Do you suffer from vaginal odor?
By Kerubo Lornah
Vaginal odor is a smell that originates from the vagina. Naturally, the vagina should have a certain smell, however, a bad smell is a cause for alarm and should be dealt with immediately.
Do you suffer from vaginal odor? Or do you know your friend who is complaining of this issue? If you suffer from vaginal odor – you are not alone. This is a very common problem that affects many women, but there are several natural ways that can help you to get rid of Vaginal odor.
Most of the time, those who live a healthy and natural lifestyle can count on their vaginal flora being in balance—but every now and then, an unpleasant vaginal aroma may arise in spite of your efforts. Never fear! Most of the underlying causes of vaginal odor can be remedied at home, using natural methods.
According to a medical missionary sister Christine Moore an unusual vaginal odor may occur due to different reasons and here are some of the most:
1. Vaginal infection – This is one of the most common causes of vaginal smell. Bacterial vaginosis is an overgrowth of vaginal bacteria and is the most common vaginal infection that causes a vaginal odor with a discharge.
Another infection, trichomoniasis, which is sexually transmitted infection, can also lead to vaginal odor. Vaginal infection is usually accompanied by other signs and symptoms such as vaginal itching, burning, irritation or discharge.
While up to third of the cases of bacterial vaginosis may resolve on their own, it is recommended to seek treatment if symptoms are present or during pregnancy to avoid complications.
2. Pregnancy – Pregnant women may find that their genitalia emit a different smell during this time, mostly due to heightened sweat gland activity overall.
Pregnant women also have a much more keen sense of smell, meaning that the scent may be noticeable to you but not to others.
3. Detergents – Laundry detergents used when washing underclothes can sometimes lead to genital irritation, causing the delicate balance between healthy bacteria and healthy fungi in the vagina to go “out of whack” and this may cause vaginal odor.
When this occurs, you can take proactive measures to reset your body and bring the balance back in tune and to eliminate the smell.
4. Sexual activity – Sexual activity, especially intercourse, can lead to vaginal odor. The alkaline nature of semen gives it a somewhat bleach-like scent, so when it is secreted into the vagina it can leave a strange scent, particularly when mixed with vaginal secretions.
Note: Unprotected sex with new sexual partners is very risky, and can lead to not only vaginosis, but also sexually transmitted infections that are more serious in nature.
5. Menstruation – We all know that our odor tends to change while menstruating, but the days leading up to our monthly menstrual period can also be fraught with a metallic, iron-tinged vaginal smell. This is normal, and is simply an indicator of the days to come. Most of the time, this cause of vaginal odor requires no treatment.
Sister Moore observes that for whatever reason you may be experiencing a problem with vaginal odor, there is hope ahead by simply following natural remedies to get rid of unpleasant odor and restore the balance within your body.
• Hydration – One of the simplest ways to eliminate vaginal odor is simply drinking more fluids. Dehydration can also give the vagina a funny smell. So many women have issues with vaginal odor and do not realize that they are simply dehydrated. Ditch the diet sodas and drink more water. You can squeeze some lemon or lime juice into the water and drinking it every day you can walk with the water at work and whatever you're doing whenever you're thirsty just drink that water. Remember—to be well-hydrated but not over-hydrated, it’s important to drink half your weight (in pounds) in ounces of water.
For example, a 150-pound woman should drink around 75 ounces of water per day to remain properly hydrated. Many of us fail to do this, and our inner bodies suffer as a result. You can also get familiar with these warning signs that you are dehydrated.
Vinegar – Use a half cup of plain white or apple cider vinegar in a sitz bath and soak for a bit to clear up any bacteria that may be lurking and causing vaginal odor. Dry well by patting with a clean towel dryness after bathing.
• Tea tree oil – Place a few drops of tea tree oil in a tablespoon of a carrier oil and add into your bath for a good soak to eliminate vaginal odor. Tea tree oil is one of nature’s miracle products that can help to heal many maladies, including recurrent unpleasant vaginal odor.
• Baking soda – Dilute a tablespoon of baking soda into eight ounces of water, then pour this into a sitz bath and soak. This can reduce odors and irritation brought on by minor bacterial or fungal infection, such as those due to vaginosis or yeast infection.
• Garlic – Mince and eat a clove of raw garlic per day to promote vaginal health. Feel free to mix it into salads or relishes and consume it that way, provided it is raw when it enters your body. The antiseptic and antibacterial properties of garlic help to treat vaginal odor from the inside out. You can also cut a piece of garlic and put it up into your vagina overnight, and it will come out in the morning when you pass water that will clean up the infection. Ensure you get traditional garlic.
• Stop consuming alcohol- especially beer, if you are plagued by vaginal odor or recurrent yeast infections.
• Proper wiping – Always wipe front to back when using the restroom, whether defecating or urinating. Lack of improper wiping can cause nasty, painful infections in the urinary tract and vaginal area, both of which can lead to unpleasant odor.
• Choose cotton underwear – Wear cotton underpants whenever possible to allow the genital area “breathing room.” Nylon or other synthetic fabrics can “cordon off” the genital area, causing bacteria, fungi, and odor to proliferate. Use of cotton underwear can diminish this effect dramatically.
• Clean well after sexual activity – After having sexual intercourse, cleanse your genital region thoroughly with warm water and make sure to urinate at the nearest possible time frame. This can stave off vaginal and urinary bacterial infections that may otherwise take root and cause unpleasant vaginal odor.
If you have had unprotected sex and vaginal odor occurs, please contact a physician, as it may be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection.
• Avoid sexual promiscuity – being faithful to your husband is a sure way of keeping yourself healthy.
• According to Doctor George Pamplona –Roger, in his Book ‘Healthy Body’ you should be careful with the use of tampons. He advises that regular use of tampons is not recommended, as they dry out the vaginal mucosa.
If you must you use:
Do not leave tampons in place overnight.
They must be changed be changed every six hours.
High- absorbency tampons promote the spread of streptococcus, and other bacteria which can result in toxic shock.
• Avoid anything that alkalinizes vaginal pH, such as regular soaps and shampoos, certain intimate soaps and deodorants, diaphragms with spermicide, and contraceptive foams. The vagina needs to keep a slightly acid pH in order to prevent fungal and bacterial infections.
• Avoid sex intercourse at an early age – according to Doctor Pamplona, starting to have sexual intercourse early not only promotes vaginal infection with the herpes virus, the human papillomavirus, and various bacteria, but it also increases the risk of invasive cervical cancer.
Foods that promote vaginal health:
• Squash seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or flaxseeds.
• Walnuts and almonds.
• Legumes, including soy.
• Soy drinks and tofu (soy)
• Raw or cooked carrots or carrot juice.
Reasons you must see the doctor:
Abnormal vaginal bleeding at any age
Persistent pelvic pain
Abnormal vaginal discharge.
Disclaimer: the above information is for education purpose and is not intended to replace medical functions of a health professional in anyway, either in diagnosing or treating medical conditions. The writer of the article will not take responsibility arising from the inappropriate use of the foods stated therein.