The vagina is an odourless organ of the body, but if your vagina is releasing an odour or an unhealthy smell, there has to be an explanation for this. Vaginal odour can be extremely unpleasant and embarrassing on many levels. Firstly, it is you who is creating this odour; secondly your spouse or partner may notice it and lastly if it goes on for a longer period then the people around you may notice it too.
What causes vaginal odour?
Each and every woman has her own unique scent however an odour around the vagina is usually a result of one or more causes which include:
- One of the main causes for foul smelling vaginal odour may be Bacterial Vaginosis. Bacterial Vaginosis is an infection causes by the overgrowth of a bacteria species, Gardnerella vaginalis, in the vagina. Women who suffer from bacterial vaginosis may also experience an increase in the amount of discharge, which may be white, greyish or yellow in colour and often has an unpleasant, fishy smell. Associated with bacterial vaginosis may be itching and/or burning.
- Poor hygiene and sweating can also lead to problems. It may seem obvious but poor hygiene can lead to the thriving of odour causing bacteria. A forgotten tampon believe it or not is a common problem and can lead to a noticeable odour.
- Weight gain – being overweight may trap sweat and bacteria in the skin folds.
- Wearing tight clothing prevents airflow to the groin region which is a breeding ground for the bacteria to thrive.
- Douching is another common cause since it can result in the removal of healthy vaginal bacteria, especially if the products are laden with chemicals.
- Using perfumed body washes and bathing foams can cause irritation and may change the pH leading to itching and infection. Be cautious of products containing essential oils.
- Vaginal odour changes during menstruation and between ovulation and is more odorous during a period than in between cycles. A lack of oestrogen during menopause may cause the vaginal tissue to thin and become less acidic allowing bacteria to thrive. This may result in an oderous watery discharge.
- Certain foods can cause a distinct vaginal odour. Food with strong scents such as asparagus, peppers, onions and broccoli are liable to be responsible for vaginal odour. Garlic, although odour causing, also displays powerful antimicrobial properties and may be of benefit if the odour is associated with an infection.
How to treat vaginal odour
Depending upon the severity of the symptoms, vaginal odour can be effectively controlled with these simple tips:
Wear loose clothing and cotton underwear to prevent moisture build-up. If you exercise, ensure you have a change of clothes immediately after exercising since sweaty clothes are a breeding ground for bacteria.
Lose weight if necessary; a healthy diet and some form of exercise may make a difference. Avoid strong smelling foods if you can.
Avoiding douching; the body is designed to take care of itself and douching can eradicate the healthy bacteria within the vagina.
Avoid harsh feminine deodorant sprays as they may cause irritation. You may wish to consider the use of Feminesse Gel which has been shown to help eradicate even the most unpleasant vaginal odour.
Feminesse Gel maintains healthy pH balance which in turn combats the development of odour producing compounds. Using a unique bio-adhesion technique, each application of Feminesse Gel works to relieve vaginal odour for three days at a time and in some cases longer. Feminesse Gel can be safely used during a period and is free from parabens which may disrupt the eco-balance in the vagina.