What is Smelly Discharge: How Do You Stop Vaginal Discharge Odor ?

Smelly Discharge- Causes and remedies: A normal function of the women’s reproductive system is to produce a vaginal discharge. Glands containing fluids inside the vagina and cervix carries dead cells and bacteria and expels it through the vaginal opening. This not only helps to cleanse the vagina but also protects it from infections.

The odor and the amount of vaginal discharge may vary between individuals. The normal vaginal excretion color may vary from clear to a milky white at different stages of the menstrual cycle.

Excessive vaginal secretions are experienced during ovulation, breastfeeding, sexually aroused, or during conception stages.

Seek medical advice if the color or the odor of the vaginal discharge is abnormal as this could indicate an underlying infection or other disorders.

What are the Causes of a Smelly Discharge?

Any imbalance in the microbial flora can affect the color, texture, and odor of the excretion. The following are some of the causes of abnormal vaginal discharges:

  • Bacterial vaginosis, a common infection seen in women with multiple partners.
  • Thrush: an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina.
  • Sexually transmitted infections like Trichomoniasis, genital herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
  • Presence of a foreign product inside the vagina like a tampon.
  • Douching with scented toiletries.

What are the types and causes of abnormal discharges?

Any change in the balance of the normal microflora might affect the vaginal odor, color, or texture of the discharge. The below pointers are a few things that can affect the vaginal microflora balance:

White discharge

Predominantly a white vaginal discharge is normal but when this discharge thickens or possess a strong abnormal odor there’s an issue. The discharge can be white or grey in color and thin or slippery in texture.

The main causal agent for a thick white vaginal secretion is bacterial vaginosis which is predominantly triggered by sexual contact but is not sexually transmitted.

Treatment: Antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat this infection. These contractions are seen to reoccur post treatments.

Yellow discharge

Yellow smelly discharge can be yellowish or greenish in color and can be frothy in texture.

The main culprit for this type of vaginal secretion is the parasite trichomoniasis. The symptoms accompanied by this infection include vaginal soreness, itching, painful intercourse, and urination.

Bacterial vaginosis is also contracted with a smelly yellow secretion. The sexually transmitted bacterial infection is associated with a cloudy or yellow discharge without a smell.

Yellow discharge with a pus is also experienced during the cervix end inflammation.

Treatment: Antibiotics are needed to get rid of the yellow vaginal secretions.

Brown discharge

Predominantly experienced prior and post menstrual cycles. Women on oral contraceptive drugs are commonly seen to experience smelly brown secretions prior to the onset of monthly periods. The brown discharge is experienced by many women due to the exertion of old menstrual blood.

An individual may be suffering from bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, or gonorrhea.

The brown discharge is  abnormal in the following cases:

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Genital warts
  • Menopause
  • Endometriosis
  • Cysts, fibroids or polyps
  • Cervical cancer
  • Intrauterine devices

These conditions do not result in a smelly discharge but a smelly brown discharge with these conditions are linked to a poor hygiene maintenance.

Pink discharge

Pink smelly discharge is predominantly seen during pregnancy. Women trying to get pregnant may notice a pink discharge when the semen enters the vagina. Semen will alter the smell of the vagina and will cause light pink vaginal secretion. The presence of a pink vaginal fluid can also be due to

  • Ovulation
  • Pregnancy
  • Menstruation
  • Post childbirth bleeding.

Heavy discharge that’s seen to be more consistent with bleeding requires immediate medical attention. Infections can also cause pink vaginal secretions. The infection may persist in the cervix, fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries.

An undiagnosed STD may also be a reason for a smelly pink vaginal secretion. Contraceptives cause an interruption to the natural menstruation cycle and this break causes pink spotting between periods that can be smelly at times.

What are the therapy options for a smelly hymen?

Treatment for a smelly vagina is complex. Sexually transmitted infections, disorders, and infections can be treated with the aid of antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare provider.

Smelly hymen caused due to hygienic issues can be treated with home remedies. It is highly recommended to consult a doctor to check for an infection or disorder.

What are the natural ways that help curb smelly vaginal discharge?

To treat a smelly hymen it’s important to determine the cause of the odor. If the cause of the odor is a yeast infection home remedies effectively help to  evade them.

A few of the many natural therapies that help to combat a smelly vagina include:

Apple cider vinegar

The antiseptic and antibacterial properties of apple cider vinegar help fight vaginal odors.

How to use:

  • Mix two tablespoons of the vinegar in a glass of water and ingest it
  • Alternatively, add 15-20ml of the vinegar to the bathing water and use this solution to bathe.  The apple cider vinegar is seen to not only detoxify the body but also aids to eliminate vaginal odor and restore the natural vaginal microflora, leading to a healthy vagina.


The lactobacillus bacteria present in the yogurt helps to eliminate candida, which is one of the main causal agents of a smelly vagina. Consuming yogurt helps to maintain the body’s natural pH levels that in turn effectively combat all infections. For beneficial outcomes consume two cups of yogurt regularly.

Alternatively, some women insert tampons soaked in yogurt and leave it in the body for a few hours to alleviate the symptoms and effectively restore the vaginal microflora levels.

Note: If An individual opts to use the latter method to evade the infection. Make sure to rinse the area thoroughly post the tampon removal.

Tea tree oil

The antiseptic property of the essential oil effectively helps to curb smelly vagina.


  • Add 3-4 drops of the essential oil to a cup of water.
  • Mix the solution evenly.
  • Use the resultant mixture to wash the vagina several times a day for beneficial outcomes.
  • Alternatively tampon users can soak tampons in olive oil and then place the tampon in tea tree oil just before insertion.
  • Allow standing for an hour or more before removing.
  • Repeat this twice or thrice a week for effective results.

Baking soda

Baking soda is a natural pH balancer. This remedy helps to curb the vaginal odor but balancing the body’s pH level.

How to use:

  • Add half a cup of baking soda to a bathtub.
  • Soak for 15-20 minutes every day till beneficial results are visible.

Increase the water intake

Drinking ample amounts of water helps the body to flush out toxins and this, in turn, helps to eliminate infection-causing bacteria. Keeping the vagina hydrated helps to eliminate the vaginal odor. To effectively curb vaginal related disorders try to consume a gallon of water daily for beneficial outcomes.

Neem oil extract

The antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties possessed by the neem il or bark effectively help in balancing the intestinal flora and this, in turn, helps to evade infections. Research has proved that neem oil is effective in treating infections caused by Herpes, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea. For effective outcomes consume the neem oil in the form of a tablet. This remedy helps to relieve the infection symptoms until a healthcare provider prescribes antibiotics.

White vinegar + salt bath

A salt and vinegar bath helps to effectively combat the vaginal odor.


Add a cup of white vinegar and half a cup of salt into a hot water bath.

Soak in this bath for  15-20 minutes for beneficial outcomes.

Note: This a  good short-term solution to evade vaginal odor.

Combining one or more remedies mentioned above amplify the results to reduce the vaginal discomforts.

What are the pros and cons that help evade a smelly vagina?

Simple pointers help that help keeping vaginal odor at bay include:

Avoid wearing tight outfits or undergarments

Wearing loose-fitting clothes and cotton underwear’s are beneficial to curb smelly vagina. Tight outfits are seen to decrease air flow, causing sweat and moisture buildup that help the infection causing organisms to thrive on.

Change the undergarments twice a day

Changing the underwear more often helps to combat vaginal odor as they arrest the infection causing organisms growth.

Refrain from vaginal douching

Douching regularly eliminates the good vaginal bacteria which helps in wading off the infections and the toxins build up.

Maintain a healthy body weight

Obese people tend to sweat more and the extra moisture enhances the bacterial growth. Healthy eating and lifestyle changes alleviate sweat and promote an overall healthy body.

Maintain proper hygiene

Proper hygiene is effective in combating all kinds of odors. Take a shower every day and change clothes post a shower. Do not forget to shower post any heavy sweating activities as this help to arrest the growth of infection-causing microorganisms.

Avoid using scented toiletries

Refrain from washing the vagina with scented soaps, gels or wipes.

Rinse the vagina gently  

Rinse the vagina gently with water and an emollient, such as E45 cream, or plain soap.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and proper hygiene not only promotes a healthy body but also helps to evade vaginal odors effectively.


  • https://www.health24.com/Medical/Vaginal-health/Infections/A-bad-smelling-vagina-20130210
  • https://www.checkpregnancy.com/smelly-discharge-methods-products/
  • https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaginal-discharge/
  • https://www.webmd.boots.com/women/guide/vaginal-discharge-whats-abnormal

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