Doing things like washing down there with harsh, perfumed soaps or adding too much feminine wash can cause your natural vulva scent to go off balance.
Most women’s vaginas have a distinct earthy or slightly sour smell. It may change during the menstrual cycle or certain times, such as pregnancy or breastfeeding.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Your vulva has glands, just like your armpits, nipples, and ear canals. Those glands produce a milky fluid that, when combined with bacteria, can smell just like rotting fish, or even worse. This is due to a chemical called trimethylamine, which is also found in cigarette smoke and some foods.
The best way to eliminate this odor is to drink plenty of water. Your body needs it to produce the healthy vaginal secretions that keep your vulva clean. A good rule of thumb is to drink 6-8 glasses a day. You can make this easier by adding fresh mint to your water because it contains antibacterial properties that will reduce the amount of bacteria in your system, including your vulva.
Another tip is to stop eating certain foods that can contribute to a bad scent in the vulva. Some of the worst culprits include garlic, asparagus, and onions. Instead, eat a variety of fruits and veggies that will help you maintain a healthy vulva.
If you have an unusual odor in your vulva, see your healthcare provider right away. Unusually strong or foul smelling vaginal odor is usually a sign of infection, and your healthcare provider can prescribe medications to clear up the problem. For instance, bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STI) like gonorrhea or chlamydia can cause an unpleasant smell in the vulva. These infections can be treated with a course of antibiotics, so make sure to tell your doctor about any unusual vaginal odors you’re experiencing.
2. Add Some Fresh Mint
Despite what many of us may think, vaginas are meant to have a natural smell. This odor, produced by healthy vaginal bacteria, is actually a sign that everything down there is working as it should.
Vaginal odor can be caused by many different things, from everyday foods to stress and imbalances in our natural microbiome. It can even change throughout the menstrual cycle or during pregnancy and menopause. Sometimes, just changing your personal hygiene practices or using a douche can eliminate the odor. Other times, it may be a sign of an infection and a visit to the doctor is needed.
If you have a smelly vagina, eating more fruits and vegetables, avoiding junk food, drinking plenty of water, and exercising regularly can help to balance your hormone levels and eliminate the odor. Also, make sure you always use 100% cotton panties and change them often.
Another great way to keep your vagina smelling fresh is to add some mint to your diet. Mint has antibacterial properties that can reduce bacteria all over the body, including in your lady parts. Drink a glass of water with some crushed mint leaves in it every day and see how that helps your odor. You can also add some mint oil or a few drops of essential oil to your bathwater for added vaginal freshness.
3. Make an Oregano Spray
Everyone has a unique vaginal scent and it can vary throughout the day. That said, a strong, unfamiliar and unpleasant odor can be a sign of an infection or other health problems. It’s important to figure out what is causing the smell to identify the best treatment options.
Vaginal odor can be caused by poor hygiene, sweat, or certain types of feminine products. It can also be caused by a yeast infection, or an infection with the parasite trichomoniasis. Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease that causes a foul-smelling vaginal discharge, itching in the vulva and genital area, and painful urination. It is very common and can be prevented by using condoms every time you have sex and avoiding spicy, acidic foods and alcohol.
It’s also important to change your underwear regularly. Cotton underwear will absorb less sweat, and it’s better for sensitive skin.
You can make a simple spray to help fight off odor-causing bacteria in your vulva by mixing together water and oil of oregano. Just fill a small spray bottle with distilled water and add ten drops of oregano oil, then use it to wash your vulva when showering. Oregano oil has powerful antibacterial properties and is a natural fungicide. You can also add a teaspoon of turmeric to this mixture. Turmeric has excellent anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
4. Change Your Clothes
The good news is that vaginal odor is normal and most of the time, it doesn’t mean anything is wrong. Your body and vulva contain healthy bacteria that produce their own odors, which may vary throughout your menstrual cycle or after exercise and sexual activity.
While it isn’t easy to describe what a healthy vulva smells like, some women report a mild earthy or slightly ripe scent. The important thing is to know what you’re normally used to and be aware of any change that could indicate an infection such as a yeast or UTI. The best way to keep your vulva clean is to stay well-hydrated, use a mild soap and avoid any perfume or other scented products that could get into the vaginal canal. You should also change your underwear regularly — comfy breatheable cotton is best.
If you do notice a strong, unfamiliar odor or it accompanies other symptoms such as itchiness, itching or a fishy smell, it’s time to see your doctor. They will work with you to make sure that you have all the tools to get your vulva back to a state of normality and can help you find the right treatment. They may prescribe an anti-fungal cream, a antibiotic or other treatment based on the cause. They’ll also give you tips on how to care for your vulva, including Kegel exercises and other ways to help prevent future infections.