What You Didn’t Know: 9 Primary Causes Of Women Suffering With Vaginal Odor
Millions of women all around the world suffer with vaginal odor. Would you recognize vaginal odor when it happens to you? If you notice any of the following, you might have vaginal odor:
Pain, itching and swelling of the vagina’s labia
Fishy, pungent vaginal odor
Vaginal discharge that is yellowish or gray in color
If you see and experience any of the above symptoms, it could be caused by inflammation or be a bacterial vaginal infection. Before you pick up the phone and call your gynecologist for an exact diagnosis, you might want to consider what may be causing the fishy odor emanating from your vagina.
1. Bad Personal Hygiene
When you have bad personal hygiene, it tends to lead to a powerful vaginal odor. Be sure to wash your private region with warm water (not hot water) and use an unscented, mild soap. Keep pubic hairs trimmed, as thick, long pubic hair will retain moisture. This is ideal breeding ground for the bad bacteria and tends to lead to the evident vaginal odor.
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There are some medications (ex. antifungal ointments and creams) that treat yeast infections that could cause an odor to emanate from the vagina. The reason is that they kill off the bacteria that cause yeast infection.
3. Yeast Infection
One of the more common infections women suffer with is a yeast infection. This condition causes very serious burning sensations and itching and produces a thick vaginal discharge that includes a strong odor. There are several antifungal vaginal creams and inserts that can successfully treat his condition – many being over the counter.
4. Bacterial Vaginosis
The vagina is typically loaded with good bacteria that assist in maintaining the pH level and prevent infections. However, when the good bacteria is flushed out (ex. Douching, body wash, scented perfumes), bad bacteria can multiply and cause bacterial vaginosis. The symptoms of this condition include:
Bad, fish smell
Grayish white discharge
Basically, this is the inflammation of the vaginal region. Many vaginal odor causes, like bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, are grouped under it. Vaginitis inflammation may also be the result of a sexually transmitted disease.
There are several kinds of sexually transmitted diseases (ex. genital herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia) that cause a vaginal infection and the odor. Common STD symptoms include burning and stomach pain during sex and/or urination, swelling and bad smelling vaginal discharge. Condoms can help keep the spread of gonorrhea and chlamydia down. However, other STDs such as genital herpes, can still be spread even if you’re practicing safe sex.
7. Cervical Cancer
The symptoms of cervical cancer are typically hidden under the guise of PMS symptoms:
Pain while urinating
Abnormally heavy discharge (watery or milky and thick)
Every woman is different so the symptoms of cervical cancer will vary from every woman. It’s possible that cervical cancer won’t be discovered until the disease has become advanced.
Also Read: Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
8. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Commonly called PID, this disease might cause little to no symptoms in the beginning, only rearing their head weeks afterwards. The common symptoms of PID are:
Abnormal bleeding can be a factor for PID. Women who don’t treat their PID can suffer with fertility and pregnancy issues down the road.
9. Other Vaginal Odor Causes
There are other reasons why you might have vaginal odor such as using certain chemicals like antibacterial soap or scented body washes, wearing tight clothing, douching or excessively washing the region. These things can irritate your private region and cause the vaginal odor. If you eat a lot of spicy foods, it will also affect the vagina’s smell.