Vaginal Odor

Many women are embarrassed by vaginal odor. I find it difficult to even sit alone in my darkened room and type the word “smegma.” But almost every woman will deal with this issue at some point in her life. Really, the natural state of the vagina is a little smelly, if you ask me. But there’s a normal, typical kind of smell, and then there’s an odor. And, if you are concerned with vaginal odor, it is that difference that you need to pay most attention to.

A change in vaginal odor may indicate a medical condition. Often, it can be a symptom of a bacterial infection, such as the “fishy” smelling bacterial vaginosis, or a yeast infection or sexually transmitted infection. Any of these can alter the natural smell of vaginal discharge. But, if you just have normal, run-of-the-mill smelly vagina, then there are a few things you can do about that, too.

Symptoms Beyond Vaginal Odor

If your vagina smells like Godzilla’s breath, it can be much more than just embarrassing. Sometimes it indicates some sort of infection, be it bacterial, viral or yeast. A change in discharge color/odor/amount, pain during urination or intercourse, pelvic pain, frequent urge to urinate, and a fever or rash can sometimes accompany a strange vaginal smell. If such is the case, you should see a doctor immediately…medical professionals will be able to help you diagnose the underlying issue that we can’t do here on the internet.

Best Ways to Get Rid of Vaginal Odor

Get rid of vaginal odor using good personal hygiene

We all get a little stinky sometimes. Really. It happens. But cleanliness can have a huge impact on body odor and vaginal odor in particular. Not only is it important to a healthy and fulfilling sex life, but it’s important to your friends, family, co-workers, and strangers passing on the street. I mean, maybe your dog won’t mind. But please, wash your vagina every day and after any sort of excessive friskiness. Avoid using floofy cleansers, like scented body soaps and stuff. Just use a plain soap with no added moisturizers or scents or dyes or flower chunks or scrubby things. Just use plain soap and clean water to remove smegma and the associated odor.

Wear loose cotton clothing to help eliminate vaginal odor

It may seem odd to you, but yes, the vinyl bloomers, leather g-strings, lace teddies, and synthetic material thongs aren’t the most healthy thing to cover your vagina. In fact, those constricting, airtight clothes can contribute to an odor problem. It appears to be a consensus between the experts that your vagina needs to “breathe.” And it can breathe best in natural, white cotton underwear (Amazon has a wide variety of choices). Save the fancy stuff for fancy occasions. The rest of the time, ditch the super tight, leather hip-huggers and go for something more natural. Avoid harsh dyes, added chemicals, and anything synthetic, like glitter. I had a bad experience with glitter there once.

Get rid of harsh chemicals for a healthy vagina

Harsh chemicals are all around us, and not all of them show Mr. Yuck’s green mug, either. Many products marketed to women, many to cover vaginal odor, may actually contribute to vaginal discomfort and can cause vaginal irritation, discharge, and odor. Tune out the marketing that promises “fresh summer breeze” anything or “twilight rain” whatever. That often translates to super harsh chemicals. Take a peek at your bath gels, soaps, shaving creams, laundry detergent, and any other chemical that comes close to that sensitive area. Just keep yourself clean and “breathing,” and a healthy vagina will keep a healthy smell.

Use a douche to get rid of vaginal odor

A vaginal douche can be an effective way for you to get rid of an unpleasant odor, but care must be taken. There can be negative side effects from using a douche, such as throwing off the PH balance of your vagina, flushing bacteria and other unwanted gunk from your vagina into your uterus or fallopian tubes, or wiping out the “good” vaginal bacteria and allowing the spread of “bad” bacteria. So first talk to your doctor. If your doctor recommends one, then by all means a douche can help you eliminate vaginal odor. Just make sure that you follow the directions closely and always make sure your douche is sterilized.

Eliminate vaginal odor by going to see your doctor

Vaginal odor and vaginal odor with discharge can be a symptom of a medical problem. All vaginas have an odor—it comes with the territory—but if this odor changes suddenly, is “fishy,” or is accompanied by discharge, abnormal bleeding or spotting, itching, burning, or pain, then you may have a medical problem. Your gynecologist or family physician can screen for infections, such as gonorrhea, yeast infections, bacterial infections, and others. Many tests are routine, basic, and critical to your sexual health. And, in the end, many of these infections have simple cures that can rid you of embarrassing vaginal odor.

Natural Control of Vaginal Odor


Yogurt, as part of a healthy diet, can help infuse your diet with “good” bacteria. These good bacteria are part of a delicate, healthy balance in your vagina. If the PH and bacteria balances are healthy down there, your vagina will have only a gentle, natural odor.

Fruit of the Loom

“You can’t overlove your underwear.” Just like the commercial. All natural, relaxed fit, cotton underdrawers help keep air circulating in your pelvic region. This will help keep your natural balance of bacteria and moisture where it belongs—diffusing bad odors and potential infections where they start.


While you’re on your way to having a healthy vagina, you may still have a bit of odor or discharge. Absorbent pantyliners will help absorb small amounts of discharge and will also help mask any embarrassing smells. They are cheap, lightweight, easy to use, and quite comfortable, too. You can find options like Always Ultra Thin at Amazon, among various other choices.

A healthy vagina means healthy odor.

There are millions of products out there that are marketed to the problem of embarrassing vaginal odor. Some work, some don’t, and some make it worse. The most important thing you can do is to make sure that you have a healthy vagina. And that means covering all the basics. Eat right: fast food twice a day will make anyone stink from any part of her body. Exercise: take your fat dog for a walk. Let the blood pump and fresh air get to you. Though, depending on the laws in your community, you will have to wear pants, so the fresh air won’t be directly for the source of the odor. But it will help anyway. When it comes to sex, use condoms. This will help prevent the spread of odor-causing STDs, as well as infections that can be caused by the introduction of another person’s natural bacteria into your system. Then, like you should be doing anyways, go visit your doctor once in a while. A gynecologist or family physician can oftentimes let you know what is or what is not a natural vaginal odor and can help you find the right course of treatment for unnatural vaginal odor. Many causes of vaginal odor have quick, simple cures that take effect almost immediately and help you to avoid those embarrassing bedroom/elevator/public shower moments.

Visit our Facebook Page to discuss this article!

About the Author

Erin Eliason

Erin Eliason