Generally speaking, genital odors should not be of any concern. However, if the smell is abnormally unpleasant, then it is a good idea to consult your physician to evaluate and diagnose the actual cause of the odor. Most of us would be familiar with the slightly unpleasant odor of stale urine which remains on the pubic hair; however, if you are sure that the genital area has been cleaned thoroughly, and the smell is unlike the smell of urine, then you will require some medication, in place of just soap and warm water. It is important to bear in mind that vaginal odors occur naturally. However, based on the strength of the odor and the reasons for its cause, you may have to consider an abnormality. While the vagina itself does not have any odor, every individual woman has a vaginal odor, which can be caused by a variety of reasons.
In most cases, lack of proper hygiene is the primary cause of vaginal odor. This does not mean to imply that you are unclean, but just that your personal hygiene is probably not as sufficient as it should be. Due to the fact that the vagina does not have an odor of its own, it may give out an abnormal odor if not cleaned properly. This lack of proper hygiene gives rise to bacteria which invade the vagina, leading to the foul odor that you maybe experiencing. Studies have shown that most bacteria, yeast or parasites present in the vagina normally emit characteristic odors due to their harmful activities. For example, a fishy sort of smell is usually associated with bacterial vaginosis, which as the name suggests is a vaginal infection. It is important to bear in mind that almost every offending vaginal odor is caused by infections.
A vaginal discharge is symptomatic of bacterial vaginosis. It is caused due to an overgrowth of the normal bacteria in the vagina. It is important to note that this condition is not spread through sexual intercourse. There is a possibility that you are affected by bacterial vaginosis if you notice a change in the amount and appearance of vaginal discharge, accompanied with a foul odor. Your doctor will be able to advise whether the amount of discharge is normal in your case, as this tends to vary from woman to woman. Based on her/his observations and evaluation, your doctor will be in a position to recommend the best possible treatment available to alleviate your condition.
answered by G M on Mar 4, 2010, 1:16:48