Different Kinds of Vagina Smell, Causes and Treatments

The vaginal does have a natural smell and it is unrealistic to think that it will smell of roses or perfume, it doesn’t. It doesn’t and it shouldn’t. So I’m going to take you through the different kinds of Vaginal smell, what they mean and what you can do about them, if they are not normal.

There are increase in number about young women who are under pressure about the smell of their vagina from different angles, weather from social media or partners. These adverts or stuffs keeps telling them that they need to look, feel; smell a certain way and it gives really unrealistic expectation.

So why do Vaginas have a scent?

It has to do with the PH of the vagina. The PH basically tells you how acidic or alkaline something is. The PH of a normal vagina is about 3.5 or 4.5 which is due to the normal bacteria that live in the Vagina which are called lactobacilli. Now anything that changes the PH of the vagina, say for example semen, or blood from having a period changes the smell.

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The first smell we will talk about is an

  1. An Offensive or rotten smell:

This smell can happen if you’ve forgotten to remove your tampon. And you might think, whpo forgets to remove their tampon? But actually it happens more often than you think. So for example a woman plugs in her tampon in towards the end of her period and forgets to remove it because the flow is so light. This encourages the growth of bacteria which changes the PH of the vagina and affects the smell.

Another instance could be a woman who put the Tampon in and then have sex with the Tampon in. this can cause the Tampon to go into hiding behind the cervix and then it can just be forgotten about. Until it starts causing problems with smells and possibly discharge as well. The good news is although the tampon can go into hiding behind the cervix, it can’t get lost. So if this happens to you and you can’t remove the tampon yourself, please do not let yourself be too embarrassed to go seek help. You surely do need help, so go seek help. Well, once whatever is in there is removed, it could get everything back to normal.

Another kind of smell is…

  • FISHY:

Well, yes, some vagina discharge can smell really fishy. Well there are two common reasons for this

  1. Bacterial Vaginosis and
  2. Trichomonos vaginalis

So bacterial Vaginosis is more common in cases where the PH of the vagina is changed.for example Douching (This is washing or cleaning of the vagina with water or other mixtures of fluid. Most douches are stored in stores as prepackaged mixes of water and vinegar, baking soda or iodine. The mixtures usually come in a bottle or bag. You squirt the douche upward through a tube or nozzle into your vagina) or having sex, because the semen can change the PH of the Vagina. Bacterial Vaginosis is a sexually associated infection and not a sexually transmitted infection. The difference is that a sexually associated infection you’re more like to have if youre sexually active but it’s not sexually transmitted in that you can’t pass it on from one person to another through sex. Bacterial vaginosis is due to the imbalance of the good and the bad bacteria in the vagina. And it leads to overgrowth of the bad bacterial in the vagina which can give the fishy smell. It can also be associated with a discharge that is white or cream, so if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, please see your doctor because it is quite treatable with the use of anti-biotics.

The second is

Trichomonas vaginalis which is a sexually transmitted infection which is due to tiny parasites that pass into the vagina during sex. And they give this fishy vagina discharge and can also give a vaginal discharge that is itchy and that causes burning when passing urine. If youre experiencing these symptoms, it definitely needs treatment by a doctor, so please don’t delay in seeing one. Well doctors, will screen for other sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea etc.

The next smell has been described as

  • Yeasty:

This smell has to do with vaginal thrush. Now thrush is really common. Most women will experience it at some stage in life. And it gives a vagina discharge that is usually white or cream. And it can be smooth or it can be lumpy or bumpy. It’s associated with vaginal itching, burning and stinging and so on, it just feels uncomfortable. So usually when women have thrush, they know that something is not right. Thrush is due to an overgrowth of yeast that lives naturally in the vagina, but it gets out of hand because the PH has changed which allows the yeast to overgrow and give the smell and the discharge. It is treatable with anti-yeast medication which can be taken in different ways that include, orally or by inserting in the vagina. Well at this point it is important it is prescribed by your doctor as to differentiate which is meant for which.

  •  The next smell is coppery:

This tends to be that there’s blood in the vagina so it’s more common around the time of the period, especially at the beginning of the period or at the end of the period when the flow is quite low which means the blood is hanging around for longer in the vagina and changing the PH and therefore giving that coppery smell. So the smell is described as metallic which is not a surprise actually because blood contains iron and iron is a metal. This one tends to disappear soon after the period is over.

The other reason that you can have a coppery or metallic smell from the vagina is due to having sex when the vagina is dry, so the additional friction from this can cause tiny cuts which can bleed and give the coppery smell. So the way around this is to make sure that you are excited and aroused before having penetrative sex or if not, then use a healthy lubrication.

The next smell is

  • Earthy:

Now this smell is due to sweating in the groin of the vagina region. And this is not surprising because the groin and the lips of the vagina do have sweat glands so if you feeling nervous anxious, if you’ve been exercising, you will  sweat more there and this can give off the smell which is a little bit like body odour. Sweat by itself doesn’t actually smell of anything it is when it mixes with the bacteria that is living on the skin that you can then get the smell. This is completely normal and it’s nothing to worry about. It is usually quite a mild faint smell and it disappears after having a shower. So wearing synthetic underwear can also encourage trhat area to become more sweaty and therefore can encourage the smell, though that can be improved by choosing cotton underwear and natural fibre instead of synthetic one.

The next smell is


This smell is normal as the environment in the vagina is acidic because of this lacto bacilli which are the good bacteria. The acidic environment of the vagina is actually quite beneficial. It suppresses the growth of bad bacteria and helps to keep the vagina healthy. So this smell is nothing to worry about, it is usually quite faint and it’s very normal.

The next smell is


When a woman complains about this kind of smell, first thing that comes to mind does the woman have a problem with leakage of urine, is it hanging around in the underwear and giving the characteristic smell. Another thing could be a urine infection, this can also give a  characteristic bleachy or ammonia type of smell. Urine infection is easily treated with antibiotics. If the problem is due to leakage of urine, that needs more investigation and more time but with both off these problems, you should definitely seek the advice of a doctor.

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So to the ladies, there is no need to put pressure on yourself to think that the vagina needs to smell of roses, it doesn’t. As long as the smell is mild and not offensive, it’s probably normal.

But ofcourse if it is associated with bleeding in between your periods, bleeding after sex or other symptoms like itching or burning when you’re going to the toilet then please do see your doctor so that you can get the correct treatment for you.

10 thoughts on “Different Kinds of Vagina Smell, Causes and Treatments”

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