Having vaginal odour is normal as it is completely natural and normal for females to have some kind of vaginal odour. This odour is due to discharge. A certain amount of vaginal odour is normal but if the odour is strong and noticeable, it indicates some type of infection or other problem.

Subtle changes in the vaginal odour are normal. This is due to the variations is pH of vagina. There are many causes that affect pH of vagina. E.g., menopause also has an effect on vaginal pH due to the lack of estrogen hormone. Due to the lack of this hormone, there is less vaginal mucosa.

The better a woman understands the different smells of vagina, the more she will be prepared when something goes amiss.

The variations in odour are likely a result of menstrual cycle, hygiene habits etc. Th groin area consists of a collection of sweat glands.

7 different vaginal smells are their causes are discussed below:

  1. Sweet like molasses: A sweetish tinge is not a cause for concern. This smell is due to acidic pH of vagina.
    • It is caused due to ever-changing bacterial ecosystem due to which there is little sweet smell.
  2. Fishy: Fishy smell in the vagina is due to the presence of a chemical compound which is responsible for the distinct aroma of rotting fish and abnormal vaginal odours as well.
    • Dead fish odour may be due to Bacterial Vaginosis. It is caused when there is an overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria in the vagina. These anaerobic micro-organisms are odorous. It is a very common vaginal infection whose symptoms are: vaginal itching, burning during urination, foul or fishy odour, thin, white or green vaginal discharge.
    • Another reason of a fishy odour is Trichomoniasis. Trichomoniasis is the most common Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). The presence of trichomoniasis is characterized by pungent fishy odour and this infection is quite smelly.
  3. Rotten like a decaying organism: If the smell is putrid, like a dead organism, it may be due to something in the vagina.
    • Rotten like a decaying organism odour is due to inadvertently letting a tampon. This happens with lots of women.
  4. Coppery odour: Many women visit gynecologists for the treatment of coppery, metallic vaginal odour. This is usually nothing to worry.
    •  This odour may be due to menstrual cycle. During menstruation, the blood and tissue shed from your uterine lining and travel through the vaginal canal.
    • Coppery odour can also occur due to light bleeding after sexual intercourse. This is usually due to vaginal dry or cuts, scrapes after intercourse.
  5. Odour of a chemical: An odour similar to bleach or ammonia could be due to certain reasons. These are:
    • Bacterial Vaginosis: The chemical like smell may also be due to bacterial vaginosis.
    • Urine also contains a byproduct of ammonia called urea. Urine which smells strongly of ammonia is a sign of dehydration.
  6. Skunky or a smoked herbal odour: Many people find similarity between body odour and marijuana. The reason of a skunky or a smoked herbal odour are:
    • Stress: The body contains two types of sweat glands: apocrine and eccrine. The apocrine glands are present in armpits and groin.
    • Under stress or anxious state, the apocrine gland produces a milky fluid. This fluid is odourless but when the fluid comes in contact with bacteria present on the vulva, it produces pungent aroma.
  7. Tangy or Fermented: It is a very common type of vaginal odour having sour aroma. It is due to the dominance of good bacteria Lactobacilli in the healthy vagina.
    • The pH of a healthy vagina is slightly acidic i.e., between 3.8 – 4.5. The presence of Lactobacilli keeps the vagina acidic.
    • This protects against an overgrowth of other harmful bacteria.

It is advisable to consult a physician if an odour is accompanied with:

  • Burning or itching
  • Pain
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Inflammation and redness
  • Thick, cotton cheese like discharge
  • Vaginal bleeding which is not related to period.


This article is not a substitute to the standard Medical Diagnosis or personalized Ayurvedic Treatment! It is intended only for Information!

For experts consultation, please write us at care@blessayurveda.com.

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