What causes vaginal discharge to smell?
Healthy discharge shouldn’t smell at all. However, if your discharge does smell, your vagina could be trying to tell you that something is wrong down there.
If your discharge has a fishy smell, you may have Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). BV is a common cause of unusual discharge. It not only makes the discharge smell, but it can also turn it an off-white or grey colour with a thin and watery texture. It
can usually be treated with antibiotic tablets or creams and gels, so speak to your doctor about your options.
Other reasons for foul smelling discharge can include Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Gonorrhoea or Chlamydia.
Smelly discharge doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything scary going on down there. It could also be a result of stress, excessive sweating or even the foods you eat.
How to prevent smelly discharge
If you’ve noticed that your discharge is smelling more strongly than normal, you should go to your doctor to rule out any of the infections that we’ve mentioned above. If you’ve been given the all clear, there may be some things
you can do at home to reduce the smell and the amount of discharge.
For example, you should try to wear breathable material, such as cotton underwear. This will help you to stay dry throughout the day. You may also want to avoid wearing tight clothing, such as skinny jeans. Instead, you could try floaty skirt
or loose-fitting cotton trousers.
When you’re in the shower, avoid using scented soaps. You might think these will help to mask the smell, but they could make the discharge worse. This is because the soap strips the naturally occurring fluid away from your intimate area,
which will begin to produce more to make up for the fluid that has been lost. Instead, use a mildly fragranced, colourant-free feminine wash that will help to rebalance your natural pH.
Never try to mask the smell by applying deodorant to that area. The intimate area is very sensitive, and these products may make the situation worse.