Menstrual Product Left In Or On Too Long
If you’ve left your tampon, pad, or menstrual cup in for too long, you might notice an overpowering smell of blood.
How often should you change your menstrual products? Well, that can depend on the products you prefer:
- Pad: Every four to eight hours, or as needed
How to treat it: Changing your menstrual products on time can reduce unwanted odors and help lower your risk of urinary tract infections, STIs, and toxic shock syndrome.
Getting Rid Of The Menstrual Cup Smell
by Laura U. | Feb 21, 2020 |
Have you noticed an odor coming from your menstrual cup? The truth is, if you use your cup at all, theres a risk that you could end up with a stinky menstrual cup on your hands. While a menstrual cup smell doesnt necessarily mean theres anything wrong with your cup , it can be annoying. The good news is, there are some steps you can take to make sure that your cup stays sparkling clean and smelling nice even after years of use, and its really not that hard to do!
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When Could Brown Discharge Be The Sign Of A Problem
Brown discharge can be a sign of a problem when its accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain, itching, and a strong odor. Changes to your menstrual cycle, such as missed periods or irregular periods, or heavy periods could also indicate a problem.
See a doctor if youre worried about your discharge or have a lot of it. Also see a doctor if you think you might be pregnant or have other concerning symptoms, such as:
- pain or cramping
- burning sensation when you pee
- a strong odor
- severe vaginal bleeding
If you dont already have an OBGYN, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
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What Does A Fishy Vaginal Odor After Sex Mean
A fishy vaginal odor after unprotected sex isnt unusual as long as the smell is subtle and goes away after bathing.
Just be on the lookout for other symptoms like itching or burning brought on by the mixture of vaginal discharge and sperm. Furthermore, if the smell lingers or becomes stronger, it may point to BV or an STI.
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What Others Have Experienced
I noticed that there was a brownish fishy-smelling discharge after period. It was gone after the 4th day. To minimize it, I bathed regularly, used warm water and mild soap to wash the vaginal area. I passed urine immediately after sex. I avoided using scented feminine products and douches in the vaginal area.
I have been having a smelly vaginal discharge for the past 4 months after my periods. I like to use more natural remedies. Last month, I decided to sit in some warm water bath with ½ a cup of apple cider vinegar in it. I sat for 2 hours and the smell and discharge has gone.
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Sitz Bath With Stryphnodendron Bark
Stryphnodendron is a plant that fights infections and helps with healing. Therefore, it can be used to complement treatment for infections like gonorrhea and bacterial vaginosis.
- 2 tablespoons of Stryphnodendron bark
- 1 liter of water
How to prepare
Boil 1 liter of water and add the Stryphnodendron bark. Allow this to boil for 10 minutes and turn off the stove. Allow this infusion to cool, then strain and pour into a basin. When the temperature is comfortable to touch, sit in the basin and carefully cleanse the entire genita area until the water cools. You can do this sitz bath once a day for 3 days.
Eat Garlic Or Use It Locally
Raw garlic is a useful food that contains antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is also a source of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants that balance intestinal flora and strengthen the immune system. Therefore, it is a great natural remedy to help with the treatment of bacterial vaginosis.
It is possible to be capsules of raw garlic oil in pharmacies or natural health stores. The dose and time to take these capsules can vary, but generally you are advised to take 600mg per day for 12 weeks before meals.
Another way to use garlic for treatment of foul-smelling odor is to insert a clove of garlic inside the vagina before going to bed, and removing it in the morning. You can do this for 7 days as directed by your doctor.
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Steam Or Boil Your Cup Before And After Your Period
Before and after each period, we recommend sanitizing your menstrual cup by steaming or boiling it. You can boil it on the stove for 2-10 minutes. Or, to make sanitizing your menstrual cup easier, we created our menstrual cup steamer. The steamer sits right on your bathroom counter and sterilizes your cup in just three minutes!
What Can I Expect If I Have Vaginitis
Vaginitis is uncomfortable, but finding the cause and the right treatment can bring you relief. If chemical irritants are causing your vaginitis, you can improve your symptoms by avoiding the offending lotion, detergent, spray, etc. Bacterial and antifungal medications may take up to two weeks to clear your infection. Antiviral medications for viral vaginitis cant cure the virus, but they can cause your symptoms to go away faster. Getting the right diagnosis and treating all causes of your vaginitis is key when it comes to relieving your symptoms.
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Use The Power Of The Sun
It may sound strange, but the suns UV rays have antibacterial properties. Leaving your cup in bright sunlight for a few hours can help remove the smell from a period cup and even bleach light stains. Just make sure its not at the hottest time of the day so the heat doesnt compromise your cups integrity.
What Can I Do About My Post
Hey, at least it’s normal.
Sometimes there aren’t enough showers or fresh undies in the world to fix that post-period funk. Why? Because the odor has nothing to do with hygiene, says Lauren Streicher, M.D., Medical Director of the Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause. Your period blood is actually to blame.
Here’s the deal: The vagina requires a low pH in order to be inhabited by healthy bacteria. Period blood has a high pH, which can tip the balance and allow bad bacteria to move in, pushing out the kind you want, Streicher says.
So, what’s a girl to do? Instead of using perfume to mask the smell , Streicher tells her patients to try RepHresh’s Odor Eliminating Gel after their period, which helps the good bacteria flourish.
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How To Get Rid Of Menstrual Period Odor
Menstrual odor is usually mild and not detectable by those around you. Still, occasionally it may be strong enough to become problematic, and you need to take steps to eliminate it. If no infection is present, this means just a few simple changes in your menstrual routine. If infection is present, your doctor can help you clear up the infection and the odor.
Get acquainted with your natural smell. It’s not normal to have strong menstrual period odor, but it’s also not normal to have zero odor. When blood comes in contact with air, it takes on its own scent.This scent is usually mild enough that others can’t smell it through your clothes, but you’ll be able to smell it when you use the bathroom or change your clothes. Your own menstrual scent is normal and you shouldn’t aim to have a completely scent-free period.
Take a bath or shower, even if you’ve already bathed that day. It could just be that some menstrual fluid is hanging around due to a heavy or thick flow. Wash thoroughly to remove any fluid. Bathe regularly to prevent future odors of this type.
Change your pad often. According to the Eastern Carolina University Family Practice Center, you should change your pad or tampon every three to four hours 2. The more blood that collects in one place and comes into contact with air, the stronger your odor will be. Changing your sanitary product often prevents this problem.
Our Top Tip For An Odour
Go for breathable underwear that is moisture-wicking, allowing the area to breathe and stay cool. Switching from pads and tampons to our breathable period underwear will also give you longer-lasting protection, as they absorb your menstrual flow whilst keeping you dry all day long. Why not try our best-selling period pants?
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Why You Shouldnt Soak Period Underwear
Someone asked this in the comments section and its a great question so I wanted to update this post to answer the question!
From what we know about washing, it seems like soaking period underwear would be a good way to wash it, but its actually not! Rinsing the underwear and squeezing the deposits under running water until the water runs clear is much more effective. Soaking does not necessarily remove all the gusset deposits fully.
Furthermore, Modibodi says soaking period underwear can actually cause can cause the thinning down and effect the efficiency/function of the antimicrobial treatment.
And if left soaking for more than a few hours, your underwear can end up smelling mildewy and musty.
Long story short, try not to soak your period underwear!
If youre not ready to wash your period underwear straight away after rinsing them, dont worry, just leave them hanging somewhere like the laundry, until youre ready to wash them.
How Dangerous Abnormal Vaginal Odor Is
Again, the cause of abnormal vaginal odor determines whether you may develop serious health complications and your prognosis.
For instance, if left untreated, genital infections in pregnant women may result in preterm childbirth . If the abnormal vaginal odor is caused by cancer, the consequences may be as serious as death. That is why it is strongly recommended that you see a doctor for examination and testing and get the correct diagnosis.
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When Your Period Smells Like Death
Consider what a period actually is blood and tissue from your uterus. So, sometimes itll have a vaguely metallic odor, especially when mixed with sweat or bacteria from your nether regions.
Normal. If your period smells like its a little beyond the grave, that might be normal for your body. But that odor shouldnt be strong enough for folks around you to sniff out. And it should be easy to remedy with a fresh pad or tampon.
Not normal. If your flow smells like something crawled inside you and died, the culprit is probably a forgotten tampon. Neglected tampons are surprisingly common, especially at the end of your period.
Good news: Its likely an easy fix. Feel around for the strings or use a clean finger to fish around your vagina.
If the tampon is stuck, or you cant find the source of the stench, call your gyno and request a same-day appointment.
Check If Your Vaginal Discharge Is Normal
Vaginal discharge is not usually anything to worry about if it:
- does not have a strong or unpleasant smell
- is clear or white
- is slippery and wet
You can get vaginal discharge at any age.
The amount of discharge varies. You usually get heavier discharge during pregnancy, if you’re sexually active or if you’re using birth control. It’s often slippery and wet for a few days between your periods .
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Prevent Or Remove Menstrual Cup Smell With Deep Cleaning
If youve noticed that your menstrual cup has a weird smell, or if you just want to prevent it from smelling in the future, make sure to keep your cup sparkling clean. Its really important to take good care of your cup and keep it clean at all times, and this will help decrease the likelihood of any unpleasant odors.
We recommend deep cleaning and sanitizing your cup before and after each period, and giving your cup a quick rinse when you change it at least once a day. This will dramatically reduce the likelihood of unwelcome smells.
Brown Discharge After Period And Cramps
If you experience brown discharge and cramps after your period, it could be caused by PCOS or early pregnancy.
Early miscarriage could also cause these symptoms. Sometimes the bleeding and cramps caused by miscarriage are mistaken for a period. The blood from a miscarriage can be red, but it can also be brown and resemble coffee grounds.
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Causes Of Abnormal Vaginal Odor
Abnormal vaginal odor could be due to a variety of different things. The cause may be very simpleâpoor hygiene, douching, vaginal deodorant, or sweating.
Sometimes, it is a result of a more serious health condition, such as a certain genital infections or cancer. Chlamydia and gonorrhea do not typically cause abnormal vaginal odor.
When Your Period Blood Smells Fishy
If you notice afishy smell during menstruation, this might indicate a problem that you need to see a doctor for. This smell is most often caused by bacterial vaginosis, which is a common infection that can cause periods to smell a lot stronger than normal.
Bacterial vaginosis is caused by too much bacteria in the vagina and your chances of getting BV can be increased by things like new or multiple sex partners and douching.
If you have BV you will probably also have other symptoms before, during, and/or after your period, including:
- A burning sensation
- Gray or white discharge when youre not on your period
Bacterial vaginosis is treated with antibiotics, and once this balances out the bacteria, you should no longer notice any unusual smells during your period.
If you have any of the above symptoms or feel like you might have bacterial vaginosis, be sure to make an appointment with your GP.
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How To Stay Clean And Smelling Fresh On Your Period
This article was co-authored by Carrie Noriega, MD. Dr. Noriega is a Board Certified Obstetrician & Gynecologist and medical writer in Colorado. She specializes in womens health, rheumatology, pulmonology, infectious disease, and gastroenterology. She received her MD from the Creighton School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska and completed her residency at the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 2005.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 16 testimonials and 82% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 525,884 times.
Many people feel self-conscious during their menstrual cycle, but menstruation is a natural process. Read on to learn about proper hygiene during your period to avoid feeling self-conscious.
Switch To A Birth Control Pill That Gives You A Regular Period
Some women like the convenience of only dealing with having a period a few times per year. They pay a price for not dealing with menstruating each month though, in that the flow they get can have a stronger odor than one that is shed more regularly. Switching to a different type of birth control can be a solution to this period smell issue. Discuss the situation with your doctor to see if it will work for you.
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Can Other People Smell My Blood
Most of the time, although you may be able to smell your period, it shouldnt be strong enough for anyone else to pick up on. Periods are a natural part of life and nearly every person with a period will tell you theyve had a funky smell at some point or another so dont feel embarrassed!
However, if you notice the smell is very strong or if someone else does tell you that theyve noticed a smell, be sure to check in with your GP to make sure theres nothing serious going on.
Do All Periods Smell The Same
Not all period odors are created equal. It varies from person to person based on things like hygiene, body composition, diet, and lifestyle. While each individual is different, women popularly report the stench of decay, the funky smell of fish, or even a carton of rotting eggs. Stinky period smell is completely normal, and something that every woman suffers with, whether theyre willing to admit it or not.
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How Is Vaginitis Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will take a thorough medical history, complete a physical exam and swab the inside of your vagina to collect a fluid sample. They will send the sample off to a lab where the cells can be checked for signs of vaginitis. Your healthcare provider may check the PH levels of your vaginal fluid to get closer to a diagnosis.
Some providers may ask that you abstain from sex for 24 hours before your appointment.