June 1, 2009

Vaginal Odor Causes

Posted in Category : Women's Health

A fishy smell emanating from the vagina is fairly common in women. The odor is most perceptible right after sexual intercourse. One may also notice that there is an accompanying irritation or itching of the vagina. In essence, vaginal odor is mainly due to an overgrowth of organisms present in the vagina. Not maintaining hygiene around the genital area is the most common cause for vaginal odor. Bacterial vaginosis is another common cause. Also called vaginal bacteriosis, it is due to an imbalance of naturally occurring bacteria in the vagina. They multiply in number and breed around your genital area. It is these organisms that then result in a fishy stench emanating from the vagina. There may also be a swelling of the vagina. There are other diseases too that cause a fishy stench in the vagina, namely Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Hence, if you do notice an unpleasant odor emanating from your genital area, especially right after sexual intercourse, it is best go in for a thorough diagnosis. Only after the specific cause is established can vaginal odor be treated effectively.

In most cases though, maintaining poor hygiene is seen as the root cause of the foul odor. Keeping your genital area covered by more than one layer of clothing creates a moist environment around your genital area and promotes the rapid reproduction of bacteria. In some cases, it is a tampon that was never taken out or even a lodged condom that results in the bacteria and the resultant stench. Yeast infection or vaginitis, especially involving candida, is another common cause for vaginal odor. This too results from bad hygiene in most cases. Once infected, any cloth rubbing against the vagina only worsens the infection and the resulting stench. It can also result from an allergic reaction of the skin to certain chemicals in your soap or deodorant. If you do notice vaginal odor emanating from your genital area, make sure you frequently clean and pat dry your genital area throughout the day. While sleeping do not have any underwear on, as the rubbing of the fabric can worsen the infection. Try using warm water for your showers and minimize the use of soap. Despite what some people say, avoid douching your genital area as it can only worsen the affliction by upsetting the acidic balance in your vaginal environment.

If the odor persists beyond three days or worsens, it is best to see your doctor as it could also be a symptom of cervix or uterine cancer, albeit in rare cases.