Avoiding vaginal smells

    vaginal odourVaginal smells are natural, and all women have such odor that is normal to them.
    Even though, in some cases, vaginal odors can be more significantly sensed - with or without excessive perspiration, and can be the output of a few medical conditions. For such women, odors from the vaginal area are a source for embarrassment, but there are a few tips that help reduce or eliminate the problem.
    There are several advices to help avoid vaginal odors:
    • Wearing ventilated 100% cotton underwear helps avoid excessive perspiration. Synthetic underwear and pants might not allow air circulation around the vulva, causing a moist, sweaty environment, which promotes overgrowths of normal skin bacteria, resulting in related odors. Change underwear frequently.
    • Gently washing the vulva with warm water and unscented antibacterial soap.
    • During the night, do not wear underwear or tight pajamas or nightgown, to keep your vulva ventilated.
    • Bathing twice a day is one way to control the excessive perspiration. Do not regularly wash your genitals using a douche, though.
    • Practice safe sex – use condoms. Bacterial vaginosis may be transmitted by sexual intercourse, and sexually transmitted viruses might infect the vaginal lactobacilli that help maintain healthy vaginal pH and bacterial balance. Trichomonas vaginalis, the third most common cause for vaginal odors, is a sexually transmitted parasite.
    • Use antibiotics only when prescribed by a healthcare professional, and inform your physician if it results in vaginal odors. Antibiotics may affect the normal bacterial population and cause yeast overgrowth. Diabetes or being pregnant might have the same effect.
    • Lactobacillus, which helps maintain vaginal bacterial balance, can also be found in probiotic foods (some brands of yoghurt, for example). Consuming such foods may help reduce vaginal yeast infections.
    • If you suffer from hyperhidrosis, the moisture can be temporarily controlled by applying cornstarch. Antiperspirants help control sweating and odor, but it is important to avoid applying deodorants or antiperspirants directly to mucous membranes (the vaginal lips and vagina), as it may cause irritation.
    • If possible, refrain from conditions of excess heat, to avoid excessive sweating.
    • Maintain an appropriate diet – do not consume food or drinks high in sugar, alcohol or caffeine – which may contribute to vaginal sweating.

    Get into the SmellWell forum to share your tips and help others avoid vaginal smells, or send us your remarks.

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