While some women do not like the smell of their own vagina, the fact of the matter is that a healthy vagina doesn’t smell bad. A healthy vagina naturally contains a wealth of bacteria which keep it in working order and clean, much like your other internal organs. Truly bad vaginal odor is a result of infections or bacterial imbalances and you should see a doctor to solve this problem. Read below for information on keeping your vagina fresh and healthy and smelling normal.
Practice Good Hygiene
- Wash regularly. You need to shower and wash yourself regularly to smell good! For most women, a good guideline is to gently wash the area around the vagina every day. Washing yourself will help combat a buildup of bacteria on the skin, which causes odor just like it does anywhere else on the body.
- Use the correct soaps. Your vagina is very sensitive. Using the wrong types of soap can cause irritation and bad odor. Avoid soaps which are heavily perfumed, contain too many unnatural ingredients, or have antibacterial properties. These upset the natural balance of your body. Instead, use natural soaps which are labeled as being fragrance-free.
- Don’t douche. The only time you should douche (wash out your vagina) is if your doctor tells you to. Douching creates a terrible imbalance of your body’s natural bacteria and will almost guarantee that you end up with some kind of infection. The only cleaning that you will need to do will be with basic soap and water on the outside of your body.
- Wipe carefully. Incorrect wiping after using the toilet can lead to infections. Wipe in the correct direction (front to back) and be sure that you are thorough. It is easy to miss the vaginal area and this can leave residue which leads to infections or overgrowth of bacteria.
- Use products carefully. Be careful about the products that you use around your vagina. Using lubricants that are not water or silicone based can cause infections, and you should always clean lube off once you’re done using it. Anything with heavy fragrance can cause infections easily, so avoid feminine products which aim to make your vagina smell like flowers. This includes lotions.
- Wear clean, fresh, correctly fitting underwear. This is a very important part of keeping your vagina clean and healthy. Wearing the same set of underwear for more than 24 hours may quickly create an imbalance of bacteria. You will also want to wear the right type of underwear. Your underwear needs to breathe, since an overly moist environment will cause bacterial buildup. Cotton is best. Make sure you do laundry, it can get messy!
- Use perfume. Yes, using perfume too close to your vagina is a bad idea. However, putting a dab of perfume on the inside of each of your thighs, roughly six inches from the vulva area, is a time-honored way to smell amazing when anyone puts their head down there.
- You partner will associate musky smells with sex (since this is the type of smell you have naturally) so try to get a perfume which is generally musky. Sandalwood and vanilla are common “sexy” smells.
- Watch your diet. Your diet can greatly affect your taste and smell. Certain foods tend to affect your body in certain ways, by altering your body’s balance of sugar, bacteria, and chemical compounds. Much like how if you eat a lot of garlic, your skin excretes a garlic smell for several days, you can eat or not eat certain foods to produce a better smell and taste in your vagina.
- You’ll want to start by eating less sugar. A spike in blood sugar can cause yeast infections and buildup, which will cause bad odor.
- Yogurt is considered to be a great way to help women keep a healthy vagina, as it contains the bacteria which naturally occurs in our body to maintain a healthy vagina.
Understand the Causes
- Watch out for infections and diseases. These are the major causes of serious vaginal odor. Examples of such infections and diseases include yeast and bacterial infections (the most common causes), STIs, STDs, or viruses like herpes. Even much more serious problems like some kinds of cancer or internal ruptures can cause vaginal odor. You will need to monitor your body for other signs of illness and if you really feel that your vaginal odor is unnatural, see your doctor.
- One thing to look out for are unusual discharges from your vagina. Brown, green, or chunky white discharges are signs of infection and you should go see your doctor as soon as possible. Just remember that some discharge is normal and healthy but it should not smell.
- Be aware that certain sexual practices cause vaginal odor. Any introduction of foreign bacteria can upset the delicate balance in your vagina and so sexual practices can have an effect. Certain practices in particular can set off a reaction, namely anal sex before vaginal sex, oral sex, and the use of objects or food as penetrative methods.
- If you wish to engage in these practices, use protection (like a condom) and change it in between activities.
- Check for foreign objects. Foreign objects lodged in the vagina will cause your body’s immune response to react and try to attack the object. This can cause bad odor as well. Tampons that have been forgotten or left in for too long, pieces of a broken condom, or objects used in sexual play are examples of such causes for odor.
- Be careful to practice proper hygiene. Improper hygiene can lead to a buildup of bacteria around your vagina and vulva. This will cause odor, though it may not necessarily cause an infection. If you want to reduce odor, keep yourself and your clothing clean. Loose clothing can prevent smell too.
- Avoid hot baths and hot tubs. Surrounding your vagina with hot water will kill much of your body’s natural bacteria which preserves the delicate balance of your vagina.
- Try to avoid vaginal washes, like fragrant soaps, they tend to be bad for your vagina.
- Even if you don’t like the way you or women in general smell, guys and some women, usually enjoy the smell. Their brains associate that smell with getting to see you naked and having sex. So it really isn’t in your interest to smell like flowers.
- Remember that people sometimes lie in order to get what they want. If a guy says he doesn’t like the way that you smell (or that you smell really bad), he may just be trying to get out of performing oral sex. If you practice proper hygiene and are free of infection, you shouldn’t have much of a smell at all and either he is lying or very, very sensitive. Consider both possibilities before resorting to any method which may cause more problems than it solves.
- Never, ever clean out inside of your vagina using soaps or douching. A little water won’t hurt if it gets in while showering or bathing.