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Top 5 vaginal odor causes

Some women experience unpleasant vaginal odor often and it can disturb social life as well as intimate relationships. While women feel uncomfortable, men keep distant. Healthy women usually have very specific personal vaginal smell which is completely normal and natural. Vaginal smell can slightly change depending on menstrual cycle days or specific diets. But foul strong vaginal odor is a symptom of poor hygiene or vaginal infections or even cancer. Top 5 vaginal odor causes are described below.

Top 5 vaginal odor causes – poor hygiene

According to health experts, poor hygiene is one of common causes of vaginal smell. Vagina is pretty warm and moist area of body which can attract different infections and can also trigger overgrowth of bacteria. It is important to follow simple rules of intimate hygiene:

  • Daily routine bath or shower,
  • Regular underwear change (1-2 times per day),
  • Keeping vaginal area always dry,
  • Regular change of menstrual pads or tampons (every 3-4 hours),
  • Avoiding synthetic or tight pants and underwear,
  • Safe sexual contacts (avoiding sexually transmitted infections).

Top 5 vaginal odor causes

Besides personal hygiene, there are few factors which also can trigger vaginal smell. These vaginal odor causes can be easily avoided:

  • Intensive sweating,
  • Allergy to condoms or other types of vaginal contraception,
  • Habitual vaginal douching,
  • Forgotten vaginal tampons.

For most women sweating is normal especially during intensive physical exercises. It is the way of getting rid of body waste and cooling whole body. Female bikini zone is usually warm and can start sweating easily during stress, exercises, obesity, pregnancy, hot weather, etc. Sweaty vagina can be very unpleasant and uncomfortable. Intensive intimate sweating could cause unpleasant smell (similar to ammonia). Proper personal hygiene can be a solution.

Some women could have allergy to condoms or other vaginal contraception. Local allergy could trigger irritation, secretion and good environment for bacteria overgrow. Once you noted foul smell after use of any vaginal contraception, it would be recommended to change the type of contraception.

Some women are used to perform vaginal douching without any objective reasons. Excessive vaginal douching could be the reason for messing with normal vaginal pH levels and it also could cause overgrow of vaginal bacteria. It is well known that overgrow of certain bacteria could cause foul vaginal odor.

Forgotten tampons also can cause very unpleasant vaginal smell. It is a result of accumulated old menstrual blood, excessive moisture and attracted bacteria.

Top 5 vaginal odor causes – bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is the most common cause of fishy vaginal smell. Bacterial vaginosis is an imbalance of harmless vaginal bacteria. During bacterial vaginosis some bacteria multiply too much (changing normal vaginal environment). Actually bacterial vaginosis is not caught infection but just sudden overgrow of certain vaginal bacteria that naturally live healthy vagina – just vaginal bacterial imbalance. When it happened, women could experience intensive vaginal discharge with specific fishy vaginal smell.

Top 5 vaginal odor causes – yeast infection

Vaginal yeast infection is pretty common fungal infection triggered by Candida albicans. According to health experts, 3 out of 4 women experience vaginal yeast infection during their lifetime. Vaginal yeast infection could appear during pregnancy, stress, badly controlled diabetes, weakened immune system, sugar addiction as well as after use of antibiotics or after intensive vaginal douching.

Vaginal yeast infection can be very disturbing because of typical symptoms such as intensive vaginal itching, cottage cheese like vaginal discharge, yeasty (bread-like or beer-like) vaginal smell, irritation and swelling.

Top 5 vaginal odor causes – trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis can also trigger specific vaginal odor. Trichomoniasis is common sexually transmitted infection that affects sexually active women. Trichomoniasis typical symptoms usually occur after 5-28 days of exposure (after unprotected sexual contacts). Women who suffer from trichomoniasis could experience not only foul fishy vaginal smell but also greenish yellow frothy vaginal discharge, vulva irritation, painful frequent urination, “strawberry cervix” and lower abdominal pain.

Top 5 vaginal odor causes – cervical cancer

Unfortunately foul vaginal odor could appear in cases of cervical cancer. Cancerous cervical cells have very specific smell. According to health experts, HPV (human papillomavirus) is the main cause of cervical cancer.

Early stages of cervical cancer usually don’t cause symptoms. When the cancer grows larger, women could experience abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods (after douching, pelvic exam and sexual intercourse), increased vaginal discharge, pelvic pain and pain during sex.


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