Vaginal Discharge: 5 Causes & Symptoms (Smelly or Colored)

That’s one more reason to take antibiotics only if needed.

Guys can get an infection of the head of the penis that is caused by the same Candida that causes vaginal infections in girls. Men get yeast infections, too! Many people already have a small amount of candida in their bodies and on their skin. Doctors usually prescribe an antibiotic to treat bacterial vaginosis. It occurs in all age groups. That said, she adds that yeast can sometimes cause a sweet odor, so if you’re also having symptoms of a yeast infection , grab an OTC treatment or check in with your doc. The most common explanation for an unpleasant vaginal odour is an infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV), which produces a fishy smell. Do postmenopausal and prepuberty females suffer from bacterial vaginosis, which can cause vaginal odor? Masterson says this is usually diet-related.

Trichomoniasis is a condition caused by the microscopic parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. These infections are spread by sexual contact. Yeast infection treatments, antibiotics, steroid medications, chronic stress and a diet high in sugar and processed foods can make a woman susceptible to yeast overgrowth, says Carrie Watkins, a naturopathic doctor based in Victoria. You can make sure the smell doesn’t get too strong by showering and changing your underwear regularly. So when do you need to see a doctor, and when do you just need to switch to all-cotton underpants? Correct and consistent use of a condom will decrease your risk of contracting not only chlamydia, but other sexually transmitted infections as well. In fact, diagnosis can even be tricky for an experienced clinician.

Even though you can get anti-fungal creams over the counter to treat yeast infections, a healthcare provider can confirm that that’s what’s going on down there.

Yeast infections usually are not caught from a sex partner. Some of the medicines used to treat yeast infections are available without a prescription, but you shouldn't just buy one if you think you have a yeast infection. All healthy vaginas contain bacteria and yeast.

Only they can perform the necessary lab screening to diagnose and treat the problem. Even if you have had a yeast infection before, it may be a good idea to call your health care professional before using an over-the-counter medication to treat your symptoms. Read on to restore your peace of mind and confidence! What is trichomoniasis?

Waxing and laser hair removal hurt like the dickens, and cost loads of money to boot.

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You accidentally left a tampon in there. But just like the penis, vaginal tissues can change in size when they’re turned on. Women who are not sexually active may develop BV or yeast infections.

BV may contribute to developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), but more research is needed (12). Another big one: Perfumes and other products, such as scented tampons, can alter the chemistry of the vagina and give rise to bacterial vaginosis. If you have vaginal discharge that doesn’t seem normal for you (with or without other symptoms), talk to your healthcare professional. Trichomoniasis usually is treated with a single dose of an antibiotic by mouth.

You might be thinking that if you have a fishy vaginal odor that the best thing to do is to vigorously clean the area inside the vagina or mask the scent with a perfume. Your vagina is supposed to have a smell, despite what rude sexual partners or all those companies that make weird crotch perfumes may have told you in the past. However, due to the nature of the World Wide Web, Lupin cannot guarantee the standards of every website link it provides or be responsible for the contents of non-Lupin sites. It is possible to have a yeast infection and not experience symptoms. They might be the wrong choice for your condition, and taking antibiotics when they're not needed can make yeast infections more likely.

  • At the beginning of the cycle, it tends to be more dry/sticky, or you may notice no discharge at all.
  • The fungus responsible for causing yeast infections is often found in a healthy vagina.
  • These reasons, among the ones listed in the beginning of this piece, is why many ladies would rather resort to getting rid of what seems to be BV on their own before visiting their doctor.
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  • Minkin, so it’s worth taking a deeper whiff (yes, really), especially if the unusual aroma is accompanied by symptoms like itching or discharge.
  • Chemicals can cause itchy rashes in the genital area.
  • Luckily, it'll go away once BV is treated with antibiotics, Dr.

Normal Vs. "what's That Smell?"

Some have narrow outer labia, and others have big juicy lips. Menopause is followed by a natural decline in the production of female hormones including estrogen. But taking them can lead to a vaginal yeast infection. It is important for partners to be treated even if they do not show any symptoms.

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If you're experiencing a change in your vaginal scent, try a few of these recommendations to see if you can take care of it on your own. BV can create uncomfortable symptoms, and can increase the risk of contracting an STI, but it doesn’t usually lead to health complications. A common infection that can cause vaginal odor is overgrowth of the normal vaginal bacteria to cause bacterial vaginosis. These sores usually are visible on the vulva or the vagina but occasionally are inside the vagina and can only be seen during a gynecologic exam. Thrush treatments, symptoms, causes & home remedies, oral thrush, also known as oral candidiasis, is a yeast/fungi infection of the genus Candida that develops on the mucous membranes of the mouth. There is no firm evidence to suggest that eating live yogurt or taking probiotic supplements will prevent candidiasis. A sweaty vagina is definitely a smelly one.

For this reason, we highly recommend testing for common STDs (BV, Trichomoniasis, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea) if you think you have a yeast infection.

Hence, it is important to seek medical advice rather than self-treating.

When Is It Time To See A Doctor?

To better understand these seven major causes of vaginitis, let’s look briefly at each one of them and how they are treated. If you have a vaginal yeast infection, your doctor can prescribe treatment to clear up the symptoms in a couple of days and cure the infection within a week. Bacterial vaginosis is one such infection that frequently affects women.

The most common form of vaginal infection is called bacterial vaginosis. If you’re still concerned about the smell, talk to your healthcare provider. The vagina might also smell like beer, flour, or bread. But significant or sudden changes in the smell, color or consistency of your fluid might mean something else is going on, like an infection that needs treatment. Plus, the vagina cleans itself, so (no!) You might protest: Vaginal dryness has affected 70% of women at some point in their lives. Additional reporting by Syeda Saad.


What is the treatment for vaginal malodour? ” Menopause International, U. Though it may be tempting to douche or use a vaginal deodorant to decrease vaginal odor, these products may actually increase irritation and other vaginal symptoms. This disease is no joke—it can cause infertility and chronic pain if left untreated—but it's typically knocked out by antibiotics. Lupin will not process your personal data without your consent. Some women with bacterial vaginosis have no symptoms at all, and the vaginitis is only discovered during a routine gynecologic exam. A yeast infection can cause a yeast-like smell and a thick, white discharge, as well as itching, soreness, and burning during urination and intercourse. However, when the balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina is altered, the yeast may overgrow and cause symptoms.

Sweet Or Beer-like Vaginal Odor

Unusual vaginal odor is therefore a normal occurrence during pregnancy and does not require medical attention, unless it is accompanied by a burning or itching sensation in the genitals. You might experience: They can be taken by mouth or inserted into the vagina as a cream or gel. Although yeast infections may spread from one sexual partner to the other, it's rare. Trichomoniasis:

Yeast infections can happen to any girl.

This often causes itching, irritation and a change in the texture of your vaginal discharge, but not a change in odor. When your heart says one thing but your vagina says another, it’s a recipe for unwanted interruptions. Trichomoniasis :

In addition to the fishy odour, women can also experience itching, irritation and a yellowish/creamy discharge.

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The same is true when it comes to our natural feminine odor. Also called yeast infection or moniliasis, a type of vaginitis caused by the overgrowth of a fungus. Women who have trichomoniasis are at an increased risk of infection with other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A rectovaginal fistula refers to a structural malformation that typically affects the female population. The overdiagnosis rates of BV indicate that antibiotics aren’t always needed when you have concerns about odor. The most common symptom of BV is a change in vaginal discharge and a close second is “fishy odor.

It also increases friction and lubrication during sex, which for many women increases sexual pleasure. A woman is more likely to get yeast infections if she is pregnant or has diabetes. These symptoms often are made worse by sexual intercourse. What should a healthy vagina smell like? According to the Office on Women’s Health, 3 out of 4 women will get a yeast infection at some point in their lives. All of these descriptions could be considered normal.

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It is difficult to tell whether you have a yeast infection or an STD without testing because the symptoms are very similar. It's not uncommon to notice a strong scent when you're menstruating. Thus, a yeast infection can make your vagina smell slightly different than usual, but it does not result in the characteristic fishy odor that is defined as vaginal malodor. Diagnosis and management of c. This introduces infection-causing bacteria and other germs into the vaginal area and eventually gives rise to a foul vaginal odor. A woman may have vaginal itching or burning and may notice a discharge. If you do have a yeast infection, your doctor will probably prescribe a pill to swallow or a cream, tablet, or suppository to put in the vagina.

Some of the more common symptoms of vaginitis include: A less common type of vaginitis is spread by sexual contact. In addition, the long-term use of over-the-counter topical products to help block odor and itch can cause vaginitis. How to prevent a yeast infection from antibiotics, what can cause vaginitis? ” So if your discharge smells bad but not fishy, you’re probably OK (but you should still check out the reasons below that your vagina might smell).

In The Know

Most girls have a normal wetness or discharge that naturally cleans and moistens the vagina, but it should NOT have an odor. Did you just pound out a major sweat session at the gym and are you wearing synthetic underwear (think: )If there is a fishy odor, it could signify Bacterial Vaginosis.

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  • The yeast can then overgrow.
  • The prolonged presence of a foreign object, such as a tampon, sex toy, shred of condom, and contraceptive device such as a cap or sponge, in the vagina can be a source of genital contamination.
  • If symptoms don’t go away after about a week, or if you have recurrent infections, see your healthcare provider.
  • How can I find out if I have vaginitis?

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

Wearing tight clothing or being overweight can exacerbate the problem by trapping sweat and bacteria on the skin or, in the case of excess weight, in skin folds. You must first consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and then proceed with the recommended treatment, which includes both medicinal interventions and self-care measures to banish the problem for good. Treat your dog's yeast infection at home without going to the vet. Where disclosure of personal data to a third party is likely or necessary for whatever reason, Lupin will, wherever possible, endeavor to ensure that the disclosure and intended use of the data are clearly indicated. At the visit, your doctor might take a urine sample (to rule out a urinary tract infection) and swab some discharge from your vagina to examine under a microscope. What are the symptoms of a yeast infection? Viral vaginitis : For a fuller discussion of any issues relating to Lupin or its corporate affiliates, please see either the Lupin Pharmaceuticals or Lupin Limited websites. Vaginitis affects women of all ages but is most common during the reproductive years.

But know that if you have recurrent issues with odour and/or infections, it's best to see your GP for proper diagnosis and treatment. There isn’t enough evidence to include the use of yogurt or Lactobacillus probiotics in formal treatment recommendations (9), although there may be some benefit for certain people and it’s unlikely to be harmful (13-14). These infections may cause a change in vaginal odor. Women with this infection have a large number of organisms called Gardnerella vaginalis, as well as many other organisms, in their vagina.

Shepherd says. May women do experience frequent infections that occur right after their periods. You’ll probably also notice your vagina produces more fluid when you’re aroused. On the other hand, having a yeast infection during pregnancy does not typically pose any risk to the baby or the pregnancy. Usually, infection occurs when a change in the delicate balance in a woman’s system takes place. It might mix with some urine, or blood around the time of menstruation, which can influence how it smells on your underwear.

What's Normal? What Symptoms Aren't?

Do the symptoms indicate a vaginal infection? It’s only natural since sweating is how your body cools itself. It’s completely natural and normal for your vagina to have some kind of scent.

Other symptoms besides a fishy smell include itching, gray or white discharge, or even burning during urination — symptoms similar to a number of STIs, so make sure to get checked out by a doctor to confirm what's actually going on. Visit your healthcare provider for a test. Sometimes trichomoniasis (or trich, pronounced “trick”) is called vaginitis too.

  • All vaginas smell.
  • Perhaps there's a smell that's a little, well, funkier, than usual.
  • Are home remedies safe and effective in getting rid of vaginal odor?
  • What should I do if I have abnormal vaginal discharge?
  • You may be more prone to getting an STI during your luteal phase (the second part of your cycle, after ovulation), when your immune system may not be as strong (18).

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This is problematic in several ways. Top sites, it's a pretty powerful remedy. A yeast infection in the vagina is known as vulvovaginal candidiasis (pronounced: )Thus, the first step toward treating this problem is to determine its underlying factors. A yeast infection is caused by a fungus called Candida. For many, however, the fishy odor is the only symptom. Because of this, the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that, for a first episode of a possible yeast infection, women see a physician to get a proper diagnosis.

The smell can vary throughout the menstrual cycle.

See your doc about what's going on down there, and she might prescribe something or recommend something you can buy OTC. Gently clean the vulva only with water or an unscented cleanser. It is important to see your healthcare professional if there has been a change in the amount, color, or smell of the discharge that persists beyond a few days. “A forgotten tampon causes the absolute worst vaginal odor,” Dr. It is normal to have a slight fishy vaginal smell even after the period ends, provided it is not coming from a used tampon that you forgot to remove.

Even though yeast infections can be really itchy, try not to scratch. Wash your vaginal area every day. Some women with yeast infections notice an increase or change in discharge. Untreated vaginal STDs can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and serious long term damage, including chronic pain, ectopic pregnancy and infertility. The time in a woman’s life when menstruation stops; defined as the absence of menstrual periods for 1 year. For example, a woman may take an antibiotic to treat a urinary tract infection, and the antibiotic kills “friendly” bacteria that normally keep the yeast in balance. These infections are only discovered through testing or physical examination by a doctor, but are not serious and do not require treatment unless you are pregnant.

Maintaining Vaginal Health

Abnormal discharge can happen when the vagina’s microbial community gets out of balance. We don’t recommend using soap directly on your vulva because that can cause irritation or vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina) in some people. How long has it been since you first noticed the vaginal odor? A yeast infection, or Candida vaginitis, is another common type of vaginal infection. When should you see a doctor?

He is in private group practice at Hawthorn Medical Associates, Inc. Smell something. It is accompanied by other alarming symptoms, such as vaginal itching, pain, soreness, bleeding, and increased vaginal discharge. Symptoms of BV A pasty vaginal discharge that may appear white or gray with a fishy odor that is a common symptom that may be observed during a BV infection. Pope is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology.


The good news: And it’s such an easy one, too! Plus, shaving can cause skin irritation, infections, and rashes (none of which are super sexy), and it takes up valuable time, so some people prefer to just skip it.

Types Of Vaginal Odor

Gonorrhea, another STI, can also cause vaginitis symptoms. Even though it may be less than lovely, a fishy vaginal smell is also kind of a helpful thing to notice. Trichomoniasis (trich) is infection by a single-celled parasite known as Trichomonas vaginalis.

There is mixed evidence on the use of certain foods and supplements for restoring and/or maintaining the balance of healthy vaginal bacteria. This condition occurs when there’s a sudden overgrowth of yeast in the vagina due to an imbalance of bacteria. Thrush, rochester, NY:. Atrophic vaginitis is not caused by an infection but can cause vaginal discharge and irritation, such as dryness, itching, and burning. Vaginal yeast infections can cause:

If you know your tampon's been in for more than eight hours (or, tbh, you can't remember the last time you changed it), and you've got flu-like symptoms (fever, nausea, achniess), it's time to see a doc, ASAP. Here are a few things that might cause your vaginal odor to go awry: The fistula allows fecal content, gas, and other materials from the rectum to trickle into the vagina while being excreted out of the body. This means there’s too much “bad” bacteria thriving at that level and not enough “good” bacteria able to them at bay. Some of these medicines are now available without prescription, such as miconazole (Monistat) and clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin or Mycelex-G), and you may use then when you know you have a yeast infection.