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8 Vaginal Odors You Have To Know And What They Mean


1. Musky

What it means: Your vagina is healthy! The musky smell is caused by the sweat glands in your nether region. Carry on!

2. Metallic

What it means: You just had your period or contact with semen. The change of pH causes the scent. This should be temporary. (If not, see your doctor.)

3. Fishy

What it means: You might have bacterial vaginosis. It's a type of vaginal inflammation from the overgrowth of bacteria in your vagina.

Bacterial vaginosis can be caused by unprotected sex or frequent douching.

Treatment: Antibiotics. (Although bacterial vaginosis can go away without any treatment, it's best to consult your gyne.)

4. Bread-y

What it means: You might have a yeast infection.

Yeast infections are very common. They're not usually serious, but they can bother you. Your vagina feels itchy or sore. Some women have a thick, clumpy, white, and odorless discharge when they have a yeast infection.

Treatment: Vaginal or oral medicine. Consult your gyne. 

Only use non-prescription vaginal yeast infection medication without a doctor's diagnosis if you:

- are not pregnant.

- are sure you have a yeast infection.

- haven't been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection.

- are not having multiple, recurrent infections.

5. Sour or stale

What it means: Trichomoniasis. It's a sexually transmitted disease, and the most curable STD in young, sexually active women. It usually comes with a yellow green, frothy vaginal discharge. You experience painful urination, vaginal itching, and a very rare case of lower abdominal pain. (These symptoms appear within five to 28 days of exposure.)


Treatment: Antibiotics. Consult your gyne. 

While you're getting treated for trich, make sure you avoid sex until your treatment is finished and the symptoms have gone.

6. Onion or garlic

What it means: You ate pungent food.

Within 24 to 48 hours of eating pungent food, your discharge should be back to normal.

Treatment: Take a bath. Wash your vagina with a gentle feminine wash.

7. Sweet

What it means: You ate citric fruits!

Oranges, pineapples, and other citric fruits can sweeten the smell (and taste) of your vagina.

8. Something rotten.

What it means: You forgot to remove your tampon!

Treatment: See your doctor immediately.

Remember: The urethra, the vagina, the vulva, and the anus are close together in women. Sometimes what you smell may not even come from your vagina; you might be smelling your urine or your feces. In any case, when you've been smelling something funky, consult your doctor.

Sources: Web MD, Mayo Clinic, Teen Vogue, Bustle

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