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Let’s Talk About Vaginal Odor

Let’s Talk About Vaginal Odor

If you’ve ever caught a whiff of something funky down there, just know that vaginal odor is not only common—in some cases, it’s actually normal. Sweat, hormonal changes, and other environmental factors can all contribute to fluctuations in your vaginal scent. That said, if you’re noticing something particularly pungent, there might be something underlying at play. So let’s get into it, shall we?

What Causes Vaginal Odor?

Vaginal odor is usually caused by an imbalance in the vaginal microbiome. The vagina contains a natural balance of bacteria, which helps to keep the area healthy and clean. However, if there is an overgrowth of certain types of bacteria, it can cause a strong, sometimes unpleasant odor.

Different Vaginal Odors and What They Mean

  1. A fishy smell is typically a tell-tale sign of bacterial vaginosis. Discharge with BV will be white or gray, and you might experience burning while you pee. If your discharge is green or yellowish, it can be a sign of an STI. Either way, you’ll want to check in with your ob-gyn.
  2. A bready or sourdough-like scent might be a sign of—you guessed it—a yeast infection. Other symptoms typically include itchiness and a lumpy discharge. You can treat a yeast infection with an OTC anti-fungal medication, but certain habits can help keep future infections at bay. (FWIW, our products were formulated to keep your vaginal ecosystem in check—and odor-free.)
  3. A metallic smell is a common side effect of your period—that’s thanks to the iron in your blood. (PSA: Our Cleansing Gel is great for freshening up mid-cycle, because we formulated it to be soothing and tough on odor-causing bacteria.)
  4. Sour or musty smells might just be the result of a tough workout. Fun fact: Did you know that your vulva has sweat glands? That means your vulva’s pores can be prone to bacteria, which leads to more odor and even infection—both good reasons to clean up thoroughly after hitting the gym.
  5. A garbage-like odor can be a sign of an STI, particularly if you’re also experiencing symptoms like abdominal pain or a fever. In this case, you’ll want to visit a doctor ASAP.

So, what's normal?

We’ll start by noting that a woman's vagina has its unique smell, and what is considered “normal” can vary from person to person. (And FWIW, a healthy vagina usually has a slightly acidic odor.) However, if the odor becomes stronger or has a different quality, it may be a sign of an infection or other health issue. In general, any drastic changes in the vaginal odor should be monitored closely, and if they persist or become more severe, you should definitely check in with a doctor to rule out an underlying infection or condition.

Treating Vaginal Odor

If there’s an underlying infection like BV or an STI, it’s best to work with your doctor to get that in check. But for mild fluctuations in odor, you might consider rethinking your vaginal hygiene.

That said, overdoing it on synthetic fragrance or harsh soaps can lead to irritation and imbalance (which can in turn, lead to odor). In other words, rather than just trying to mask odor, focus on your vaginal health at large with the help of a few well-formulated products. We created our line of reproductive health products with exactly this criteria in mind. Our Hydrating Intimate Cleansing Gel, Intimate Wipe and Intimate Spray were all created with the best of Traditional Chinese Medicine and clinical research—with the goal of keeping your vagina fresh, balanced, and healthy.

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Let’s Talk About Vaginal Odor
The Intimate Pocket Spray

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