Why does it smell down there?

Nobody talks about it, nobody wants to think they have it but some women do have a bad smell.

It is not the typical body odor that is caused by poor personal hygiene and lack of deodorant use, though poor hygiene might be a factor.

This smell starts from down there, yes ladies the vagina.

The vagina is full of bacteria, both the good and the bad. They help regulate the pH levels down there and prevent infections such as yeast infections and Bacterial Vaginosis.

So usually there is a slight odor associated with the vagina but when there is an overpowering fishy smell something could be very wrong. This is especially true when this smell also has other symptoms including itching, burning and a discharge.

So what could be the cause of this common but embarrassing condition?

Bacterial vaginosis: This common infection is caused by an overgrowth of “bad� bacteria in the vaginal. Common symptoms of this infection include itching, a fishy odor and a discharge. This infection can be treated with antibiotics.

Poor hygiene: If you don’t wash your body properly then you would smell bad, it’s as simple as that. This is especially true for women, you need to squat when bathing to expose your nether regions and cleanse it properly.

Some women are allergic to soaps especially the scented ones and tend to itch when they wash their pubic region with them, in this case they can also cleanse with plain old water. It is also good to remember that the vagina is self-cleansing so there is no need to wash the inner parts that lead to the cervix with douches or any other “feminine products�. Just washing the labia and surrounding areas is fine.

Forgotten tampon: The media is rife with stories of women who have almost died from toxic shock syndrome due to forgotten tampons. Though this is rare, it is important that you don’t leave a tampon in for more than 8 hours. Toxic shock syndrome is a disease that happens when a tampon becomes contaminated with bacteria because it has been left in for too long.

It can be fatal and can also lead to amputation and hospitalization. If you have left a tampon in for longer than 8 hours go to the Doctor’s office have it taken out. The Doctor can also run some tests to ensure that you have not been exposed to Toxic shock syndrome.Retained or forgotten tampon tend to smell after some time so this could be the cause of your vaginal odor.

Sweating: Women who sweat excessively might notice that they tend to have an odor coming from their nether regions. Avoiding tight fitted clothing and wearing cotton underwear that can absorb sweat can help alleviate this condition.

Medications and food: Some medications can change the smell of your sweat, urine and vaginal secretions. This can also change the pH levels in your vaginal and lead to a build up of bacteria.Some foods such as garlic can also change the smell of your sweat, urine and vaginal secretions. Drinking more water can help resolve this because water can help you expel these foods from your body.

Diseases: Some cancers such as cervical and vaginal cancers can cause the vagina to have an odor. Other conditions such as rectovaginal fistula, which happens when there is an opening between the rectum and vagina, can cause the vagina to smell due to feces that leaks into the vagina. The only way to fix the case of vaginal odor is to get to the root cause of the problem and if a disease causes the vagina to smell it is of utmost importance to get treatments.

Hormones: Changes in hormones caused by menstrual cycles, birth control pills and menopause can change the smell of your vagina. If your vaginal odor is caused by any of these your Doctor can help you resolve this problem.

So while no one wants to talk about it, you don’t have to suffer in silence. There are numerous ways to resolve vaginal odor and help is just a call away.

Photo by stockimages. Published on 19 December 2013
Stock photo – Image ID: 100223702

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