This Food Will Help to Keep your Vagina Healthy | Best Vaginal Health Foods

The vagina is not supposed to smell like nothing! Just like other body parts — including the scalp, belly button, armpits — the vagina has some scent.

And that scent? Isn’t that of dandelions, daffodils, or daisies?

“A vagina isn’t supposed to smell like flowers, no matter what our culture likes to tell us,” says sex educator Searah Deysach, owner of Early to Bed, a pleasure-product company in Chicago that ships worldwide.

The scent of your vagina will vary based on things like:

  • hydration levels
  • recent food intake
  • medications
  • overall health status
  • where you are in your menstrual cycle

Common vaginal scents include coppery, musky, meaty, or fleshy, says Felice Gersh, MD, author of “PCOS SOS: A Gynecologist’s Lifeline To Naturally Restore Your Rhythms, Hormones, and Happiness.” (Though sex may alter the scent for a few hours, especially if there was an exchange of bodily fluids.)

Here are some potential causes of stronger or abnormal vaginal odor:

  • sweating
  • poor hygiene
  • bacterial vaginosis (BV)
  • vaginitis
  • trichomoniasis
  • forgetting to take a tampon out
  • douching
  • diet
  • hormone changes (menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause)

In rare cases, more serious medical problems can cause vaginal odor, such as:

  • rectovaginal fistula
  • cervical cancer
  • vaginal cancer
  • Maintaining a regular hygiene practice can help avoid the accumulation of the scent that you don’t like.
  • But if the scent has already taken root and you don’t have time to shower, simply take a warm washcloth and wash your pubic mound and outer lips.
  • To be clear: While you can (and should!) wash the outside of your vagina (aka the vulva), you should not start going in your hole with water, washcloth, or soap.
  • “It’s true that a vagina is a self-cleaning machine,” Gersh says. “The natural makeup of bacteria inside the vaginal canal is designed to keep the canal healthy and clean — and that bacteria doesn’t need any help from you to operate optimally.”
  • Washing inside the vaginal canal isn’t just unnecessary, it’s downright dangerous. Washing inside the vaginal canal — especially with fragrant soaps — can upset your vagina’s natural bacterial makeup and pH.
  • And when your vagina’s natural bacterial makeup gets disrupted? You put yourself at risk of developing infections like bacterial vaginosis (BV), which (negatively) affect your vaginal odor.
  • The culprit could also be switching up your:
  • sexual lubricants
  • sex toy cleaner
  • type of condom (or other barrier methods)Drinking plenty of water is good for more than just your skin. It can help your vagina’s overall health too, by encouraging healthy sweating and fluid release, Deysach says.
  • For example, a bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) like gonorrheachlamydia, and trichomoniasis — all of which can affect vaginal scent — can all be cleared up with a prescription antibiotic, she says.
  • Antibiotics can also be prescribed for other kinds of infections, such as:
  • BV
  • urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • yeast infections
  • “And for people with menopause who are experiencing changes and odors and other symptoms associated with hormonal changes, you can prescribe localized or oral hormone replacement medications that help,” she says.