The smell of vaginal discharge helps determine the health status. Read to find out what vaginal discharge that smells like vinegar indicates.
Vaginas have a distinct musky odor. The vagina of each woman has a unique odor. The odor is due to the different types of healthy bacteria present in the vagina. The odor is also affected by your nutrition, health status, hormones, and certain other factors.
A normal vagina has an acidic pH, and when this changes, it may cause potential infections. A slight amount of vaginal discharge, which is colorless or white, is also normal.
The glands in the vagina produce fluids to keep the vaginal moist and flush out dead cells and bacteria. The vaginal discharge is colorless or milky
white, depending on the time in your menstrual cycle. The smell of your vaginal discharge is stronger during ovulation and will smell metallic during menstruation.
Vaginal Discharge That Smells Like Vinegar
If your vaginal discharge smells like vinegar, it is quite common and healthy. Bacteria that cause fermentation in foods like yogurt or sourdough bread are good bacteria that dominate in a healthy vagina too.
Lactobacillus is a good bacteria present in fermented foods and is found in large numbers in your vagina. It helps fight off harmful bacteria, prevent infection and maintain the acidic pH in the vagina.
What Do Different Smells Signify?
1. Fishy Vaginal Odor
Bacterial vaginosis or the growth of harmful bacteria in the vagina can cause your vaginal discharge to have a fishy odor. This type of bacterial infection most commonly occurs in girls between the ages of 15-44 years. Additional symptoms like itching, burning, swelling of the vagina, vulva, and yellowish discharge may be present. Prescription antibiotics are the main treatment for this condition.
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause a strong sour or fishy odor in the vagina. Itching, burning, redness, soreness, and urinary discomfort may also be present. This infection is treated with antibiotics.
2. Bread or Beer-Like Odor
Yeast infection can cause your vagina to have a sweet or sour smell. Other symptoms include cheesy vaginal discharge, burning, itching, and dryness in the vagina. Candida is a type of fungus that causes vaginal candidiasis or yeast infection when it grows out of proportion in your vagina.
3. A Coppery or Metallic Smell
It is present just before or after your period. This is the smell of blood and it fades after a few days.
4. A Putrid Odor
Most often, it is due to a forgotten tampon. This causes an overgrowth of bacteria and a strong putrid odor. Remove the tampon immediately as the bacteria enter the bloodstream and cause the potentially fatal toxic shock syndrome.
5. Foul-Smelling Discharge
It can point to vaginal or cervical cancer. Consult your doctor immediately if the smell persists for a few days.
When To Seek Medical Opinion
Seek medical attention if the vaginal discharge changes in color, quantity and smells strongly unpleasant. Besides, if it is accompanied by fever, bleeding, itching, burning, swelling, pelvic pain, urinary incontinence or discomfort, pain during intercourse, or a genital rash, then it is necessary to seek medical advice promptly.
How To Mask The Smell In Public
Always maintain hygiene in your private parts. Plain water and gentle soaps are enough to keep the area clean. Avoid using soap on your vagina as it can alter the pH of the vagina leading to infections.
Avoid sweating and keep your intimate area dry, as moist environments favor bacteria and yeast growth. Always wipe your private part front to back to prevent fecal matter from the anus from entering your vagina.
Shower frequently, wear clean, dry, light-colored clothing and underwear made of cotton fabric, keep them comfortably loose and change them every day. Use gentle detergents to wash your underwear. Change menstrual pads frequently and, if possible, use internal menstrual devices as the odor is more prominent during menstruation. Avoid douching and the use of fragrant vaginal products. Avoid the frequent use of panty liners.
Urinating immediately after sexual intercourse helps flush out harmful germs. Using a condom during sex will help reduce odors that are prominent when semen and vaginal fluids come in contact.
Taking probiotics helps the growth of healthy bacteria in your body, including in your vagina. Avoid pungent foods like onions and garlic and consumption of alcohol. Include more fresh fruits and raw vegetables in your diet, as the smell of your vaginal discharge is also dependent on the kind of foods you consume. Avoid sugar as it feeds yeast and bacterial growth. Use sea salt and drink plenty of water.
These were some of the ways to prevent vaginal odor, which you can practice safely at home. Let us know your thoughts by way of the comments section.