It is normal to have Vaginal Odor? Can I make it go away?

It is normal to have Vaginal Odor? Can I make it go away?

Odors Odors Everywhere

There are all kinds of unpleasant odors in this world   Dirty gym socks, smelly food in the fridge too long?     But are your lady bits supposed to smell?   Could it be a sign of infection? Or that something is wrong?   We are going to talk about why we have odor down there, if it is normal and what to do about it.

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Let me start out by saying that I’m not going to be suggesting, tea bags or vinegar or baking soda or anything like that.  I  like to keep my information up to date and well studied.  But I am going to tell you about probably the only product that I might recommend to my patients for normal lady bit odor.    It’s called LUME but we’ll get into that later.

What is vaginal odor.  

Vaginal odor is basically any smell that comes from the vaginal.     Like it or not,   for most women, there is a normal vaginal odor, so you don’t need to be concerned just because you Notice a smell down there.  Most people describe a normal odor as musky or sour, probably due to normal lactic acid.  Lactic acid is produced by the good bacteria called Lactobacillus,  which your vagina needs to help keep a healthy vaginal pH.    But there are times when certain smells can suggest that something abnormal is going on.

Click HERE to get a test kit mailed directly to your home to test if you have a vaginal infection.

So by abnormal, I mean that something is causing an odor other than just the normal vaginal odor.    There are many different causes and I’ll go over the most common ones that I see in my office.


Causes of Vaginal Odor. 

foreign body in the vagina.   Foreign body means something in the vagina that just doesn’t belong there.     Usually, it’s a tampon.  Now while it’s ok to have a tampon in for up to 8 hours.  If you leave it in for extended periods of time,   Not only can it increase your risk of getting a serious infection called Toxic Shock Syndrome…. It will start to smell…. Bad.   Sometimes you will also start to notice dark brown discharge with it too.  Always remember if you put a tampon in and be sure to remove it by 8 hours.     IF you think you have a tampon in there, you can always try to reach up and grab it and pull it out yourself.  If you can’t get it out, your gynecologist can take it out for you.  Don’t be embarrassed if that happens, you aren’t the only one that it has happened to.


2.   Bacterial Vaginosis or  BV for short is an infection of the vagina that happens when there’s a change in the normal balance of bacteria there.   It can cause a fishy odor.   Find out more about BV in this post.    Your doctor or PA would need to diagnose that, usually while you are there in the office with a simple test.

You can also order a simple at-home test kit.  The test is sent directly to your home, you collect the sample yourself and then send it back.  You get the results sent privately back to you.   To check it out,  Click HERE


3.  Trichomonas is a sexually transmitted infection.  That means you can get it from having sexual contact with someone who has trichomonas.   Symptoms usually include gray yellow or green discharge, redness or itching of the vulva, pain with urination, pain with sex, and of course, foul-smelling discharge.  Trichomonas needs to be diagnosed and treated by your medical provider.


4.  Pelvic inflammatory disease or PID is a deeper pelvic infection.  Symptoms of this infection often are, smelly vaginal odor, pelvic pain, fever, body aches, chills, nausea, vomiting, or pain when you pee or with intercourse or irregular bleeding.    IF you think you might have PID, you should see your provider right away, this type of infection can sometimes be serious and needs to be treated with antibiotics.


5.  Fecal and urinary incontinence.  This means that you pee or poop without meaning to.   This is not common for younger women unless you have certain illness or injuries that cause it.    Obviously, if urine or poop comes out when you don’t mean it to, there will be an odor.


6.  Poor hygiene.     How can I say this nicely….. if you don’t shower, things are gunna be more smelly down there.  And let’s be honest, not just down there, but everywhere.   Shower regularly, especially after workouts.


7.  Excessive sweating.   Sometimes referred to as sports vagina, after a work-out and before you hit the shower, you notice a strong odor.      If you are a heavy sweater, this means that you are probably sweating in your crotch area as well.   And like your armpits, this starts to smell as well.

Could your symptoms be from and Infection?   Here’s how to find out.

So let’s talk about what to do about it…. Now, this is pretty easy…..if you feel like the odor is abnormal or foul, and it doesn’t go away after a shower, or if you have some of the other symptoms that I just mentioned, you should go get checked out by your gynecologist, or Primary care provider.

Or you can order a home test kit to check for any infections in the privacy of your own home.    You don’t have to make an appointment to get tested.   You can find out if everything is OK at home simply by checking it yourself with a home test Kit.  Click HERE  to get your home test kit.

How to Help Vaginal odor Go AWAY.

Now let’s say you have been checked out and nothing abnormal is going on, but you don’t like the odor, or you feel like it is strong, let’s talk about what to do about.   There are lots of weird home remedies that you can google, from tea bags to vinegar, to yogurt…..  Not to mention the enormous market of feminine hygiene products that are geared to make you think that normal down there is not ok.   Girls….    Listen to me.  YOU….. DON’T….  need them!   Look.   Your vaginas are like self-cleaning ovens.   They don’t need perfumes or lotions, but there are some things you can do to keep the odor down to a minimum.

First.    Have good personal hygiene.    Shower regularly and wash the outside of your vaginal.  So to clarify.  The outside, like where you wipe after you pee is called the vulva, or external genitalia.  The inside, like where a tampon goes is called the vagina.  You don’t need to wash the vagina at all.  But you should wash the vulva daily with just water and your hand.  If you use soap, use a gentle soap without dyes or fragrances.

I recommend Lume soap.    Don’t use wash clothes, they can be abrasive to the tissue down there, and that can lead to infections.

Over-washing.  Believe it or not, you can also cause problems by Overwashing.    If you are excessively washing and scrubbing down there, using lots of soaps and really lathering down there, multiple times a day…. You might be causing more of a problem.  Once a day is adequate and after you work out.

Wear cotton underwear.    And make sure to change your underwear daily.

Wear looser clothing.   Tight clothing can trap sweat, loose skin, and vaginal discharge, which can increase odor.    I understand that it doesn’t work for everyone.   If you like tight jeans and workout pants and don’t have issues with odor, then great.  But if you do, it’s might be worth a try to switch up the wardrobe.


Don’t buy into the feminine Hygiene products market

Like I mentioned earlier, there is a huge market geared towards women labeled as personal hygiene and they are making a fortune off them.   You don’t need them…. .but I understand wanting to try to decrease odor down there if it’s bothersome.  Up until recently, I never recommended any lotions, sprays, wipes or anything like that, but recently, I have come across a product that…. I have to admit, is effective, and doesn’t cause problems down there.  It was created by a female OB/GYN.  I use it, I’ve seen the ingredients… and if you really want to try something to decrease normal odor, I would recommend Lume.  They carry, soap, deodorant, and lotion.  I have all three.  The lotion can be used to help with odor down there, and it does really work.  So if you feel like you need it…. This is the only one I would say go ahead and use.


I do recommend that you just use it in between your thighs and labia majora those are your larger vulvar lips, not in between your labia minora which are your smaller vulvar lips.    Click here to give it a try.     IF you have tried it, comment below, I’d love to hear what you think about it.




As a reminder, this post is intended to be educational but it is not to diagnose or treat you so if you have any symptoms you are concerned about, be sure to have it checked out by your own provider.

This post contains affiliate links:  if you purchase from one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Thank you for supporting this page.


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