Why Do I Smell After My Period

A Word On Scented Products

Why Do My Period Blood Smell Like Fish and Death? (Remedies Included)

Beware of sprays, douches, soaps, wipes, and suppositories specifically marketed for vaginal odor. Using perfumes in such sensitive places could trigger infection or irritation.

Its totally normal for your period to smell a bit. But if the stench is strong and doesnt alleviate with a simple wash or tampon change you might have an infection.

Let your doctor know if you have any of these symptoms of a bigger problem:

What Causes Period Blood To Smell

Period blood can sometimes be a little smelly, but it may surprise you to learn that in most cases, your period isnt the one to blame. One of the biggest reasons why period blood smells is because it has to exit through the vagina, which is full of bacteria. While bacteria can be healthy and helpful, its also one of the main sources of unpleasant smells in the human body. Bad breath, body odor, stinky feet, and strong vaginal odors are all caused by odorants produced by resident bacterial flora. If you have an infection or a foreign substance like semen present in your vagina, it can disrupt your pH levels and cause strong odors to emerge.

A Tampon Youve Forgotten To Remove

Vaginal odour: very unpleasant

There have been instances of people seeking help for a bad vagina smell and finding its caused by a tampon thats been left in for days, sometimes longer, says Dr Rosén.

If this happens, the smell will get worse quickly and be extremely obvious and offensive so if youre experiencing vaginal odour that escalates, its always best to check.

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How To Get Rid Of The Smell

There are several ways you can do away with the sweet smell in your vaginal discharge. However, most of these methods will work only when you are sure it is not an infection or other issue but the natural odor of the vagina. They include:


When eaten on a daily basis, garlic will eliminate any yeast and bacteria that has grown out of hand. If the source of the smell is the microorganisms, it will be eliminated.

Hormonal birth control

Hormonal birth control is medication aimed at controlling the hormones since they are responsible for the change in the vaginal discharges and other things.

Watch your diet

Always a good thing to hear since watching your diet determines a lot in your body.

Reduce the amount of citrus fruits you eat and observe the changes.

Do nothing

At times, the smell comes and goes as is the case during ovulation and your period. It will go away on its own after a while.

Keep your hygiene simple

Use mild soap with clean water when cleaning your vaginal area and avoid douching or using wipes and perfumed products.

Taking a pregnancy test

If the sweet smell occurs about the time you expect your period, you should take a pregnancy test given that it could be a sign of a pregnancy.

Even when the result is negative, repeat the same a week after the date you expected to see your period especially if you missed the period.

What If My Vagina Smells Bad During My Period

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Some people still feel shame or embarrassment about their periods, and how it smells is no exception. But again, regularly cleaning yourself should ease your worry about vaginal odor during that time of the month.

âWhat most people think of as traditional period odor is actually body odor,â says Dr. Holmes. âYouâve got lots of crevices down there. Bacteria loves blood, sweat, and hair. So when blood gets caught in those crevices, it will start to smell.âDr. Holmes says pads are more likely to collect odor than tampons, so if youâre worried about vaginal odor, use the latter. Change both pads and tampons regularly, and clean your crevices regularly, too. âBlood doesnât even have an odor until it hits air,â Dr. Holmes says, so if a tampon smells foul or fishy right when itâs removed, you may have bacterial vaginosis or another underlying issue.

And if your vagina smells like rot, or as Dr. Holmes puts it, âreally strong and horrible like something diedâ? That almost always signals a forgotten tampon in the vagina, she says. If you donât have any other symptoms, and if youâre not squeamish and can reach it, you can even take it out yourself, but ask your doctor if you need help . If you start to feel any other symptoms besides the odor – like itching, burning, or fever – itâs definitely time to seek medical help. And for the future: You should only use a tampon for up to 8 hours!

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Can Everyone Smell When Im On My Period

Generally, your period wont be noticeable to others. If it is strong enough to be noticed through your pants, for example, its more likely that you have sprung a leak than anyone can smell anything through your menstrual care device. If you dont have a leak and a smell is still noticeable, you may have another infection and should go see your doctor about the issue.

Different Kinds Of Vagina Odors

While you may have already realized that your vagina has some sort of a scent, there are actually different types of vaginal scents depending on its state or condition.

Some of the scents appear to be normal, while some need to be consulted to your doctor immediately.

Among common vaginal whiffs include the following:

  • Musky odor
  • You may notice a musky smell especially after you just have sweated a lot. This is due to moisture that is released by your sweat glands around your vaginal area. Therefore, make sure to shower after an intense workout and change into fresher clothes.

  • Fishy odor
  • If the scent increases post-coitus or it is followed by an abnormal discharge, the scent may be caused by a bacterial infection. In such cases, it is best to consult your doctor immediately.

  • Bleachy odor
  • Some women experienced having this particular scent. According to experts, this is due to the use of lubricants or condoms. On the contrary, theres no reason to be alarmed perhaps you may have to stick to unscented variants instead.

  • Metallic odor
  • This scent often occurs when you have your period. Normally, blood smells this way and mix with the vaginas natural state. No worries, though its normal. Make sure to wash your vagina thoroughly before changing pads.

  • Sweet odor
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    Bleeding Or Spotting 2 Weeks After Period

    Spotting 2 weeks after your period can be a sign of ovulation, which occurs about 10 to 14 days after the start of the menstrual period and is a result of sudden changes in hormone levels. However using birth control pills or IUD can also cause spotting around the middle of your cycle, especially in the first few months since you have started taking the pill or using IUD. This is because your body is adjusting to this contraceptive method.

    While spotting 2 weeks after period can be harmless, some conditions mentioned above can be more serious and can also cause spotting in the middle of your menstrual cycle. Therefore, if you experience other symptoms, such as lower abdominal or pelvic pain, vaginal itching or burning, or pain during intercourse, visit your doctor or gynecologist as soon as possible.

    Reasons For A Skunky Odor

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    • Emotional stress. Your body contains two types of sweat glands, apocrine and eccrine. The eccrine glands produce sweat to cool your body down and the apocrine glands respond to your emotions. These apocrine glands populate your armpits and, you guessed it, your groin.

    When you are stressed or anxious, the apocrine glands produce a milky fluid. On its own this fluid is odorless. But when this fluid contacts the abundance of vaginal bacteria on your vulva, it can produce a pungent aroma.

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    You Are On A Birth Control Pill

    Are you currently taking any birth control pill? Then it may be the reason you are spotting after your period. During the first few months on a pill, you may notice spotting sometimes. As your body adjusts to these synthetic hormones, it usually stops by the 3rd to 6th month. Therefore, any spotting on the pill may not be a problem just yet.

    Do you feel heavy bleeding with blood clots? Then is important to contact your healthcare provider.

    This Is Why Your Period Smells

    Popular vagina myth-busting ob-gyn Dr. Jen Gunter has an amazing saying: “It’s a vagina, not a piña colada!” The point being, your vagina doesn’t need to smell or taste fruity â or really, like anything else besides a vagina.

    Video of the Day

    That includes when you’re on your period. Because you may notice that, like your vagina, your period has an odor. And you know what? Most of the time, that’s actually A-OK.

    Here, Taraneh Shirazian, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn with NYU Langone, breaks down different period smells and their meanings.

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    Treatment For Foul Smelling Discharge

    The treatment for foul smelling discharge depends on the cause, and so the gynecologist may prescribe antibiotics, antifungal medication or creams to be applied directly on the vagina.

    It is important to note that the duration of the treatment depends on the severity of the health issue and the type of discharge. Additionally, the partner may also need treatment and gynecologists generally recommend that sexual contact should be avoided until the infection has disappeared.

    Sweet Scent In Discharge After Period

    Why Does Period Blood Smell?

    When your period comes to an end, the level of acidity in the vagina will once again go up. This decrease in the pH levels works in favor of the healthy bacteria lactobacillus and against the yeast present in the vagina.

    The bacteria, being of the same family as those found in yogurt, will lead to the sweet smelling discharge from the vagina.

    Again, if there are no symptoms of a disease, you shouldnt worry about it since the increase in the acidity of the vagina is what you need.

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    Tips For Masking Menstrual Odor

    Masking menstrual odor is easier than you might expect, especially when you have help from the experts at Moody Sisters. Freshen up your hoo-ha with the Feminine Cleansing Wash, with ingredients that are safe for your most intimate places. This pH balanced cleanser is formulated with witch hazel, amber extract, several essential vitamins, and scents like lavender and tea tree, so you have a perfectly clean punani after every shower.

    For those on-the-go moments when you need to do away with dirty period odor, youve got to get your hands on the Moody Sisters Vaginal Cleanser Feminine Spray. Compact enough to carry everywhere, our feminine spray fits neatly in your gym bag, backpack, or purse. The formula is gentle enough to also double as a diaper solution. Swap out expensive baby wipes, and spritz your babys booty with our cleanser spray instead. This gentle, aloe-based solution is mild enough to use regularly. Backed by dozens of five-star reviews from satisfied customers, youll want this best-seller to be a regular part of your routine.

    In addition to stocking up on these natural vaginal cleansers, here are 4 simple steps to reduce period smells:

    Different Types Of Vaginal Odor

    While there is some variation with normal vaginal odor, smells that are a tip-off that something is wrong can generally be divided into three camps: fishy odors, zoo-like smells, and yeasty scents.

    If youre dealing with a fishy scent

    It could be a sign of bacterial vaginosis. B.V. messes with the pH of your vagina and can create a bad, fishy odor in the process. But a fishy smell can also be a sign of trichomoniasis, the CDC says. Thats why its important to rope in your doctor for help figuring out whats going on.

    If it smells like a literal zoo

    It could be due to a forgotten tampon, and unfortunately, it really, really stinks. A forgotten tampon causes the absolute worst vaginal odor, Dr. Streicher says. The smell is usually caused by old blood, which has a bad, zoo-like scent when it oxidizes, Dr. Shepherd says. It can also change the pH of your vagina , allowing it to become a breeding ground for different bacteria or an infection. While having a tampon lodged in your vagina stinks , its luckily easy to remove during a visit to your gynecologist.

    BTW: If the smell is musky but not overpowering, it could simply be due to hanging out in sweaty workout clothes too much, Dr. Dweck says.

    If it smells like bread

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    When Should I Seek Treatment For Abnormal Vaginal Odor

    Vaginal issues are one of the most common reasons women seek medical care. If you are experiencing prolonged abnormal vaginal odor, or odor accompanied by discharge, burning and itching, you should seek medical care. Untreated vaginitis can lead to vaginal infections that can spread to the uterus or fallopian tubes. The risk of contracting STDs is also higher for women with vaginitis.

    You should especially seek medical care if you are pregnant. Pregnant women with vaginitis or vaginal odor are at higher risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, infection of amniotic fluid and other risk factors.

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    What Changes To Expect As You Age

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    As you get older, your estrogen levels decrease, causing an imbalance in your pH levels.

    But, when hormones change during menopause, you may experience changes to how your vagina feels and smells. This includes:

    Vaginal irritation. Itching and burning in your vagina can happen because of all the hormonal changes your body is going through. To relieve this discomfort, you can try vaginal lubricants and creams, estrogen cream, and natural oils like jojoba or coconut.

    Dryness. This can happen when your vaginal secretions are decreased. It can also make sexual intercourse painful or uncomfortable. You can ease these symptoms with lubricants and gels.

    Inflammation. This can cause infection or pain when urinating. If you have an infection, you may notice an overwhelming unpleasant vaginal odor. You may need to see a gynecologist to get antibiotics for your infection.

    Discharge with bad odor. This odor may seem different and unpleasant to you. This happens when your vaginal alkalinity increases. A changing pH level in your vagina is normal during and after menopause.

    If you have concerns about your changing vaginal smell or overall health, its best to consult with your gynecologist. They can help guide you through these changes and prescribe products that can ease your symptoms.


    A vaginal discharge is not normal when it:

    • itches or irritates

    It is also not normal to have:

    • bleeding between periods
    • uncomfortable or painful sexual intercourse
    • lower abdominal pain.

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    Should I Use Douches Wipes Or Feminine Sprays

    No. Douches, feminine sprays, deodorants, and wipes that are meant to keep a woman’s vaginal area smelling fresh and clean can do more harm than good. Douching means washing out the vagina, usually with a product you buy in a store. But it’s not a good idea to douche . Douching can cause allergic reactions, irritation, and even infections.

    Feminine sprays, deodorants, and scented tampons aren’t a good idea either. As with douching, they can lead to things like allergic reactions and irritation. Your vagina has its own natural cleaning system that flushes out bacteria, so you don’t need to add any chemicals to help it.

    Smells caused by infections need to be treated with prescription medicines. Perfumed sprays don’t make infections go away, they just cover up the smell for a short time. If you notice a bad smell or think you may have an infection, see a doctor or go to a health clinic right away.

    It’s easy to keep your vagina clean without making it smell like a flower shop. You just need to shower or wash every day with a mild soap and plenty of warm water. Some girls like to take warm baths during their periods to help relieve cramps.

    Skunky Like Bo Or A Smoked Herbal Earthy Scent

    No, its not just you. Many people find a similarity between body odor and marijuana. Sadly, there isnt a good scientific answer for this, although Vice did take a stab at it. But thanks to the sweat glands down there, at least we do know why vaginas and body odor can smell so similar.

    When you are stressed or anxious, the apocrine glands produce a milky fluid. On its own this fluid is odorless. But when this fluid contacts the abundance of vaginal bacteria on your vulva, it can produce a pungent aroma.

    Also Check: How To Have Sex On Period

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    Trichomoniasis Or Other Stis

    A fishy vaginal odor could potentially arise if youve contracted an STI like trichomoniasis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, it affects 3.7 million people across the United States.

    Also known as trich, it occurs when a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis is transmitted during intercourse. Anyone can get it, and it presents symptoms such as genital itching and painful urination and intercourse. If you have trichomoniasis, you may detect a fishy vaginal odor, frothy yellow-green discharge, and vaginal soreness and swelling.

    However, only 30 percent of people with trichomoniasis display any symptoms. Thats why its crucial to get regular STI screenings if youre having sex with different partners. Please do not attempt to diagnose or treat trichomoniasis at home. If ignored, it can create serious complications like pelvic inflammatory disease or preterm birth if youre pregnant.

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