Smelly V? We answer your questions once and for all

The only time you should be alarmed is when your down there has strong and persistent odors.
Juan Dela Cruz

So maybe you’ve heard that odor down there is undesirable, but the truth is, it’s totally normal for the feminine area to have a slight scent. Your diet, lifestyle, health, menstrual cycle, or even stage in life all affect your natural and unique fragrance. That’s just how it is; in fact, your top concern should be how to keep your V fresh, clean, and smelling right.

The only time you should be alarmed is when your down there has strong and persistent odors.

But what exactly is a normal, healthy smell, and how is it different from “strong” and “persistent”? No need to wonder because we’ve got you covered! Here, we list the most common types of vaginal odors, and whether or not they warrant a trip to your gynecologist.

1. Musky

Was it hot outside? Did you come out of a major sweat sesh at the gym? A musky smell is simply your natural scent intensified, usually caused by excessive sweating and/or your choice of underwear.

Fix: Switch to breathable, cotton underwear (because panties that are too tight or are made with synthetic material tend to trap sweat in) and wash your intimate area with a gentle feminine wash.

2. Metallic

Pimples, craving for carbs and sweets, and a coppery smell down there— you just know it’s THAT time of the month. Menstrual blood can change your vagina’s pH balance, causing that metallic scent. This should pass once your period ends.

Fix: While completely normal, you can minimize any lingering smells by washing with a pH-balanced feminine wash. Using strong and harsh soaps could cause an imbalance and lead to problems.

3. Fishy

A fish-like smell could spell trouble in the form of Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) or trichomoniasis. BV is the most common vaginal infection in women ages 15 to 44 and is caused by “bad’ bacteria throwing your vagina’s pH off balance and upsetting its very delicate chemistry.

BV Fix: A trip to the doctor will tell if you will need antibiotics. On its own, BV can be pretty harmless but you can save yourself the trouble and prevent it with an over-the-counter fem wash like pH Care.

4. Bread or Beer

Healthy vaginas have a small amount of yeast, but an overgrowth can make you smell bread/beer-like down there. If you notice thick, white, cottage cheese-like discharge accompanied by irritation along with the smell, call your doctor and make an appointment to treat a possible yeast infection.

Fix: Fortunately, yeast infections are easily treated with antifungal medication.

Bottomline: The secret to a fresh and pleasant-smelling V is proper feminine hygiene. Taking steps such as maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and cleaning your intimate area the right way is enough to keep your down there in top condition.

Start your own daily fem hygiene habit with a gentle, pH-balanced fem wash like pH Care. It’s specifically formulated for down there use and has 7 unique benefits to combat common concerns such odor, itching, and irritation. It also comes in a range of fun and unique scents so you can feel and smell fresh down there every single day!

If something feels and smells off even after a week of your usual care routine, it’s time to consult your gynecologist.