How to Keep Your Vag Clean and Smelling Good; The vaginal smell only becomes a bad thing if the smell is bad. Consequently, a woman may not have to worry if the smell coming from her vagina is not a bad one. The presence of bacteria in a vaginal canal can help to keep the organ clean and in order, which means that some of the bacteria in the vagina are actually good and healthy. The bacteria can keep the vagina as healthy as virtually all the healthy organs in the body. Bacterial imbalance or infections are some of the causes of bad vaginal odor. You should never delay in seeing a doctor to resolve this issue. If not, it will translate into something worse. The information below will teach you how to make your vagina smell normally and remain healthy and fresh.
What is a vagina?
The vagina is the female genital. It is a muscular, elastic canal that has a flexible, soft lining, which works to increase sensation and provide lubrication. As a genital, the vagina also provides an opening for the urethra; it represents the interior end of the urethra.
Furthermore, the vagina acts as a sex organ. It receives the penis during sexual intercourse. Additionally, the female menstrual flow passes through the vaginal to the outside world from the uterus. The vagina is also the opening via which the baby comes out during childbirth, which makes it the birth canal.
The narrow opening of the vagina is covered by what is called the hymen. It is usually found in women that are still virgin or have never experienced sexual intercourse before. Be that as it may, the hymen can be torn by exercise or sexual activity. It can also rupture.
Why does the vagina have a bad smell: Causes of vagina odor
1. Bacterial vaginosis
BV or Bacterial vaginosis is among the commonest reasons why the vagina produces unpleasant odors. Medical research is still ongoing about the possible causes of this condition. However, studies already show that the condition comes to the fore when the bad bacteria overpopulate the good ones in the vaginal canal.
The following are some of its most common symptoms:
- Itching in the vaginal area
- Burning sensation during urination
- Watery, gray or green discharge
- Foul or fishy vaginal smell
Nevertheless, many of the women having BV do not experience any side effect.
As hinted earlier, doctors do not have much idea about what causes BV. However, certain risk factors can increase the risk of developing BV. Some of these risk factors are highlighted below:
- Lack of lactobacilli bacteria: Lactobacilli bacteria are the good bacteria in the vagina. Overgrowth imbalance of bad bacteria can occur when there is a lack of lactobacillus, or they reduce in population.
- Multiple sex partners: Women who have multiple sex partners usually develop this problem. However, doctors do not know why this is so.
- Douching: The natural balance of the vagina can be upset by douching; this is a condition that can cause the overgrowth of bad bacteria.
Vaginal secretion can be examined to detect BV in the medical laboratory. The condition can also be treated with antibiotics.
2. Yeast infection
Women are the ones that suffer from yeast infection more than men. The infection can produce an uncomfortable smell in the infected women. This infection occurs when the woman has an overgrowth of vaginal yeast. Yeast infection can lead to the following, aside from the bad smell associated with it:
- Painful sex and painful urination
- Pain and itching in the vaginal area
- Thick, cottage-cheese-like discharge
Taking of antibiotics is one of the major causes of yeast infection since antibiotics will kill both good and bad forms of bacteria in the vagina, thereby allowing the yeast present there to propagate without any bacterial hindrance or competition. You can use antifungal drugs or medications to control and cure yeast infection.
Trichomoniasis is a popular sexually transmitted infection (STI), and it is caused by Trichomonas vaginalis, which is a common parasite. The infection is believed to have an incubation period between 5 and 28 days; no one can say specifically what the particular incubation period is.
Men infected by trichomonas vaginalis do not usually show any manifestation, unlike women that show symptoms like:
- Painful urination
- Vaginal itching
- Foul odor from the vagina
Common risk factors for trichomoniasis are:
- Unprotected sex
- Multiple sex partners
- Previous infection by Trichomonas vaginalis
- History of STIs
Metronidazole is the drug of choice for treating trichomoniasis; the patient is usually given a large dose of this drug. It is a potent antibiotic and it should be taken by both partners for improved effectiveness. Trichomonas can complicate pregnancy if it is not treated on time. Some of the pregnancy-related complications are:
- Infection transmission to the baby during delivery
- Low birth weight
- Premature delivery
Women who have trichomoniasis will almost always end up with HIV.
What you eat can determine your state of health and the way you smell in virtually all parts of the body, like your mouth, scalp, armpits and vagina.
5. Poor hygiene
You can equally have a foul-smelling vagina if you have poor hygiene. Failure to shower regularly or maintain a consistent dryness of the vagina can also cause the place to smell. Such unhygienic behaviors are simply inviting bacteria to the vagina, which will cause the place to smell.
You do not have to wash the vaginal area with soap or douche it to keep the area clean. Research has even shown that washing with soap can affect the bacterial balance and pH of the vagina, leading to irritation. You may not believe it, but the vagina can clean itself. You can keep the place healthy by simply washing with a little water.
Your vagina can smell if it gets sweaty. Sweat usually gets trapped in the vaginal area when you wear very tight underwear or clothing. If left unwashed, the accumulated sweat can cause the vagina to smell. Also, your vagina can smell when you engage sweaty workouts.
7. Hormone changes
The vagina can equally smell when you experience hormonal changes. During the normal menstrual cycle, the vagina will produce certain fluids, and strange smell can occur when there is a change in the quantity or identity of the fluids produced.
The uncomfortable smell of the vagina can equally occur at menopause. The level of estrogen reduces at menopause, and this will cause the thinning of the vaginal tissue, as well as a loss of elasticity.
Discharge that smells rather badly is a usual experience in women that are undergoing menopause. Topical estrogen cream prescribed by the doctor can help curtail the smell; you can go for the cream if the smell is bothering you.
8. Forgotten tampon
Furthermore, you can experience a smelly vagina when you leave a tampon in for too long. Irritation, itching and unpleasant smells can occur due to bacteria and old menstrual blood that accumulates on the forgotten tampon.
It is time to visit your gynaecologist if you suspect that the tampon is the cause of your vaginal smell. A forgotten tampon can only be removed by a doctor. The doctor will equally get you treated for infection after removing the tampon.
9. Vaginal cancer
Vaginal cancer is rare, but it is another cause of the vaginal smell. Cancer usually comes up in the vaginal canal and can also occur in the cells that line the vaginal wall or surface.
Vaginal cancer is rare as hinted earlier, but other types of cancer can metastasize or spread to the vagina. The following symptoms can come up in women that have vaginal cancer:
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Pelvic pain
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Watery discharge
Your personal preference and the level of progression of vaginal cancer can determine the particular treatment option to use. However, the most common methods of treatment adopted are:
The foul-smelling vagina can be caused by both vaginal and cervical cancers, but these are not common causes. However, you can rule out the causes by consulting your doctor.
10. Cervical cancer
Cervical cancer can form on the cells of the cervix, which is the inner part of the vagina. Usually, cervical cancer can be caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted infection.
The sound immune system in an average healthy woman can prevent the harmful outcome of HPV. However, the virus can remain dormant for several years in some women. In such situation, the virus can be part of the causes of cervical cancer.
In many women, cervical cancer does not show any symptom in the early stage. However, symptoms can occur in the advanced stage of the cancer, and some of the common symptoms are:
- Pelvic pain or pain during sex
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding after sex or between periods
- Bloody, heavy or watery discharge, with foul smell
The stage of the cervical cancer can determine the right choice of treatment. Other treatment-determinants are your personal preference and other health problems that you may have. The most common of the available treatment options are:
- A combination of the above methods
The doctor can perform hysterectomy, which is the complete removal of the uterus, for treating the cervical cancer if it is detected on time. However, hysterectomy will prevent future pregnancy. Be that as it may, cervical cancer can be prevented in its early stage via hysterectomy. It can also prevent a future occurrence of the problem.
Checking and avoiding the above causes of vagina odor can serve as effective medium on how to keep your vag clean and smelling good.
How to Keep Your Vag Clean and Smelling Good
You may require help to get rid of that unwanted vaginal odor occasionally. You can adopt any of the natural techniques below to get rid of that undesirable odor from the vagina. Such natural techniques which serve as best ways to keep your vaginal free from bad smell and keep it clean include:
1. Good hygiene very important
You can use mild soap and a washcloth to clean the external part of the vagina. The area may be exposed and get infected if you use loofahs. Dirt, sweat and dead skin around the vagina can be washed away when you cleanse the area. It is not advisable to use body washes or perfumed soaps on the vagina; this is because the natural pH of the vagina can get upset by the chemicals and scents in such soap. Instead of body washes or perfumed soaps, it is better to go for bar soaps since it is gentler than the former.
2. Be on the lookout for infectious diseases
Infectious diseases can cause serious vaginal odor. Examples of such diseases and infections are bacterial and yeast infections. They can also be caused by viruses like herpes, STDs and STIs. Internal rupture or some forms of cancer are some of the more serious problems that can lead to vaginal odor. Additionally, it is important to monitor your body for any sign of infection or illness. Never delay in visiting the doctor if you think the vaginal odor is not natural.
Find out if you have unusual vaginal discharge. Is the discharge chunky white, green or brown? These are clear signs of vaginal infections, and you should not delay in seeing the doctor immediately. Some vaginal discharges may be bad, but some other ones are healthy. Bear in mind, however, that a healthy vaginal discharge should not smell.
3. Deodorizing products must be used for an external purpose only
Perfumes or sprays should only be used on the external part of the vagina and not inside. Inserting these perfumes or sprays can cause an upset in the natural chemistry of the vagina, and this can lead to a greater problem.
4. Stop douching
You may think that douching (the attitude of flushing or washing of the vagina with fluid substances such as water and other fluids) is the right thing to do to keep the vagina clean. In the real sense of it, douching only cause an upset in the bacterial balance of the vagina.
The vagina can cleanse itself as hinted earlier. You will end up cause a big problem if you ever interfere with this natural cleaning routine.
5. Change underwear
It is time to switch to underwear made of 100% cotton from your polyester, silk or satin pant. Cotton can wick away the fluids and sweat produced by the vagina, and the material is also breathable. The natural bacterial level can also be upset by excess moisture, which can be prevented by wearing cotton pants.
6. Avoid hot tubs and hot baths
Many of the natural bacteria in your vagina and body can be killed when you expose your body to hot water in a hot bath. These bacteria you have killed are responsible for maintaining the delicate bacterial balance in your body.
7. Use a pH product
Over-The-Counter (OTC) products can restore vaginal pH to its natural state. You should see the doctor without delay if the odor grows worse or remains after applying the OTC product. The doctor may prescribe a different product for you or give you a stronger prescription as an alternative.
8. Essential oil can also help
There is no defined evidence to support the use of essential oil for treating vaginal odor. However, there is anecdotal evidence that vaginal odor can be eliminated using tea tree oil, which is a form of essential oil. Tea tree oil has natural antifungal and antimicrobial properties, making it reliable for eliminating or reducing bacteria and fungi. You should add just a few drops of the oil to water, mix it and apply about two drops of the mixture to the external part of the vagina. You can continue this procedure for about five days. You should discontinue if the symptoms get worse or remain unchanged.
9. Try RepHresh Pro-B Probiotic
This product is reliable for eliminating odors from the body of the female and can ensure the odor never comes back in the future. The product can equally maintain the balance of years and bacteria in the female.
The product is formulated for females only and promotes the growth of lactobacillus, which is a good bacteria.
How to Keep Your Vag Clean and Smelling Good: Prescription treatment
In observing the treatment relating to how to keep your vag clean and smelling good, the underlying causes of vaginal odor should be primarily checked. These underlying causes can also be eliminated by using prescription treatments. You might have to see your doctor if none of the OTC or home products worked as desired.