Is Vaginal Odor Normal?

Every vagina has its own unique scent dependent upon many factors. Vaginal odor may cause concern to some women. Women may ask themselves, "Is vaginal odor normal?" and the answer is yes. It should only raise concern if the scent is especially strong and recurring. In those cases, it’s worthwhile to take steps to address it. In more severe cases, it is always recommended to see a health care provider.

If you find yourself wondering, "Why do I smell down there even after a shower?", there are several possible answers. The simplest is that showers with the typical overhead spray don't reach that area well enough for proper, external cleansing. If that's the case, first try using a washcloth to reach the exterior area to properly cleanse.

Often, external cleansing will only mask odor. It is quite common for the vaginal environment to have an odor after intercourse or exercise.  Boric acid suppositories can be used for vaginal odor.  If you’re unsure, it’s best to get expert help from your health care healthcare provider. You may be surprised to know that many providers will recommend a boric acid suppository to help with vaginal odor.

What Does Vaginal Odor Smell Like?

Vaginal smell can be normal and doesn't always have to be the symptom of an infection or other condition. The best way to find what this area is supposed to smell like is to sniff your scent while you and your vagina are in good health. However, if you don't have that chance, you have to go by descriptions.

Medical News Today describes the proper odor as mild and musky but notes that what you eat can affect it. Scents ranging from barely-there sweet to a stronger, but not distracting, musky odor are common. It is not normal to smell anything when sitting on the toilet unless you've recently been exercising, in which case, cleansing with warm water and a washcloth should be sufficient.

What are Some Options for Vaginal Odor?

If you know how your healthy vagina is supposed to smell but on occasion, have an unusual odor in the vaginal area, then this could be a symptom signaling that there is something wrong. The best way to understand vaginal odor depends on what is causing the odor. So what causes vaginal odor? If you've recently eaten something strong-smelling, such as fish, garlic or onions, your best bet is to just wait it out. The smell will go away after the meal has been excreted by your body.

In the case of odor from sex sexual intercourse or exercise, boric acid vaginal suppositories are an option.  However, if you think it's more than just an abnormal vaginal odor, we suggest you see a health care provider as soon as possible.

Can Vaginal Odor be Treated or Prevented?

If you seem to experience abnormal vaginal odor regularly, there are certain steps to take to prevent it. Good hygiene and regular showers can help get rid of vaginal odor. Additionally, it may be beneficial to add a feminine foam wash into your care regimen. If you continue to experience unwanted odor, it is recommended to consult your physician. 

Takeaways

  • Several things can cause vaginal odor but many are normal, everyday factors.
  • The vaginal scent is described as mild and musky.
  • Boric acid vaginal suppositories may help with vaginal odor.

So while odors in the vaginal area might be concerning, they could also be natural, healthy vaginal odors. If you are experiencing prolonged abnormal odor, consider consulting your healthcare provider. You should also consult your healthcare provider immediately if you're experiencing increased vaginal discharge, itching, or other symptoms that can be caused by an infection, such as a yeast infection.  In the case that it's a more mild natural odor, consider a boric acid suppository to help alleviate unwanted vaginal odor.

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