The vagina has a unique fragrance and many women feel self-conscious about the scent of their vagina. The pH of a healthy vagina is slightly acidic, between 3.8 and 4.5. The Lactobacilli bacteria keep the vagina acidic, this protects against an overgrowth of the bad kinds of bacteria and maintains a healthy vaginal atmosphere.
Several factors can affect the scent of the vagina including antibiotic use, douching, spermicide, new sexual partners, frequency of sex, and changes in hormone levels caused by pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause can alter your scent.
In addition, vaginal infections including yeast, bacteria, and sexually transmitted infections will change your smell down below, as will a forgotten tampon (due to the bacteria that set up shop there).
Switching up your diet might also make your vagina smell different. Certain foods disrupt the vagina’s delicate pH balance, which could lead to an odor that might be off-putting. According to experts, the worst offenders include garlic, onions, mint, turmeric, blue cheese, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, red meat, and vinegar. Smoking, alcohol, and not drinking enough water can also change things up down below, she says.
These factors and foods can not only cause a weird and offending odor but can also create other uncomfortable symptoms and make you unattractive to your spouse or partner.
According to Healthline, there are several aromas, scents, or odors a vagina can produce depending on the circumstance these include:
- Tangy or fermented: It’s very common for vaginas to produce a tangy or sour aroma. Some compare it to the smell of fermented foods. In fact, yogurt, sourdough bread, and even some sour beer contain the same type of good bacteria that dominate most healthy vaginas.
- Coppery like a penny: Many people report smelling a coppery, metallic vaginal odor. This is usually nothing to worry about. Rarely does it signify a more serious problem? Blood contains iron, which has a metallic smell. The most common reason for blood is menstruation. During your period, blood and tissue are shed from your uterine lining and travel through your vaginal canal. If you’re experiencing bleeding unrelated to your period or the metallic smell continues with itching and discharge, it’s best to see a doctor.
- Chemical like a newly cleaned bathroom: An odor similar to bleach or ammonia could be a couple of different things. Urine contains a byproduct of ammonia called urea. A buildup of urine in your underwear or around your vulva could put off a chemical smell. Keep in mind, urine smelling strongly of ammonia is a sign of dehydration. Sometimes, this odor is a reason to see a doctor.
- Fishy smell: You’ve probably heard an abnormal vaginal odor described as fishy. In fact, fresh fish shouldn’t smell like much at all. Decomposing fish is the more apt comparison. Trimethylamine is the chemical compound responsible for both the distinct aroma of rotting fish and some abnormal vaginal odors. Bacterial vaginosis can sometimes be responsible for these. Bacterial vaginosis can have this effect. This is the most common vaginal infection among females aged 15–44 years.
- Rotten like a decaying organism: A rotten odor that makes your nose wince and your face contort is definitely not the norm. If the smell is putrid, like a dead organism, it may not be your vagina but something in your vagina.
- Sweet like molasses: When we say sweet we don’t mean freshly baked cookies sweet. We mean robust and earthy. Your vaginal pH is an ever-changing bacterial ecosystem. And sometimes this means you might smell a little sweet.
6 Foods That Make You Taste Sweeter and Scent Better
As earlier stated, the type of food you consume can have a profound effect on how your vagina taste and smells. While some food can make your vagina repulsive, others can give it a fragrance that can improve your self-consciousness and confidence.
The 6 foods that make you taste sweeter and scent better are:
1. Cranberries: Cranberries are a popular superfood. People can consume them in the form of a sauce or juice. They can also add them to stuffing, casseroles, or desserts. These highly nutritious berries are also a staple of Thanksgiving dinner. The acidity and the high level of antioxidant proanthocyanidins (PACs) in cranberries help prevent certain bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls and, help reduce vaginal odor by discouraging bacterial growth, giving the vagina a pleasant aroma. Beyond fragrance, cranberries are the most commonly recommended natural medication for women with recurrent UTIs according to a 2016 review. Also, a 2014 study of 516 participants found that taking a capsule of cranberry extract twice per day reduced the incidence of UTIs.
2. Apples: Apples are an incredibly nutritious fruit that offers multiple health benefits. They’re rich in fiber and antioxidants. Eating them is linked to a lower risk of many chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. One phytoestrogen phloridzin found in apples is thought to promote better sexual function, arousal, lubrication, and the ability to orgasm. Decreased lubrication can alter Vaginal PH and create a very unpleasant and repelling smell in some people. Even though more research is still needed to better understand how apples affect human health, you can’t go wrong with this tasty, versatile, and easily accessible fruit.
3. Yogurt: Yogurt is nutrient-dense, containing high amounts of protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B-12. Women who eat yogurt regularly generally have a better overall diet quality than those who don’t consume yogurt, according to a study published in 2013 in “Nutrition Research.” Several specific benefits exist for women who regularly consume yogurt. Yogurt (specifically the dairy kind) is rich in probiotics, which support your immune system and improve digestive health by maintaining levels of ‘good bacteria in the gut. In terms of vaginal fragrance, yogurt that contains helpful bacteria may restore a healthy balance of yeast and bacteria in the vagina and improve health and fragrance. Lactobacillus releases hydrogen peroxide, which kills Candida, helping to combat a yeast infection that can sometimes create an unwanted odor.
4. Fenugreek: Fenugreek is an herb long used in alternative medicine. It’s a common ingredient in Indian dishes and is often taken as a supplement. Fenugreek seeds and powder are also used in many Asian dishes for their nutritional profile and slightly sweet, nutty taste. Fenugreek is a very beneficial food for women. According to studies, it stimulates sexual desire in women and is involved in the regulation of the menstrual reproductive cycle. In the case of menopausal women, fenugreek can reduce various discomforts like vaginal dryness, sexual dysfunction, hot flashes, sweating, sleep disturbance, mood swings, and depression. Fenugreek contains bioactive compounds called saponins that are likely involved in the production of a number of sex hormones, including estrogens and androgens. Women experiencing hormonal fluctuations can certainly experience changes in their body odor.
5. Avocados: Avocados are ample in healthy fats, vitamin B-6, and potassium — all of which have positive effects on your libido. Once called the “testicle tree” by the Aztecs, avocado has amazing benefits besides making breakfast all the tastier. In addition to providing potassium, antioxidants, fiber, and a range of key nutrients, the healthful monounsaturated fat in avocado has been shown to help boost levels of hormones associated with vaginal lubrication, strengthen vaginal walls and help you smell better down there.
6. Strawberries: The strawberry (Fragaria ananassa) originated in Europe in the 18th century. They’re an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese and also contain decent amounts of folate (vitamin B9) and potassium. Strawberries are very rich in antioxidants and plant compounds, which may have benefits for heart health and blood sugar control. Usually consumed raw and fresh, these berries can also be used in a variety of jams, jellies, and desserts. Strawberry’s substance is not just good for the taste buds, but also good and healthy for the vagina. The seeds in a strawberry contain a high level of zinc, which helps to improve both sexes’ sexual lives in various ways. Strawberries are bright red, juicy, and super sweet and can enhance the sweetness ‘down there’ if you change your diet to integrate strawberries and other fruits.
Is it bad to put fruit in your vagina?
Yes, is the simple answer because whole or parts of the fruits or food could become lodged inside the vagina resulting in a visit to the gynecologist. Produce, even well-washed produce, can harbor bacteria, bugs, and pesticides.