Wednesday, January 9


Every female has a natural scent from the vagina that can change through the stages of her menstrual cycle. A strong odour however, can be a sign of infection  especially if she is sexually active. A woman's vagina is naturally filled with bacteria which are natural inhabitants of the vagina but when there is an overgrowth of the bacteria, it is called Bacteria vaginosis. Not all odour are caused by an infection however, various causes are discussed below. They include:–

  • Poor hygiene is one of the major causes of vaginal odour is whereby the woman does not pay attention to the cleaning of her body including private part. It is thereby advisable to clean the private part with water alone and use mild non-medicated soap if need be and avoid douching to prevent killing the normal bacteria in the vagina.
  • Hormonal changes in the body in which there might be a increase or decrease in a particular hormone in the body can lead to vaginal odour.
  • Sweating can cause vaginal odour as it was known that the sweat that comes from the body especially the pubic area is smelly.
  • Food we eat such as food and fruits that has a definite smell contribute to our body odour. E.g garlic. 

  • Excess vaginal secretion is a condition whereby the mucus secreted in the vagina are secreted in excess amount and it can someone odour that comes from the vagina including secretion or menstrual blood. 

  • A forgotten tampon used for medical purpose left in the vagina for days either consciously or unconsciously can cause vaginal odour.

  • Vesicovaginal fistula(VVF) and Rectovaginal fistula(RVF) is the occurrence of an abnormal opening from either the urethra (a passage for urine) or the rectum (a storage organ for faeces) into the vagina in which urine or faeces leaks into the vagina and it can be caused by certain disease conditions and also rough sex. 

  • Infections - certain sexually transmitted infections present vaginal odour as one of their major symptoms. E.g Chlamydia, Bacteria vaginosis e.t.c

The vaginal odour can present in different forms like fishy smell, foul odour e.t.c

  • Wear loose clothing and cotton underwear to increase airflow to the groin area. 

  • Change moist clothes after exercise.

  • Clean the private areas with water only, or use mild non-medicated soap if need be. 

  • After using the toilet,  always wipe from front to back as it prevents the bacteria from the anus from getting into the vagina.

  • Avoid wearing tight panties and avoid wearing tight clothing for a long period. 

  • The use of condoms, diaphragm and gels that are used for contraception can be irritating for some women's vagina, try to choose other contraceptive methods.

  • Avoid hot bath

  • Do not douche as it can alter the normal bacteria present in the vagina thereby causing infection.

  • Avoid hygiene sprays, coloured and perfumed tissue papers as it can irritate the private part. 

NB- If there persist the existence of vaginal odour after all prevention, indicating it is a sign of infection, see your doctor for the proper treatment of the infection. 



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