Vaginal Odor Causes

Vaginal Odor Causes and Other Vaginal Infections

Posted by: Betty on: August 9, 2012

There are many vaginal odor causes that may affect women today, some of them just innocent changes in hormone levels being responsible for, other cases serious infections which need to be treated. For this discussion we will focus on vaginal odor causes relating to infections.




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Bacterial Vaginosis

This is one of the most common vaginal causes and accounts for about 50% of associated cases of foul vaginal discharge. It is caused following an overgrowth of bacteria native to the vagina, and frequently occurs with gardnerella. It commonly occurs during pregnancy, or women who have multiple sexual partners. It is generally not considered an STD and is not transmitted via sharing toilet seats. Symptoms of BV infection include a smelly discharge and vaginal itching.

Yeast infection

Yeast infections are classic vaginal odor causes due to proliferation of fungi living in the vagina. Yeast infections closely resemble those of Bacterial Vaginosis, and are common in women who are diabetics or have a suppressed immune system. Women who practice frequent douching are also at increased risk of picking up vaginal yeast infections, since the good bacteria will be killed. Yeast infections symptoms may include a white cheesy looking discharge, along with a strong fishy odor. Yeast infections are easily treated by use of appropriate antifungal agents.


Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted vaginal odor causes, and occurs often in conjunction with gonorrhea. Chlamydia may infect both men and women and in many cases symptoms go unnoticed. When they do occur they may include burning or itching around the vaginal area, pain and burning upon urination, lower abdominal pain, painful sex, and an abnormal discharge with a repulsive odor. Treatment of Chlamydia initiated in a timely manner will clear up the infection within two weeks, and involves use of antibiotics. Left untreated it may result in Pelvic Inflammatory disease, a condition that may damage the fallopian tubes or cause infertility.


Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease and was one of the first diseases of its kind to be discovered. More than 1 million women are currently infected with gonorrhea, with up to 40 % having co infection with Chlamydia. Up to 1 in 2 women  will show no signs of gonorrhea infection, but those that do display symptoms may complain of burning or urinary frequency, itching of the vaginal area, a yellow vaginal discharge with a foul odor, and in severe cases precipitation of pelvic inflammatory disease. Treatment of gonorrhea involves use of antibiotics.


This is an infection caused by a parasitic organism and is the most common vaginal odor cause in young women who are sexually active. Characteristic symptoms of trichomoniasis infection are a greenish yellow, possibly frothy, highly offensive discharge, along with pain during sex and upon urination. Trichomoniasis infection is easily cured following use of the drug metronidazole.

Vaginal odor causes are frequently infections, if you suspect that you may be infected with one of these, it is imperative to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Vaginal Odor Causes during Sex

Posted by: Betty on: July 29, 2012











Vaginal odor causes during sex may be hard to identify, not to mention extremely embarrassing. It is a relatively frequent issue, affecting about 2 in 10 women at some point during their lifetime. Many times these causes are natural, but other times may indicate some form of infection. Regardless some method should be devised to correct this problem, but first the vaginal odor causes need to be determined. The woman may be thinking, “what’s wrong with me?”, “what will my partner think?”, and many other things which will come to mind. Follow us as we reveal the most common causes:

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Bacterial vaginosis

Leading the list of vaginal odor causes during sex is the infection bacterial vaginosis. It is the most common vaginal infection occurring in women of childbearing age, with symptoms commonly acting up during or after sexual intercourse. Although symptoms are somewhat related to sex, it is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, since it does not cross individuals. Women affected with BV may not show any symptoms, but when they appear they are pronounced. The classic symptoms of BV infection include copious, watery vaginal secretions that may appear white or greyish in color, a repulsive odor that can be described as fishy, burning upon urination, and vaginal itching. Treatment of BV normally involves use of antibiotics, which result in 85- 95 % success rates. Some women even report improvements in symptoms by using supplements called probiotics, which replace natural vaginal bacteria.


Gardnerella infection is one of the other common vaginal odor causes during sex, and commonly occurs along with BV. If affects about 75% of women throughout their lifetime, although many of these women will not show any symptoms. If left untreated, the bacteria may enter the urethra where it can cause a urinary tract infection, complicating treatment. Symptoms associated with gardnerella infections include burning upon urination, itching in the vaginal area, a thick whitish discharge, a strong foul smelling odor and pain during sex. Gardnerella may be transmitted by sharing toilets, as well as coming into close genital contact with someone currently affected. Treatment involves use of antibiotics.

Forgotten Tampon

As strange as this may sound, a forgotten tampon may also have you pondering about your vaginal odor causes. Although not very frequent, this does occur and can result in a breeding ground for bacteria. To begin with, it is probably saturated with blood, which on a normal basis should be changed daily. Now when it is left for days on end (forgotten actually) symptoms such as a watery brown discharge is often observed with a horrible smell. Some women may be able to remove it themselves, while others will need to go to the emergency room for it. Antibiotics will commonly be prescribed to prevent infections from spreading/ developing.

With as many vaginal odor causes are there are women in the world, each case is unique and should be referred to the doctor in order to receive best course of treatment.

Vaginal Odor Causes: Prevention and Treatment

Posted by: Betty on: July 10, 2012

In today’s world, with good sanitation available in most areas and personal hygiene levels increasing, treating and preventing vaginal odor causes should be easy. However, this is not always the case and many times a well intending procedure can worsen the state of the odor, as well as possibly leading to infections.

There are various vaginal odor causes, some being due to a normal body process, some due to an external influence and some due to infections. If you’re not sure what is causing yours, how can you treat it? Or how can you prevent it? The answers to these questions are often very simple, requiring just an adherence to medicinal treatment or change in lifestyle practices which may result in big changes.

Follow us as we address these vaginal odor causes:


Infections are generally the most common vaginal odor causes, and are the most likely to be ignored until it has significantly worsened. Infections may be of various types including:

  • Bacterial- including Bacterial vaginosis, vaginitis, Chlamydia and gonorrhea. Treatment of these types of infections usually involves use of an oral antibiotic taken for between 5- 10 days. Common antibiotics used may include ciprofloxacin, co-trimoxazole, metronidazole or norfloxacin. Prevention of these types of infection includes good vaginal hygiene (by good not including douches) and using protection during sexual contact or being monogamous.
  • Fungal – the most popular vaginal odor cause that is a fungus is the yeast Candida. Candida normally lives within the vagina peacefully, but if the balance it shares with the bacteria is altered, they are known to become harmful spreading infection. Treatment of vaginal yeast infections normally involves the use of anti-fungal vaginal creams or pessaries (vaginal tablets) and sometimes oral medications, such as fluconazole. Treatment duration may vary depending on the severity of the infection. Best bet for preventing yeast infections is again by demonstrating good vaginal hygiene, and controlling co-morbid conditions such as diabetes.
  • Viruses and Parasites- these are not as frequently occurring as bacterial and fungal infections, but do occur in quite a few women nevertheless. Herpes Simplex is a viral infection that results in formation of ulcers that many discharge exudates and carry a foul odor. There is no cure for herpes, but management is possible. Treatment involves preventative methods to stop spread of the disease. Trichomoniasis is a parasitic infection, transmitted via sexual contact. This is the most common parasitic vaginal odor cause, but can be easily treated with anti-trichomoniacidal drugs such as metronidazole. Again, adequate preventative measures during sex can result transmission.


Hormonal fluctuations occur in every woman at particular times, be it during the menstrual cycle or during menopause. Although it is not a good idea to mess with normal hormonal rhythms, lifestyle and hygiene changes can be enough to reduce the odors caused by these changes.

External Sources

External influences are very common vaginal odor causes although many women do not think of them. For example, use of panty shields left on for extended periods of time can precipitate an odor. Similarly, women who produce more secretions than others may need to change underwear more frequently.

There are many effective methods that may be utilized to reduce the intensity of vaginal odor causes. If you suspect an infection is causing you odor, consult your doctor.


Vaginal Odor Causes during Pregnancy

Posted by: Betty on: June 20, 2012

There are multiple vaginal odor causes that are possible, be it in pregnancy or on a normal day. However, this can be particularly worrisome in pregnancy when soon to be moms want to ensure everything is done to ensure the health of their unborn babies. So what are the common vaginal odor causes during pregnancy? There is no need to be ashamed, let’s analyze the common sources:


As you may already know, there is hardly any other time besides pregnancy where hormone levels are going through so many rapid changes in an effort to facilitate proper development of the fetus. In addition to the changes in estrogen, various other hormones, such as progesterone play important roles to ensure retention of the pregnancy. Progesterone is secreted through the pregnancy to ensure proper implantation of the placenta in the cervix and to continue pregnancy. Other hormones such as prolactin are secreted towards the end of the pregnancy and signal the breasts to begin producing milk (lactating). Given the scenario, it is common for hormones as vaginal odor causes to play a role. Vaginal secretions are normally increased, along with an increased odor. This odor is not always strong, but may be worrying to the pregnant woman. It is to a large extent NORMAL to experience a mild odor during pregnancy.


Infections are the second most common vaginal odor causes in pregnancy and if you suspect that you may have one, it is important to see your OB/ gynecologist as soon as possible. Infections during pregnancy are no less uncomfortable than any other time, but are significantly more dangerous especially to the unborn child. Common infections during pregnancy include yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. Yeast infections occur when fungi living within the vagina overgrow and cause itching with a discharge and foul odor. Yeast infections are easily treated and generally pose little to no risk to the unborn child.

The other common infection occurring in pregnancy, bacterial vaginosis is a bit more serious than yeast infections and may result in danger to the unborn child if left to progress too long. It occurs when certain bacterial cultures multiply and spread infection, resulting in symptoms very similar to a yeast infection. Treatment of bacterial vaginosis is achieved by use of an antibiotic.


Diet is one of the common vaginal odor causes, and may occur at anytime, but more so during pregnancy when “cravings” go out of whack. Many women report changes in vaginal secretion following use of certain foods, such as dairy products or garlic containing foods. If your cravings are leaving a less than desirable smell down there, by all means; cut it out.

Other possible vaginal odor causes during pregnancy may include viruses, such as herpes simplex or other sexually transmitted diseases.

It is important to be extra careful during pregnancy, consult your doctor at the first hint something is wrong. After all, no one wants to know negligence results in an unnecessary miscarriage.


Vaginal Odor Causes in Menopause

Posted by: Betty on: June 6, 2012

Vaginal OdorMenopause is a one of the most common vaginal odor causes in older women, but for the most part is overlooked.  Approximately 50% of women over the age of 40 report increases in vaginal odor, and are frustrated by lack of effective management techniques.                                        

Although for the most part menopause as one of the vaginal odor causes is normal and a part of female transition, it may disguise true states that warrant worry. Menopausal age women are just as susceptible to the effects of odor caused by infections, and can be considered even more likely to have abnormal scents emanating from the vaginal area.

Methods that can provide moderate relief for these embarrassing symptoms may include frequent changing of underwear and application of scented feminine deodorant products. The use of douches and feminine washes is highly discouraged since this may encourage development of other vaginal odor causes such as infections.

Vaginal odor causes in menopause include may be due to following reasons:

Decreased Estrogen Levels

Estrogen plays an integral role in female body chemistry, lack of which will produce changes to libido and vaginal receptiveness. Also a possibility resulting from decreased estrogen levels is thinning of the vaginal wall mucosa. Altering the normal flora (bacteria and fungi) that live there and paving the way for infections to occur.

Use of Pantyliners

Not to discourage the use of feminine hygiene products, but one of the most common vaginal odor causes during menopause is frequent use of the panty liner. The problem arises not from the use of these products, but from keeping them on for extended periods of time. Most women on average will use 1-2 panty      liners daily, but in the case of menopausal women much more frequent change is required. Menopausal women still seeing their menstruation are advised to follow this advice especially, since the scent of blood discharged is known to be significantly more offensive.


This is the furthest thing on the mind of most menopausal women, but the risk for cancer development increases significantly during and after menopause. Small undetected tumors of the Bartholin Glands (that produce the normal secretion which helps to flush out the vagina), may occlude the opening of the gland and cause abscesses with a very foul smelling odor. Regular cancer screening is advocated especially in post menopausal women.

Infections remain the most common vaginal odor causes across all age groups. Menopausal women are more likely to develop infection due to decreases in vaginal pH (acidity) and moisture content, which facilitate normalcy of organism concentrations. Many infections are attributed to an acidic vaginal environment, such as yeast infections, caused by overgrowth of vaginal fungi. Acidity is known to kill the beneficial lactobacilli living within the vagina.

Vaginitis is another possible source of odor, and occurs with increasing frequency in menopausal aged women since the vaginal surface more prone to tears and infections.

During menopause there are many other vaginal odor causes that may play a part in causing symptoms. Most women will pass through this phase and regain normalcy, but if the odor continues indefinitely or with an abnormal discharge, consult your doctor.


Vaginal Odor Causes

Posted by: Betty on: May 20, 2012

In most women, it is a normal occurrence to have a small degree of vaginal odor. Indeed, it is a natural occurrence, and women need not be afraid of a very mild or discrete odor originating from the vaginal area. Determining these vaginal odor causes should be the primary action to be taken.

Changes in the smell of vaginal secretions do not necessarily signify the beginning of an infection; rather it could be as a result of changes within the body. For example, at different phases throughout the month, the odor of secretions may change relative to the time around menstruation.

Many women, once they notice an odor in the vaginal area, believe it is wise to thoroughly wash the area in an effort to alleviate the smell. This is not a wise practice, and in fact, many times will only serve to worsen the condition and the associated odor.

Vaginal odor causes are quite diverse; the accompanying few causes are by no means all;

Bacterial Vaginosis
This results following overgrowth of normal bacteria within the vagina, leading to a smelly discharge. The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis infection closely resemble that of a yeast infection, so tests may be needed to determine the infection.

This is classified as a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. It is relatively common and affects both men and women. One of the major problems associated with Chlamydia infection, is the fact that many times symptoms do not present themselves and go untreated and undiagnosed. When symptoms do appear in women, a discharge is usually present, as well as pain in the abdominal area and upon urination. These symptoms may resemble a urinary tract infection, but occur with a vaginal discharge and odor.

Yeast Infections
Yeast infections occur following overgrowth of the fungi already living in the vaginal area, or following introduction of external yeast. Vaginal yeast normally live happily with bacteria, but under certain conditions, such as following antibiotic use, bacterial colonies may be eradicated, paving the way for an invasion and overgrowth of the fungi. Yeast infections also occur more frequently in diabetic women, or those with a compromised immune system. Symptoms of a yeast infection include itching, creamy to white discharge along with an odor.

This is classified as a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and is caused by a parasitic organism. It is the most common STI found in young sexually active women, and is curable. Not all women have symptoms, but those who do have characteristic signs. There is normally abdominal pain, accompanied by vaginal itching, and a greenish yellow discharge with a pungent odor.

This is a sexually transmitted disease, caused by the bacteria neisseria gonorrheae. It is one of the oldest STDs around, and frequently occurs along with Chlamydia. Up to half of women infected with gonorrhea have no symptoms, and do not know they are infected. Symptoms may include urinary frequency and pain, itching of the vaginal area along with a yellow colored vaginal discharge and odor. It may progress to dangerous pelvic inflammatory disease if left untreated.

Vaginal odor causes can be varied.  If vaginal odor is noticed that is offensive, or that occurs with copious discharge or pain, always consult your physician.