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3 Smells "Down There" That You Shouldn't Ignore

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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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Fishy smell

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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.

Bread or beer-like smell

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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.

Out-of-the-ordinary smell

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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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