Common Reasons for Vaginal Odor

Let’s be honest ladies, there have been days where your va-jay-jay hasn’t smelled so sweet. That’s probably why you’re reading this right now. But before you automatically think of worst-case scenarios, there are many simple reasons why your lady parts are in a funk.  

Here are some common culprits of vaginal odor:  

Poor hygiene

If you’re not washing yourself daily (because you should be), it may be the source of your funk.  There isn’t much to say other than keep your muffin clean.

Helpful tip: A healthy vagina will always have a smell. Don’t wash obsessively down there or use fragranced sprays or soaps. The last thing you want to do is irritate such a sensitive area.  A simple fragrance-free soap is all you need.


If your pee has been smelling a little weird lately, most likely your vagina is too. What you consume, often affects the smell of your urine, so try to figure out what you’ve been eating or drinking that has been causing the strange odor. Common culprits include tea, coffee, onions, curry and other spicy foods. If you can, minimize the consumption of these foods. And again, proper hygiene always helps!


Just like everywhere else on your body, your vagina will sweat. Especially after a workout at the gym or your daily jog, it’s not unusual for your vagina to smell a little musky.  Try using baby wipes or pantyliners to minimize the smell and help you feeling fresh.  Also try using natural-fiber cotton underwear to allow your yourself to breath.

Helpful tip: Hair keeps in a lot of odor and sweat. If you’re comfortable with it, consider shaving or waxing the area around your labia to reduce vaginal odors.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Don’t let the name scare you, it’s honestly not as bad as it sounds.  Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection that causes that fishy smell.  It’s caused by a natural overgrowth of bacteria in your vagina. Since this is a bacterial infection, it cannot be treated with over the counter drugs or creams. If you think you have this, go to your doctor and they will prescribe you the proper medication.


We’re all familiar with that tinny smell that comes along with our periods. To minimize it, change your pads or tampons at least every 8 hours.


If you just had sex with your man, it’s not unusual to smell a little bleachy down there. Just like everything else, semen has a smell of its own. So don’t worry about it and bang on.

Yeast Infection

It’s not uncommon for yeast infections to smell in addition to having a white discharge. The good news is, there are a lot of over-the-counter products you can use such as Monistat or Diflucan.


Two common STDs that produce vaginal odors are chlamydia and gonorrhea. Now before you self diagnose yourself with an STD, look out for other symptoms such a painful urination and a white puss-like discharge. 

For any questions or concerns regarding the health of your vagina, it’s always a good idea to visit your gynecologist.  Even if you think you’re perfectly healthy down there, you should still be visiting them every six months.

Tags: Bacterial Vaginosis, Common Reasons for Vaginal Odor, Poor hygiene, sex, vaginal odor

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