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3 Reasons Your Vagina Smells ‘Off’

Vaginas all smell, and each person has a unique odor that can be similar to a fingerprint. Usually, this smell is mild and not foul. It may fluctuate and can indicate the appearance of a UTI after sex or simply be a byproduct of your period. 

However, a change in vaginal odor could be a sign of something serious. Before you speak to your doctor, take a look at three common reasons why your vagina may be producing a different smell.

  1. Bacterial Infections

One of the most common reasons for a change in smell or an appearance of a foul odor is a bacterial infection called bacterial vaginosis, or BV. This occurs when the pH balance of your vagina is imbalanced and there is an overabundance of a certain type of bacteria. The good news is that BV can be treated by antibiotics.

There is a possibility that BV can also lead to a urinary tract infection, or UTI, since these commonly occur when there is bacteria in the urinary tract. It is especially common to have a UTI after sex. These can also be treated with antibiotics and even natural preventative measures. However, there are instances when a UTI comes back after antibiotics, especially if bacterial infections are a common occurrence for you. 

  1. Yeast Infections

Another reason for a change in vaginal odor is the occurrence of a yeast infection. Most yeast infections respond well to antibiotics prescribed by a medical professional, although these may not work for all women or for those who have recurring infections. Fortunately, there are also natural UTI prevention methods that can help you avoid yeast infections, such as good hygiene, wearing cotton underwear, washing with water and gentle soap rather than scented washes, drinking plenty of water and even supplements you can take.

  1. Something You Ate

Lastly, the odor may be associated with a food that you ate rather than a UTI after sex. There are many theories and common beliefs that fruits such as pineapple can make your vagina smell sweet, but there is little evidence to back this up. However, eating certain foods can alter your vaginal smell. Cheese, fermented foods and overly sugary foods are all associated with changing vaginal odor depending on the amount consumed. 

This smell does not require medical attention or products, as it goes away on its own when you stop eating these. While there is no scientific evidence that suggest pineapples or other citrus fruits promote better vaginal health or prevent a UTI after sex, it has been proven that eating good foods can make you healthier overall. So switching from sugary foods to whole foods may help decrease vaginal odor.

Maintaining a Healthy Vaginal Odor

The vagina has a delicate ecosystem that can become unbalanced in an instant and lead to foul odors. Some smells may be associated with your period or certain foods you ate, but some may actually be a sign of something worse. When this happens, it is most likely because of a UTI after sex or other bacterial infection. If you are suffering from a strange odor, it’s time to seek medical help or use a product that helps end the infection.