Ladies, we all know that vaginal odor can be a major problem. Vaginal odor is natural and also normal to some extent. This can sometimes be embarrassing and uncomfortable for many women, as it affects their self-confidence and quality of life. Vaginal odor in women can have many reasons, such as poor intimate hygiene, yeast infection, hormonal imbalances, and bacterial infection (1). Luckily, we’ll show you plenty of options that can help you get rid of your vaginal odor without going to the doctor. Remedies include adding probiotics to your diet, using natural disinfectants like apple cider vinegar, and applying essential oils or herbal remedies. By learning about these remedies and adopting healthy habits, women can effectively manage vaginal odor and prevent it from recurring. In this article, we will also mention some of the best home remedies on how to get rid of vaginal odor at home and provide tips on how to maintain good vaginal health..

What is vaginal odor?

Vaginal odor refers to any unpleasant or unusual odor that emanates from the vagina. Although it is normal for the vagina to have a slight odor, a strong or foul odor may indicate an underlying medical problem or poor hygiene. Well, to understand this, we need to know what influences vaginal odor. A healthy vagina usually has a slight musky odor that is only noticeable if you are very close. BV is a common cause of vaginal odor, and it also often has a fishy smell that is more noticeable after sex (1).

What is vaginal odor?

Symptoms of Vaginal Odor

The main symptom of vaginal odor is a strong or unpleasant odor emanating from the vaginal area. Other symptoms that may accompany vaginal odor include:

Discharge: Abnormal discharge that is thicker or different in color from normal can be a sign of a bacterial or yeast infection. There are many discharge colors like yellow, white or even brown.

Itching or irritation: Itching or irritation in the vagina may indicate an infection or an allergic reaction to a product. It can also be a fungal infection.

Burning sensation in the vagina: Many women may experience a burning sensation during urination.

Pain or discomfort: There may be pain and discomfort in the vaginal area which may require medical attention.

Swelling or redness: Swelling or redness around the vagina may indicate an infection or an allergic reaction.

It is also important to understand that some women may not even experience any of the above symptoms other than vaginal odor.

Symptoms of Vaginal Odor

Causes of vaginal odor

Well, there can be many reasons why women develop vaginal odor but it is important to understand the main underlying reason so that you can fix it. Let’s talk about a few reasons:

  • Bacterial vaginosis: The main reason is that the vagina produces an overgrowth of harmful bacteria which produce a foul odor.
  • Yeast infections: Yeast infections can cause a thick, white discharge that may smell like yeast or bread (2).
  • Poor hygiene: Poor hygiene practices, such as wearing tight or synthetic underwear, not washing the genital area regularly, or using scented products, can lead to vaginal odor.
  • Hormonal changes: We experience hormonal changes during our pregnancy, our menstrual cycle and many more. Because of this, there may be an altered balance of bacteria in the vagina, leading to a change in smell.
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): A possibility of an STI can cause an unpleasant odor with symptoms (2), (3). So, always practice safe sex ladies!
  • Diet: Eating certain foods, such as spicy or pungent foods, can affect the smell of vaginal discharge.
  • Medications: Are you taking any medications that cause your vaginal odor to change, sometimes medications can affect vaginal odor.

It is important to note that some vaginal odor is normal and varies depending on factors such as diet and menstrual cycle. If your vagina has been smelling bad for a long time, we suggest you see a doctor.

Causes of vaginal odor

There are several home remedies for vaginal odor, here are some of the most effective remedies:

  • Practice good hygiene: Keeping the vaginal area clean and dry is key to preventing odor. Always wear clean underwear made of cotton or good fabric and avoid tight-fitting clothes such as jeans and tights. Wash the genital area daily with mild soap and water and avoid using scented products, douches, or harsh chemicals.
  • Probiotics: Adding probiotics to your diet or taking supplements can help balance bacteria in your gut and vagina, reducing the risk of infection and odor. You can add foods such as yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, kanji, and probiotic-rich pickles (4).
  • Apple cider vinegar: This amazing home remedy can be prepared at home, mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water and use it superficially to rinse the genital area daily.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil has so many benefits that it is naturally antifungal and antibacterial. They also eliminate bad bacteria responsible for the development of odors. You can mix a few drops of tea tree oil with coconut oil or any other carrier oil of your choice and apply it to the vaginal area. Try a patch test before doing this.
  • Garlic: Garlic has natural antimicrobial properties that can help fight bacterial infections and reduce odor. Eat one or two raw garlic cloves a day or take garlic supplements.
  • Baking soda: Baking soda can help balance the pH of the vagina and reduce odor. Add a cup of baking soda to your bath water and soak for 20 minutes.

If you have persistent or severe vaginal odor, it’s important to see a health care provider for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

When to consult a doctor

When to consult a doctor

Ladies, if you experience vaginal odor, it’s important to pay attention to any symptoms that could indicate an underlying condition. You may need medical attention if you feel unbearable pain or discomfort, you may have a vaginal infection or condition. Other symptoms that may warrant a visit to the doctor include abnormal thick, lumpy, or discolored discharge, foul odor, burning sensation or pain during urination, and irregular periods or spotting between periods.

When to consult a doctor

Conclusion

Since you were wondering how to get rid of vaginal odor at home, we have compiled the most useful ones. Let’s summarize what we know now, vaginal odor is a common and general problem that many women face at some point in their lives. We can follow natural remedies such as maintaining good personal hygiene and wearing good quality, breathable clothing. Eating a healthy, nutritious diet and using natural remedies like tea tree oil, garlic, or apple cider vinegar can help. All of these remedies can help reduce or improve vaginal odor. It is important to see a health care provider if the odor persists or is accompanied by other symptoms such as abnormal discharge, pain or burning sensation during urination, or irregular periods. If you have these symptoms, it may indicate an underlying condition that requires medical attention. It is always best to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. With proper care and attention, most cases of vaginal odor can be effectively managed.

Sources:

1. Chronic vaginal malodor in the absence of infection: a possible manifestation of the reference olfactory syndrome

https://juniperpublishers.com/jgwh/pdf/JGWH.MS.ID.555868.pdf

2. Associations Between Sexual Habits, Menstrual Hygiene Practices, Demographics, and Vaginal Microbiome as Revealed by Bayesian Network Analysis

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0191625&type=printable

3. A study of vaginal discharge in women attending the sexually transmitted disease outpatient department

http://repository-tnmgrmu.ac.in/12638/1/202000217sobimeena.pdf

4. Vaginal microbiota and use of probiotics

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2662373/

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