By now, we guess that you've heard lots of good things about the keto diet — but one downside you probably haven't heard of is "keto crotch." Dieters are complaining that their vaginas smell weird as a result of their low-carb lifestyle.
Is keto crotch real?
Before you freak out about funky smells down there, it's important to note that there hasn't been any research conducted to determine whether keto crotch is a real thing; it's simply what some people who follow the keto diet have reported. That said, it's very possible that some unpleasant odors are emanating from downstairs.
One explanation for this phenomenon is that these off-putting scents are the result of the body producing ketones. This reasoning is also used to explain keto breath; when the body enters ketosis, meaning it's fueling itself by burning fats instead of carbs, it releases a lot of ketone bodies. These molecules are totally natural, but they can make any bodily fluids and cavities a bit more pungent.
Another explanation and one that has been expressed by many doctors is that keto crotch is really the result of changing vaginal pH. "High-fat diets and fatty foods (fried anything, many processed foods) have, in some studies, been associated with increased risk for bacterial vaginosis," says Sara Twogood, MD, FACOG tells Bustle. "The reason is unclear, but I suspect women who eat high fat diets are missing out on some beneficial nutrients which help regulate bacterial health."
Keto Crotch vs. Vaginal Infection
This leads us to our next point — how to tell the difference between keto crotch and something more serious. Another gripe keto dieters have is that the eating regimen has caused a rash on their crotch. There's no consensus in the medical community that any aspect of the keto diet would cause this, so it's important to check with your doctor if you're suffering from this skin condition or notice any unappealing scents coming from down there. It's very possible that your "keto crotch" is actually a sign of a vaginal infection.
The good thing about keto crotch — if you can really call it that — is that any embarrassing odors should go away within a few days. If you notice any lingering smells, you may want to get to see your doctor.