Vaginal odor is a very common problem that most of the females have to deal with at least once or twice in their life. It is normal and healthy for you to have some vaginal odor. However, strong vaginal odor can be the result of douching, excessive washing, wearing clothes that are too tight and certain chemicals in your soaps, among other things. This strong odor can be embarrassing. If you personally feel that the smell is too strong, here are some tips on how to get rid of vaginal odor.
Embrace your natural odor. Lots of women don’t like the way that their vagina smells, but if you ask their boyfriends those guys will say they love it! Don’t underestimate your natural odor. You might associate it with being unclean, but….do I really have to tell you what guys associate that smell with? They don’t want you to smell like flowers down there, they want you to smell like…er….well…you. If you’ve figured out that your smell isn’t caused by an imbalance or an infection and that it’s really just how YOU smell, you should probably consider coming to live with it and embrace it.
Check for imbalances. The vagina is kind of like a rich ecosystem. Everything has to exist in perfect balance, and that balance can be really easily upset. If you use soap, antibacterial, take baths that are too hot, go in pools frequently, use scented pads, use lotion too close to your vagina, don’t change your underwear often enough or use underwear of the wrong material, or a large number of other things, you can cause your little ecosystem to get totally out of whack. Basically, avoid using those things and just be very careful about washing every day with water (no soap!) and wearing clean clothes.
Identify any infections. If you want to stop vaginal odor in its tracks, you need to figure out what’s causing it first. The most common source of vaginal odor is an infection. This can range from yeast infections, to bacterial infections, to STDs/STIs. The best practice to make sure that this is not the case is to go to the doctor and have them check you out. That said, there are a few different ways you can gauge if this is your problem:
- If you have a lot of chunky white discharge, you probably have a yeast infection. Medicine for this can be found easily at any drugstore and many grocery stores.
- You might contract a bacteria infection if you don’t practice proper toilet etiquette. Do you wipe front to back or back to front? Wiping back to front introduces bacteria into your vagina and can cause infections.
- If you think you might have contracted an STD/STI, just go to the doctor to get tested. This is the kind of thing you need to know for sure, for your own safety and that of those around you. There are organizations which do free or cheap STD testing, like Planned Parenthood, and they are very discreet.
Check for foreign objects. You know, it happens: sometimes you just forget you have a tampon in there. Sometimes the occasional condom (or piece of) gets left behind. These things can cause an odor as your body tries to get rid of the object. Check for objects and get them out!
- Leaving tampons and pads on for too long can also cause smells, even after they’ve finally been changed. Change them frequently to avoid that.
Consider that maybe it’s him! Certain sexual practices can also cause vaginal odor, either from his bacteria colonizing your body or just the smell of sex itself…nevermind if you’re taking the sexual practices outside of Missionary 101. Consider if this is the reason you smell different and take whatever measures you believe are warranted.
- Just going to put it out there: putting it in your butt and then putting it in your vagina is a TERRIBLE idea. At least switch condoms between these activities.
Avoid using douches to clean your vaginal area. Douching can alter the balance of healthy bacteria in your vagina, causing other bacteria to grow and create a foul vaginal odor. You should douche ONLY if asked to by a doctor or gynecologist.
Stop using fragrant body washes and soaps. It is best to use a mild soap with warm water. Soaps that are too harsh or have too many chemicals and fragrances can actually make your vagina produce more discharge that gives off the foul smell.
- Make sure you aren’t putting any soap too close to your vagina. You can use soap to clean your pubic hair, but try to keep it away from your vagina. Soap of any kind can throw off the delicate balance of your body.
Avoid pads and panty liners. You want vaginal discharge to be wicked away from your body, not held close next to it by items like panty liners and pads. Use these only when you need them and absolutely do not use scented products (as these can throw off your body’s natural balance).
Stop taking hot baths or showers. This can kill your body’s natural bacteria. Try taking colder baths or showers to see if it helps reduce your vaginal odor. Doing this step alone will probably not help you, however, so make sure to take a few other suggestions as well.
Wear perfume. You can wear perfume normally to generally help reduce the smell, but if you have reason to think that someone special is going down there and you want to make sure you smell great, dab a very small amount of perfume about 4″ up from your knee (on your inner thigh). Choose a perfume with a musky scent, as this will most closely resemble your natural smell.
Wear cotton underwear. Panty hose and any synthetic material will block some air flow to the area. Loose cotton garments will give the region more ventilation, which will help get rid of vaginal odor over time.
Soak yourself in apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is a natural anti-bacterial. Add 1 to 2 cups (240 to 470 ml) of it to your bath water and soak for 20 minutes. The vinegar should help to get rid of toxins and bacteria that is causing your vaginal odor.
Drink plenty of water. Females must drink eight to ten glasses of water every day as it is a known fact that well hydrated body remains health and free of health issues. When you drink water, the body gets rid of bad toxins and harmful bacteria in a very effective manner. At the same time water also helps to remove the extra sugar from the body which is one of main reasons behind vaginal odor. Those suffering from vaginal odor must also avoid caffeine and sugary drinks.
Eat yogurt. Yogurt that contains live cultures introduces probiotics (or good bacteria) into your body. This can reverse the problem if you have a mild case or a yeast infection that is just starting out, and acts as a great preventative measure if you start the treatment before the problem develops further.
Eat garlic. Garlic is a kind of natural antibiotic that can help a lot to deal with vaginal infection as well as vaginal odor. Garlic must be consumed in raw or cooked form on daily basis. You can eat one or two raw garlic cloves on an empty stomach with one glass of warm water. The good antifungal properties present in garlic will help to fight yeast infection and your body will get rid of the bad bacteria. Else you can add garlic cloves or its paste to your dishes and salads. Another option is take a piece of garlic and put it in the vagina for a couple of hours. This can also help to alleviate the bad vaginal odor to a large extent.
Try a white vinegar rinse. White vinegar has the power to ‘neutralize’ odors and can break down odor proteins. You must add half cup of white vinegar and salt to a bath and allow your lower body to soak in it for a few minutes. This will help to restore pH levels in the vagina and eliminate odors in the process. For better result, use lukewarm water instead of cold water. Follow this remedy several times a week to get positive results.
Avoid foods that contain a lot of sugar and yeast. Foods such as bread, beer and mushrooms contain yeast, and the sugar in other foods turns into yeast. These foods can increase the amount of yeast in your vagina, causing a yeast infection.
Drink 1 tbsp. (15 ml) of liquid chlorophyll mixed into 8 oz. of water twice a day.Chlorophyll comes from green plants and is a natural internal deodorizer. The chlorophyll may make your tongue turn blackish, or your urine and feces a little green. These are common side effects and should not be something to worry about.
Apply a mixture of tea tree oil and water to the vaginal area. Mix 6 oz. (170 grams) of water with 2 drops of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is antibacterial and anti-fungal, and will help get rid of bacteria that are contributing to your strong vaginal odor.