Why Does My Vagina Smell?

image001Feminine issues happen to most women, but even though they are common, it can still be embarrassing for those suffering from odor. It can make a woman feel gross and unclean when that is not the case at all. There are several reasons why the vagina may have an odor.

Causes of Vaginal Odor

1. Poor Hygiene

Women have many complicated parts and caring for them is not always easy to do. Your feminine odor may be nothing more than poor hygiene habits. Be sure wash the area carefully every day. Use soaps that are mild and have no fragrance. After using the restroom, wipe from front to back. Also, change underwear each day, even if you are not taking a shower.

2. Bacterial Vaginosis

This problem occurs when an overgrowth of bacteria occurs in the vagina. Vaginal discharge is the main symptom of the condition, but it can also cause vaginal odor. Many women do not have any symptoms. Other infections have to be excluded before treating bacterial vaginosis. Treatment includes gels to use on the vagina and oral antibiotics. Even after a successful treatment, this condition can recur.

Here is a video of home remedies for bacterial vaginosis.

3. Trichomoniasis

This is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by a parasite and can occur in men or women. Symptoms do not always show up when a person has the infection, but some to look for include a discharge from the vagina or urethral that looks green or like a froth, burning when you urinate, pain during sex and itching in the genital area. Diagnosis is made by indentifying the parasite during an exam of the area. Antibiotics are used to treat the infection and it may recur after treatment.

4. Vaginal Yeast Infection

A yeast infection in the vagina is caused by a fungus called candida. These infections usually cause burning, soreness, itching, vaginal discharge and pain during intercourse. Yeast infections can be spread between men and women. These infections can be treated with an antifungal medication that can be applied directly to the affected area or taken orally.

5. Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Chlamydia and gonorrhea, both sexually transmitted diseases, can cause a foul odor in the vagina. They are fairly common and easy to treat, but can cause serious health problems if they are not treated. Because they may or may not have symptoms, they go untreated. If you have painful urination or a puss-like discharge, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. To avoid these diseases, either do not have sex or use protection during intercourse.

6. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) begins as a sexually transmitted disease like gonorrhea or Chlamydia. It is an infection that affects a woman’s uterus, ovaries, womb and Fallopian tubes. When PID has symptoms, they could include fever, vaginal discharge, pain in the abdomen or pelvic area, pain during intercourse and painful urination. It can be treated by antibiotics and can cause serious health problems, such as infertility, if it is not treated.

7. Cervical Cancer

The human papillomavirus is the main cause of cervical cancer. This cancer occurs in the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Symptoms of advanced cervical cancer could be bleeding after intercourse, a bad smelling watery discharge from the vagina and pelvic pain. You may be at a greater risk of cervical cancer if you have several sexual partners, begin having sex at a young age, smoking, have a weakened immune system or if you have other sexually transmitted diseases. Depending on the stage of cancer, you may have several treatment options that include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

8. Vaginal Cancer

A cancer that starts in the vagina, or birth canal, is very rare. It is usually found in the cells that are on the surface of the vagina and can be treated easily if found in the early stages. During the early stages, you may not notice any symptoms. As the disease progresses, you may have unusual bleeding, painful urination, pelvic pain and constipation. Be sure to see your doctor if you have any of these signs. Doctors are not sure what causes cancer in the vagina but it may spread if not treated in time. There are 4 types of vaginal cancer depending on where the cancer began. Your risk of vaginal cancer goes up as you age, if you have ever been exposed to a drug that prevents miscarriage, if you have multiple sexual partners and smoking. If you are diagnosed with vaginal cancer, your doctor will suggest several types of treatment, such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.

9. Rectovaginal Fistula.

An unusual connection that can develop between your vagina and rectum is called a rectovaginal fistula. Because of this, you could pass stool or gas through your vagina if the contents of your bowels enter your vagina. Symptoms of a fistula can be embarrassing and can have an effect on intimate relationships and self-esteem. It is hard to talk to your doctor about this problem, but a rectovaginal fistulas need to be checked because most need surgery to be fixed. Some symptoms of a rectovaginal fistula are a discharge from your vagina that smells bad, recurrent infections, passing gas or stool from your vagina, painful intercourse or pain in the vaginal area. Several things can cause a fistula to form such as Crohn’s disease, cancer treatment in the pelvic area, or any surgery in that area.