not use douches excessively since, although they remove the odor for the moment, they can worsen the condition that causes this symptom.
It is not necessary to apply intimate deodorants or any other scented product. In your case, only the medicine prescribed by the gynecologist should be used .
Wear cotton underwear
Synthetic underwear does not facilitate perspiration. Thus, it easily creates a humid environment ideal for the proliferation of microorganisms and bad odors.
To prevent or not suffer more from this symptom, the ideal is to use cotton garments of the appropriate size. Lace, silk, and other materials are pretty, but they’re not the best for everyday wear.
Regular consumption of probiotic foods, such as kefir or plain yogurt, provides the body with a bonus of live cultures. In this way, you will create a protective barrier against infectious agents that cause diseases in this area.
These promote the balance of the vaginal flora and strengthen the defense mechanisms that prevent the growth of yeast and bacteria. So it is convenient to consume them daily.
However, according to a research endorsed in 2019 by the Women’s Health Magazine , this method is preventive and would not act as a solution to the problem. In addition, more research is needed to verify its 100% effectiveness.
What to do if you notice an unpleasant vaginal odor?
Do you have a persistent vaginal odor? Do you notice that the vaginal fluids are thicker or abundant? If you have these symptoms, consult your doctor to determine what infection or disease they are due to.
There are also some natural remedies that help restore the natural pH of the area . However, before using them, make sure they are backed by quality scientific equipment. And with the prior approval and consultation of the person conducting the treatment.