Despite what you may have heard, vulva and vaginal odor is completely normal and natural. Your sweet spots are supposed to have a scent! In fact, the way your sweet spots smell is completely unique to you. But it’s important to understand the root causes of vaginal odor so you can deal (or not deal) with it appropriately.
A common cause of vaginal odor is changes in hormones. As estrogen levels rise or fall throughout the menstrual cycle, vaginal odor can change day to day or week to week. A metallic scent is common right after your period because of the increased amount of iron in menstrual blood. The same is also true during menopause, when (thanks to a decrease in estrogen) protective bacteria lactobacillus levels decrease, leading to changes in vaginal odor and putting you at higher risk for infections like BV.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also lead to changes in vaginal odor. But since many people report a heightened sense of smell during pregnancy, it may also be that vaginal odor is more noticeable.
Body odor - whether it’s under your arms or between your legs - is caused by bacteria digesting sweat on our skin. And sweat doesn’t only happen during spin class, it is a natural process that occurs throughout the day, every day. If you’re wearing tight clothes or non-breathable fabrics (ie. spandex bike shorts) for an extended period of time, that sweat can’t evaporate - leaving more food for odor-causing bacteria. Showering with a pH-balanced wash like Microbiome Balancing Cleanser lifts away sweat and impurities to eliminate vaginal odor while protecting the delicate balance of your intimate skin.
Or, keep Microbiome Balancing Spray in your purse or gym bag to refresh on-the-go and help prevent vaginal sweat odor before it starts!
Bacteria is passed back and forth between you and your partner during sex. This can disrupt the natural balance of your microbiome and shift the pH balance both in the vaginal canal and on your vulva. And when your pH is off-balance, it can lead to vaginal odor - not to mention a number of other things like irritation, itching and even infection. This is why it’s important to do a few things after sex:
While vaginal odor is totally natural, sometimes it can be an indication that something more serious is going on. If you notice a drastic change in smell or discharge, this could be a sign of a vaginal infection like bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection. Be sure to contact your medical provider for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Here’s what to look out for:
- A strong fishy, rotting, or fresh baked bread smell
- Grey discharge that’s bubbly or frothy
- Thick, clumpy discharge with a change in odor/itching
- Burning when you urinate
- Itching, burning, or pain in the vagina
This website is for informational purposes only and not to be considered as medical advice. This information is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat, or cure any medical condition.