Managing Vaginal Hygiene & Odor

Vaginal odor is one of the most common concerns women have. Unfortunately, some women may be embarrassed to talk about this topic publicly, even though it is a natural part of life. This article will help answer your questions about vaginal odor and provide some steps to identify what is normal and what can be a sign of other issues.

Symptoms of vaginal odor

There are different reasons why your vagina may produce a particular scent. Some odors are a normal side effect of the changes in your body during your period. When you are on your menstrual cycle, for example, the vagina produces a unique scent. This scent may fluctuate depending on the level of your hormones. The odor produced comes from vaginal secretions and can vary throughout the month.

Other odors, however, may indicate a medical issue, such as an infection.

Normally, the vagina produces a scent that can be described as “musky” when the body is cleaning up your system. During the menstrual cycle period, a slightly metallic scent may be produced.

It is not typically normal for the vagina to produce fishy or unpleasant odors. If you smell these, you should visit a healthcare professional for a checkup. The professional can help determine whether there is an infection, such as a yeast infection, that is causing the odor.

Causes of vaginal odor

There are several factors that are known to cause vaginal odor. The common causes are:

  • Infections
  • pH imbalance
  • Perspiration
  • Vaginal secretions
  • Immediately after sexual intercourse

If you are experiencing vaginal odor that is not pleasant, avoid using over-the-counter feminine products. Instead, visit a healthcare professional to determine if there is something more serious going on.

Managing vaginal odor

Neutralizing vaginal odor will restore your feminine freshness and help you feel confident throughout the day. You can use Carefree® Regular liners, which neutralize odors for up to 8 hours. The liners are thin, super-absorbent, and feel soft on the skin. This can be a good option to help control vaginal odor after checking with your doctor that something more serious isn’t the cause.

Preventing vaginal odor

As mentioned above, the use of panty liners can help control unpleasant vaginal odors should they arise. Everyday use of a panty liner helps to keep your vaginal area dry and free of perspiration, (a potential cause of vaginal odor). Additionally, the odor locking technology in Carefree® panty liners keep you smelling fresh for up to 8-hours and are available in scented and unscented varieties.

Some women may choose to pursue more natural remedies to protect against vaginal odor. Here are some natural options:

  • Apple cider vinegar - Apple cider vinegar can help fight vaginal odor thanks to its amazing antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Drink a glass of water mixed with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily.

    Taking a bath in water laced with apple cider vinegar can also fight off bacteria and toxins that lead vaginal odor and restore the pH balance of the vaginal secretionsi.
  • Baking soda - One of the causes of vaginal odor is pH imbalance. You can balance the pH level in your body by using baking sodaii. Simply add a half cup of baking soda to your bathwater and soak for about 20 minutes.

When to see a doctor

If you have persistent abnormal vaginal odor, visit a healthcare professional for examination and treatment. It is especially important to see a doctor if you have abnormal discharge that is associated with odor or experience irritation, burning or itching around the vagina.

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.