How To Manage Vaginal Odor After 50
While itâs normal for your vaginal smell to change as you age, there are ways to minimize the odor.
Wash your outer genital area. Use a mild, unscented soap to wash the outside of your genital area. This should be done regularly during baths or showers.
Avoid douching. Douching is unhealthy for your vaginaâs bacteria levels. A healthy vagina needs bacteria and yeast. Douching eliminates all good bacteria and upsets the balance.
Take a probiotic. Probiotics help balance your bodyâs bacterial ecosystem. This can be a good start at managing your vaginal smell. However, you should talk to your doctor about other products that can help.
Estrogen therapy. Your bodyâs estrogen levels postmenopause will reduce. Taking estrogen will alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause.
Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy . This is a combination therapy that uses estrogen and progesterone. Boosting hormone levels can balance out your vaginal health.
When To See A Doctor
Its always a good idea to see your doctor if youre experiencing unusual changes in your vaginal health. Brown discharge after your period isnt usually a cause for concern, but you may want to see your doctor if you have any other symptoms, such as pain and itchiness.
You should also call your doctor if you notice any of the following:
- colored discharge, especially yellow and green
- bleeding that lasts longer than normal
- redness and swelling around the vulva
- severe cramps or pelvic pain
- pain during intercourse
Period Smells Like Death
Your period can produce an odor, which may even be different month to month.
Some women report that their period smells like death, though this isnt necessarily a cause for concern. The strong smell is likely due to the blood and tissues exiting the vagina along with bacteria. Its normal for the vagina to have bacteria, though the amount can fluctuate.
The resulting rotten smell from bacteria mixed with menstrual flow shouldnt be strong enough for others to detect. You might be able to control such odors by changing pads and tampons frequently, especially during heavy-flow days.
A rotten smell can occur when a tampon is left in for too long or forgotten. This can happen at the end of a period, when you dont have to insert a new tampon as often and you have no further bleeding. If youre concerned that you may have forgotten to remove a tampon, try to feel at the opening of your vagina for the strings. If you cant feel them, see your doctor for a vaginal exam to confirm.
If your period smells and you notice unusual symptoms, see your doctor. There could be something else going on.
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When Your Discharge Reeks Of Rotten Eggs
Sometimes, its tough to pinpoint unpleasant odors. Do your panties smell like garbage or rotten eggs?
Regardless of how you describe the stench, a rotten smell often points to some kind of decay or infection.
Heres how to identify the source:
- First, check for a forgotten tampon, sponge, or other foreign objects.
- Next, see if the smell dissipates with a simple wash or pad change.
- If your flow still reeks, call your doc. Rotten odors typically indicate a medical problem like BV or an STI.
When To See Your Gynecologist About Vaginal Odor
Its the particularly stinky vaginal odors you need to pay attention to and bring to your doctors attention, especially when those odors are accompanied by:
- Vaginal discharge that is an unusual color or consistency
- Bleeding not associated with your period
- Vaginal swelling
- Genital rash or redness
If you notice any of the symptoms above with an abnormal vaginal odor, its in your best interest to contact your doctor and schedule an appointment. You might even be able to schedule avirtual care visit with your provider!
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How To Prevent Vaginal Odor After Period
Maintain personal hygiene by bathing regularly and trimming pubic hairs. Change sanitary pads and tampons frequently.
Dont wear tight pants or tight underwear. This will help vagina breathe easily. Tight clothes irritate the vagina, thereby, increasing the smell from the vagina. If tight clothes or jeans are worn regularly, they may lead to excessive vaginal sweating, which in turn triggers bacteria build-up, thereby leading to unpleasant smells.
Use cotton panties as they help in preventing the infection from spreading.
Pass urine after having sex as it removes bacteria from inside and outside the vaginal canal. If not removed, bad bacteria can move up to bladder leading to infections.
To prevent spreading of bowel bacteria it is recommended to wipe from front to back.
What Is Vaginal Odor
Vaginal odor is the smell that your vaginaand usually your dischargegives off. A certain amount of vaginal odor is normal, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists . But if the odor is strong and noticeable, its possible that you have an infection or other problem, ACOG says.
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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.
How Can I Improve The Smell Of My Period Blood
First of all, if you’re worried about the smell of your period, check in with your doctor to make sure there are no infections going on. Once you’ve eliminated the chances of any infection, there are many things that you can do to try and reduce the smell of your period blood.Here are a few tips:
- Change your period protection frequently. Depending on your flow, how often you need to change will be different, but you can experiment and see what works for you.
- If you wear tampons, make sure you don’t leave them in too long this will stop bacteria from building up, which will help keep smells to a minimum and also stop you from getting toxic shock syndrome.
- Making sure you keep on top of your hygiene by washing often, using a gentle bar soap around the area between your legs. The vagina itself is self cleaning, so letting the water just run over the inside is more than enough. Avoid using perfumed soaps or body washes the scents and chemicals may upset your vaginas natural pH.
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Myth #: You Cant Get Pregnant When Youre On Your Period
The Truth: Au contraire, friend. Despite the popularity of this myth, its simply not true. Some people believe that you cant get pregnant on your period because your uterus is shedding its inner lining, which is your bodys way of saying, No baby in here!
While the average length of a menstrual cycle is 28 days, many women have cycles that last between 21 and 35 days. Ovulation also varieswomen with a longer cycle of 35 days might ovulate around day 21, while those with a shorter cycle of 21 days are likely to ovulate around Day 7. See where were going with this?
Whether you have a long or short cycle, the egg you release during ovulation can live for between 12 and 24 hours. Sperm can live for about 3 days. In a nutshell, the closer you are to the end of your period, the more likely you are to get pregnantespecially if you have a shorter cycle since there is less time between menstruation and ovulation. Even if you have a longer cycle, youre still at risk of getting pregnant. If youre not on birth control and not ready to start planning play dates, make sure your partner wears a condom.
A Little Bit Of Funk Is Normal
Even though our vaginas are self-cleaning wonders, theyâre not designed to smell like a spring meadow or a tropical cocktail – a faint scent of tang or sweat is totally fine and healthy. A well-balanced vagina will have a pH of 3.8 to 4.5., helped along by tiny bacteria called lactobacilli. Usually, it maintains a balance between vaginal yeast and bacteria, but the exact odor and pH can vary.
âA lot of things can change the vagina from being acidic to being more alkaline,â says Melisa Holmes, MD, ob/gyn and cofounder of Girlology. Those things include âsemen, blood, lubricants, and any washes or liquid that you might put in your vagina.â
Sometimes vaginal odor can smell like beer or bread, which have that same helpful bacteria. Your vagina can smell slightly sweet if youâve just eaten lots of citrus fruits, or slightly bleachy if youâre dehydrated. A vagina can smell slightly metallic if youâre at the beginning or end of your menstrual cycle. If a strong yeasty or sugary odor is accompanied by itching, burning, or a white discharge, you might have a yeast infection. Yeast infections can happen to anyone. No biggie! Just know the signs and symptoms, and confirm with your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment options.
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When Your Period Smells Like Death
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.
What Causes Vaginal Smell
Have you ever stopped to take notice of your vaginas smell, or how it can change from day to day? How your vagina smells could be a sign of whats going on down there and indicate that theres a problem. The vagina is home to billions of bacteria, but this bacteria can change on a daily basis. It is these small bacterial changes that could have an effect on your vaginas odour.
Weve taken a look at some common vaginal smells and the reasons for each one.
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Period Blood Smells And What They Mean
So what does period blood smell like normally? And what do the different smells mean? Heres a quick breakdown of the most common period blood smells and the common causes:Metallic: Similar to a copper coin, a metallic smell is typically caused by the presence of iron in your blood. This smell is the most common and isnt normally a cause for concern.Sweet: Some women have reported experiencing an almost sweet smell coming from their period blood. This is most often the result of your period blood reacting with the acidity of your vagina. Body Odor: Its not uncommon to notice the smell of your period blood closely resembles body odor, especially after exercising. In most cases, this smell is not actually coming from your period blood but the skin around your vaginal opening. Sweat released by glands in your genital area mix with bacteria on your skin to create strong odors similar to B.O.Fishy: Fishy smells may be a sign of infection. This smell often will persist after your period ends and may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as unusual-looking vaginal discharge, itching, burning, or tenderness in your genital area.Rotten: Period blood smells rotten when a foreign object has been left in the vagina for too long. Some objects, like tampons, can be removed at home, but if you cant locate the object or if it is stuck, medical assistance may be required.
Vaginal Odor: What Should My Vagina Smell Like
Your vagina is truly amazing. Its ecosystem works hard to keep a delicate, slightly acidic balance through changes like your period, sex, and ovulation. But sometimes vaginas get a little off-kilter. Do you have smelly discharge? Does your vagina smell fishy? How do you know if you have abnormal vaginal odor? Hereâs how to tell if your vaginal odor is something to worry about, or just part of your natural cycle.
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Vaginal Dischargewhen To See A Doctor
The volume of normal vaginal discharge varies in each person. Because of this, you have to compare for yourself and look at what your normal amounts of vaginal discharge are before, during and after your menstrual cycle. If there is a noticeable change in any of these from what you usually experience, then you should first suspect that it is abnormal discharge.
The texture or consistencyif this changes, you should see a doctor. Normal vaginal discharge is usually a clear or opaque mucus-like liquid, depending on the time of the month and your menstrual cycle. During the time before and after your period, it may be slightly thicker than normal. If, however, it has a noticeably thicker than normal consistency, possibly with a texture similar to wet powder or a milk paste, this could be a sign that it is caused by a fungus.
Vaginal Dischargewhats Normal And What Isnt
Having vaginal discharge is a normal part of being a woman. Just like our mouths salivate, a womans vagina has a certain amount of normal discharge, and every woman also has her own unique smellthis is perfectly natural and normal.
Vaginal discharge or leucorrhea is a fluid discharge that is expelled from a womans vagina. Generally speaking, this is nothing to worry about and does not signal any abnormality in the body. Unfortunately, however, there are many women who do experience abnormal vaginal discharge but do not go to a doctor to get it taken care of due to embarrassment.
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Reasons For A Coppery Odor
- Blood. Blood contains iron, which has a metallic smell. The most common reason for blood is menstruation. During your period, blood and tissue shed from your uterine lining and travel through your vaginal canal.
- Sex. Light bleeding after sex can be common. This is usually due to vaginal dryness or vigorous sex that can cause small cuts or scrapes. To prevent this, try using lube.
A coppery smell can also be due to less common, but serious, causes of vaginal bleeding. The metallic scent shouldnt linger too long after your period is over. If your vagina has had contact with semen, this may change the pH level and cause a metallic smell.
If youre experiencing bleeding unrelated to your period or the metallic smell continues with itching and discharge, its best to see a doctor.
When we say sweet we dont mean freshly baked cookies sweet. We mean robust and earthy. But dont fret, a sweetish tinge is no cause for concern.
Get To Know Your Bodys Smells
The best way to know whether a vaginal odor is normal? Simple: Smell your vagina a lot. Donât be afraid to get very familiar with your own body. Get to know the variations of your discharge at different points of the month. Youâll spend a lot less time worrying, and youâll know right away when somethingâs not right.
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What To Expect On This Page
A slight vaginal odor is considered normal. It may become more noticeable during certain days of the menstrual cycle or right after sex. Some foods may also change the odor of vaginal fluids. However, sometimes vaginal odor may be a warning sign of a serious health problemâespecially when it is accompanied by other signs and symptoms.
In this article, we have summarized the possible causes of abnormal vaginal odor, from the not-very-serious to the potentially deadly.
You will also learn:
- The signs and symptoms of various conditions that may cause abnormal vaginal odor
- What it smells like
- How soon it develops
- When to see a doctor
- How to minimize the odor at home
- When your partner needs treatment
- How serious it can be
How And Why Does Vaginal Odor Happen
There are a few things that might cause your vaginal odor to go awry:
It happensand probably more often than youd think, Lauren Streicher, M.D., a professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, tells SELF. Some people may put in a just-in-case tampon toward the end of their period and forget about it, dont remember that they already have one in before putting in a new one, or forget and have sex with one in and it gets pushed sideways into the back of cervix, she says. Every gynecologist has had the experience of a woman coming in with an odor, discovering it was a forgotten tampon, and feeling mortified, she says.
Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in people ages 15 to 44, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , and it happens when there is too much of certain bacteria in your vagina. This throws off the pH of your vagina.
Youve probably heard that eating pineapple or citrus fruits can make you smell sweeter down there, and that fried foods can make your vagina smell more strongly. I hear this all the time, but its all anecdotal, Dr. Streicher says. So theres no scientific evidence behind this, but experts have certainly heard of it happening before.
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