At first, it might seem embarrassing for you to have a scent coming from “down there.” But more often than not, having a slight vaginal smell is normal and nothing to be concerned about. However, there are a few notable exceptions, and in situations like these, this is not the time to cover the smell up. It’s time to pay a visit to the doctor.
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If it smells fishy down there, you might be suffering from an infection. For instance, if this fishy odor is particularly strong right after sex, or if it’s accompanied by a thin white or gray discharge, it could potentially be a sign of bacterial vaginosis. Or if the scent is accompanied by itching and irritation or pain when you use the restroom, it could be a signal that you have trichomoniasis. Other causes could be especially poor hygiene or a forgotten tampon left in place for days. Either way, don’t try to figure out the cause on your own — give your doctor a ring.
A small amount of yeast down there is usually normal. However, an overgrowth of yeast can cause an infection. Yeast infections can be caused by a whole host of reasons, such as antibiotic use, high blood sugar, or even wearing tight underwear. If the bread-like smell is accompanied by cottage cheese-like discharge, that’s definitely a strong sign that an infection is present. However, this is not a sign that it's time for you to self-diagnose and take treatment into your own hands. Always confirm with your doctor first before taking any yeast infection medications.
It’s totally normal for the scent down there to vary based on your activity level. For example, you might notice a musky smell if you’re very physically active or if you sweat a lot. That's just because of extra moisture released by sweat glands in that particular region. But if an out-of-the-box scent makes you uncomfortable enough that you want to cover it up, that’s a good sign to double-check with your doctor. Better safe than sorry!
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