Characteristics of vaginal odor

What is vaginal odor?

Vulvar or vaginal odor is an unpleasant odor produced by the vagina or vulva. A distinction must be done between unpleasant vaginal odor and normal vaginal odor that has no unpleasant odor.

The smell is caused by female genital secretions of the apocrine glands and is necessary as a source of sexual attraction. This smell, if there are no infections in the area and a proper genital hygiene is mantained, it is a “fresh scent” perfectly normal and in no way reprehensible.

In modern societies, we try to disguise the smell with the excessive use of soaps, deodorants and perfumes. This is counterproductive and, in most cases, leads to an alteration of vaginal flora which implies a higher development of microorganisms.

Symptoms of vaginal odor

Vaginal odor, vaginal flow, smelly vaginal flow, etc.

Causes of vaginal odor

Among the possible causes that can produce vaginal scent there are:

Vaginal Infections: Infections caused by fungi and bacteria are responsible for most cases of malodorous vaginal flow.

Inadequate diet: Certain foods such as meat treated with hormones or abuse of sugary foods can facilitate the alteration of vaginal pH that favors the emergence of altered secretions that can smell bad.

Poor hygiene: Poor hygiene can cause genital development of microorganisms with the appearance of unpleasant odors.

Menstrual Fluids: Also the retention of menstrual fluids is responsible for facting on the bacteria they found an ideal medium to develop.

Diagnostics and treatment of vaginal odor

In the presence of unpleasant vaginal or vulvar odors a visit to the gynecologist is imperative, to diagnose the reasons for these symptoms.

The diagnosis of vaginal unpleasant odors is carried with the patient’s exploration. If there is flow, it could be necessary to take a sample for further analysis.


Among the main advice would be taken into account to prevent female genital unpleasant odor we have the following:

Maintain proper genital hygiene: The female genitals should be washed properly, only with intimate natural soap and water to prevent the development of harmful bacteria and fungi. The soap should be used only when you really need it. Do not wash the vulva in excess. If you must wash the area frequently is better to use only water to respect the natural oils in the area. We must pay special attention to the vulvar folds and the area surrounding the clitoris. After washing is necessary to dry the area well because the moisture is used by microorganisms to proliferate.

In case of anal penetration, contact of the penis with vagina should be prevented if the male organ has not been washed beforehand. The anus contains many bacteria that could easily lead to infection in the vagina.

During menstruation, pads or tampons should be changed frequently, at least three times a day to prevent bacteria from growing too easily.

Maintain an adequate anal and perineal cleaning: The area of the perineum – the space between the anus and the vagina must be cleaned properly by preventing water from passing this area to the vaginal area. Wash hands with soap after cleaning the area if you want to manipulate the vagina. The water jet should be directed back to avoid passing the anus and vagina and drag the germs there.

Wear loose clothes: too tight clothes, like jeans, may impair ventilation and humidity of vulvar and vaginal area. It is better to wear loose and light clothing. For a proper hygiene and to avoid emitting odors, we must change underwear every day.

Follow a proper diet: avoiding the ingestion of toxics and artificial products that transform the nature of secretions and are partly responsible for bad scents in the genitals.

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Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

25 May, 2020

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