Truth be told, nothing can be quite upsetting and humiliating for a woman like a smelly vagina. When a woman’s vagina releases an unpleasant odor or smell, she is said to be suffering from a smelly vagina.
The main cause of vaginal odor among women is a condition called bacterial vaginosis, an infection that causes an overproduction of bacteria in the vagina. This abnormal growth of bacteria causes the vagina to produce a milky discharge that has a foul, fishy smell. This discharge also causes irritation and severe itchiness.
On the other hand, a retained or forgotten tampon is very likely to cause a smelly vagina. Sexually transmitted diseases will also cause vaginal odor. Also, rectovaginal fistula may cause vaginal odor where there is an abnormal opening between a woman’s rectum and vagina. This is likely to allow feces to pour out into the vagina.
In short, a smelly vagina is likely to be caused by one or more of the following:
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Poor hygiene
- A forgotten tampon
- Vaginal yeast infections
In extremely rare cases, a smelly vagina can also be caused by the following:
- Rectovaginal fistula
- Vaginal cancer
- Cervical cancer
In most cases, a smelly vagina is rarely a critical issue and can be taken care of quite easily.
How to Get Rid Of a Smelly Vagina
Antibiotics will usually get rid of vagina odor but there are other ways to minimize it and they include the following:
- Hygiene- use mild, unscented soap to clean your vagina regularly. Scented soaps and body washes have been known to worsen the problem.
- Avoid douching – douching upsets the delicate balance between yeast and bacteria in the vagina. This imbalance will ultimately cause vaginal odor.
- Diet – there are some foods, drinks and spices that will worsen the problem like beer, bread, coffee, mushrooms and other sugary foods. This is because they increase the amount of yeast in an already affected vagina.
- Wear cotton underwear – silk, satin and other fancy panties will also worsen the condition. Cotton is the best as it usually is more absorbent. A panty liner can also be worn until the condition passes.
- Yoghurt – yoghurt has been used since time immemorial to cure vaginal odor and other infections. Dip a tampon in plain, natural yoghurt and insert it in your vagina. Yoghurt contains healthy bacteria that should help fight any unhealthy bacteria in the vagina. Never use sweetened, flavored or colored yoghurt as it will only aggravate or worsen the condition. Always wash your vagina thoroughly after removing the tampon and remember to avoid strong soaps and gels.
- Tea-tree oil – tea-tree oil contains anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. This being the case, it is also a known cure for vaginal bacterial infections. For the best results, mix 6 ounces of pure water with only 2 drops of tea-tree oil and apply this mild mixture in the vaginal area. This will fight against the unhealthy bacteria that cause a smelly vagina.
If the condition persists, do not hesitate to see a doctor especially when the smelly vagina is accompanied by other symptoms like irritation, itchiness and abnormal bleeding.