vaginas are supposed to smell. There’s good bacteria down there working hard to make sure your vagina stays healthy, and it’s common for vaginal odor to vary during your menstrual cycle or even after eating certain foods.
The question isn’t really whether your vagina smells. It’s more a question of, “What exactly does your vagina smell like?” Does your discharge smell bad, but not fishy? Or does it smell yeasty? Your natural vaginal aroma is nothing to worry about, but if it smells off or like something you’re totally not used to, then a trip to the gynecologist is a good idea.
Your breath isn’t the only thing that can be affected by a garlicky meal or a strong cup of coffee —fragrant foods can change your vaginal odor, too. As anyone who’s peed after eating asparagus can tell you, certain foods can cause some funky smells as they make their way out of your body. That doesn’t mean you should skip your favorite foods — just wash them down with plenty of fluids.
While we don’t really want to compare vaginas to armpits, the thing is, they can both get a little funky after a cardio sesh. “That area’s probably not going to be too pleasant after an intense workout, the heart-healthy benefits of exercise far outweigh any worries about vaginal odor, and it’s nothing a quick rinse can’t fix. “Even for people who have a strong odor after a workout, a shower should get things back to normal.
Your vagina does contain a small amount of yeast. But if it starts smelling like a bakery down there, something might be wrong. This could be a sign of a yeast infection, especially when it is accompanied by white and clumpy discharge. A yeast infection can be caused by hormones, antibiotics, certain cleansers, or anything that throws off the gentle balance of fungus and bacteria in your vagina. The infections are typically easily treatable with an anti-fungal medication, so if you have any of the symptoms, call your doctor.
If you’re smelling a metallic odor down there, it probably just means you’re on your period. Blood contains iron, so the smell often accompanies that time of the month. The smell should pass once your flow is finished.
Most vaginal odors aren’t anything to worry about, so as long as a shower clears thing up, you’re probably good to go. But to help prevent odors in the future, wear breathable underwear. “The more breathable fabrics you’re wearing, the less you notice [odors] because you’re able to get some air flowing in there.