Secret Causes Of Vaginal Odours

Whilst to some vaginal health is a cringe-worthy topic, worrisome Vaginal Odours are something every women will experience in her life at some point, most likely on various occasions. Often women, men, husbands, partners (basically whoever has the pleasure of being in the vicinity of your vagina) have unrealistic expectations on how we should smell and taste. Whilst it would be great for the experience to be something like the video below, it’s just not going to happen. While many women are self conscious about what their vagina smells like, the truth is a healthy vagina shouldn’t smell bad. Just like all of your internal organs, the vagina is a carefully balanced ecosystem made of fluids/discharge and bacteria designed to keep it in healthy working order as well as keeping it clean. Yep, that’s right! The discharge we produce is actually our bodies self cleaning – pretty amazing right?!

I did some research and saw a study where a bunch of gynecologists got together and did some very “unscientific” tests to figure out what a ‘normal’ vagina should smell like or why people have Vaginal Odours… They determined that one can smell a healthy/normal vagina from around 1 foot away. Most odours are completely normal, but there are times when a new/strange odor can be your body signalling a problem. A strong/particularly bad smelling odour may be as a result of an infection, or bacterial imbalance and is definitely something you should consult with your doctor!

What Causes Vaginal Odours?

The truth is our vaginas are a pretty sensitive area and should be treated with  R E S P E C T (great song). There are tonnes of things which can throw out your body, some of which I’ll explain below.

  • Poor Diet: Odoriferous foods like garlic, asparagus, curry, diets with a high intake of sugar are just a few of the foods that can throw out the natural smell of your vagina and over all body odour. (I guess you really are what you eat!)
  • Medications: Many antibiotics can cause the natural 4.6 Ph of your body to imbalance, resulting in thrush, itchiness, change in discharge and odour as well as other nasty problems. Slightly less unknown is antihistamines (as well as asthma inhalers) causing dryness and abnormalities in your vaginal health.
  • Hormonal Changes: Your body smells different at different points in your menstrual cycle. Birth control pills have also been shown to alter the natural smell of your vagina and effect the Ph of the vagina.
  • GOD FORBID – A FORGOTTEN TAMPON: A horror story we’ve all heard before… It actually happens. Quite often apparently. A forgotten tampon leaves a smell that somewhat resembles an animal crawling up there and dying. Yep, horrifying. Though, once removed, the smell disappears almost immediately. There are many alternatives to using tampons which are SO much healthier for your vagina which I will discuss in my next review…
  • Poor Hygiene: Whilst your vagina doesn’t need to be douched or cleaned whilst using a magnifier, it does need to be washed. Underwear should NOTTTTT be worn for over 24 hours and should be loose and preferably made from cotton.
  • OVER CLEANING: Something many people are guilty of, is over cleaning. Despite how gross some days you might feel – studies show you only need to rinse with water to adequately clean your vagina. Though if you feel this doesn’t work for you or would feel better for using some sort of product, stick to natural soaps which are not fragranced.

Practice Good Hygiene To Minimise Vaginal Odours

  • Use the correct soap
  • Wipe front to back after going to the toilet and be sure to be thorough. If you’re really worried about cleanliness you can use some sort of baby wipes with no fragrance for a quick clean after going to the bathroom.
  • Be careful what you put in and around your vagina! Flavoured lubricants are a big no-no during intercourse if you’re prone to infections. The glycerine causes an imbalance of (yep you guessed it) your Ph.
  • Watch your diet!
  • Know your body! Be vigilant of any changes in your body and head straight to the doctor is something changes.

DO NOT FRET! Vaginal Odours aren’t supposed to smell like that YouTube clip above. Your body is amazing and your vagina can do some pretty cool things – so (SING IT WITH ME NOW) ???????

“You’ve got to show me, got to show me a little
You’ve got to give me, got to give me a little
Yes, all I want is, all I want is a little
What all I need is a little respect.

What you want, baby I got
And what you need, you know that I’ve got it
All I’m askin” for is a little respect”

Woman Having a Bath
Image: Woman In Bath

AND REMEMBER

Even if you don’t like your Vaginal Odours, guys and girls enjoy the smell of their partners vagina. Their brains associate that smell with getting to see you naked and having sex. So really, it isn’t in your best interests to change mother nature anyway.

Warning

**This review contains personal stories of tampon usage and may be confronting to other staff members who do not wish to read about my vagina.. SOZ IN ADVANCE. For the educational aspect, I’ve include everyone in this article – because let’s face it, we all know someone with a vagina.**

It’s no secret – I like vaginas, vaginas are cool. So I’m going start this article with a fun fact…Did you know that the Ph balance of the vagina, which is usually around 4 – 4.5, is the same Ph as wine, beer and tomatoes.?!? Excuse me whilst I rave about vaginas – but how cool are they?! I’m about to make a bold statement. If you have a vagina, or you know someone who has a vagina, you/your friend with a vagina NEEDS a menstrual cup. Or, let me start with a less bold statement – you/your friend with a vagina needs to consider not using tampons. Like many women, I’ve used tampons ever since I got my first period. Mainly because they were easy, they don’t smell, they (are supposed to) feel like you’re not wearing anything, and they’re just what everybody uses. (Shit’s about to get real personal, continue down to the  bold cue if you don’t want to read about my vaginal mishaps…)

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had REALLY uncomfortable periods. Not period pain in my abdomen or back, but in my actual vagina. It would feel dry, itchy, extremely uncomfortable at best, and would feel unusually hot. Once I became sexually active, I realised that it was kind of all the time that my vagina felt that way – it just got worse when I was on my period. I also couldn’t (it was impossible) have sex without lubricant, and didn’t produce any of my own natural lubricant. Let’s just say “It feels like wearing nothing” was a statement I called bullshit. Admittedly, I’m sort of ashamed that it took me like 7 odd years to figure out that it was tampons that were ruining my vagina, though I figure there’s tonnes of women who are in the same boat – and just like me, are misinformed.

One glorious day, I decided to google the affects of tampons and found these facts…

  • Questionable Materials: Unbeknownst to a lot of people, tampons are actually made of a combination of cotton and rayon (chemically treated wood pulp fibre *alarm bell no.1*), plastics and additives to increase absorbency. These materials are not naturally white… Tampons go white through a process of bleaching (alarm bell no.2), resulting in by-products of dioxin, which has been linked to immune system suppression, reproductive issues and even cancer. It’s also be proven that the pesticides used while cotton farming can make their way through the manufacturing process and into the final tampon product *are your alarms ringing yet?*
  • They Don’t Discriminate: Not only do tampons absorb your period, they absorb everything. During menstruation, your body still produces normal fluids and vital bacteria to keep your vagina healthy. Tampons don’t discriminate! THEY ABSORB EVERYTHING, causing vaginal dryness, an imbalance of Ph, furthermore impeding your vagina from being self cleaning and leading to infections. Yikes.
  • They Loosen: Tampons are designed to expand and loosen once inserted. Meaning if the tampon does cause vaginal dryness, even once the tampon is removed there could be fibres left behind. This leaves a perfect surface for bacteria to breed.
  • Toxic Shock Syndrome: Not as much of a fear these days, but can still occur from leaving a tampon in for too long.

So what did I do? I tried an alternative method that I had all but previously laughed at.

The JuJu Cup

Vaginal Health
Buy Now | Sexual Health Aids And Lubes

A girl in my grade had one at school and I just thought it was the weirdest concept. I couldn’t picture what one looked like and I sure as hell wasn’t going to ask to see hers. I wish I’d asked her about it though, I definitely would have saved myself some pain and some money!!

There are tonnes of menstrual cups out there, though the JuJu Cup is Australian made and owned. Put simply, it’s a small, silicone, squishy cup about the size of my thumb which folds up nicely and then pops out inside your vagina once inserted. It sits just below your cervix and is designed to capture everything that trickles from your cervix, with no leakage due to it suctioning to the walls of your vagina. To remove, you pinch the bottom of the cup to break the seal and remove. Unlike what I found with tampons, it literally feels like wearing nothing and without sounding like a drama queen – it’s literally changed my life. I’ve only had my JuJu Cup for 3 menstrual cycles now, and I have noticed the BIGGEST difference. I literally have none of the previous symptoms I had, I’m so much more comfortable and I self lubricate YAY. If I’ve noticed this much of a difference in a matter of months, I can’t imagine what it’ll be like in a few years to come.

THINK OF THE ENVIRONMENT. On average, a women uses about 11,000 disposable menstrual products in her lifetime. These are not biodegradable and end up in landfills or worse – in the ocean. A 2010 study showed that on an average beach clean up there are 30 menstrual products on a beach/in the water per kilometre. That’s pretty scary. I now preach the excellence of the JuJu Cup to anyone who will listen. They reckon on average, a women spends about $3000 on tampons and pads – my JuJu was $50. Enough said.

Just like our silicone sex toys, it needs to be properly looked after to get a full lifetime of use. Menstrual Cups should be boiled before first use at the beginning of every period, and only rinsed in between. They’re designed to not fill until around 12 hours of use – so don’t fret. Change it in the morning, and wear up until you go to sleep without worrying! Most importantly, in-between periods, keep your cup in it’s storage bag to stop it coming into contact with anything nasty. My menstrual cup has literally changed my life and I refuse to let anyone rain on my parade! They’re awesome and I think everyone should give them a go at least  if not just for your vaginal health! You might be surprised – I was!

Author: Chloe is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres
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Jennifer works marketing at Adultsmart an online sex toy shop. She has a non-judgemental approach to sex, sex toys and sexuality. Her favorite saying is if it feels good and right and is not illegal then why not!

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