Topic Tuesday: Funky Smell Down There

Is this funky smell I have normal? I don’t have any itching or discomfort, just a foul odor down there.

Typically a foul odor (described as fishy or rotten) is a sign of bacteria or infection, even if you don’t have other symptoms such as itching, burning, pain during sex, or thick/discolored discharge. It is important to see a doctor so that they can properly diagnose the problem.

What could be causing the smell?

Bacterial Vaginosis

Also known as BV, it’s a common infection for women and is caused by an overgrowth of normal vaginal bacteria. With BV, you will see an increase in discharge as well as a strong fishy odor that gets strong after sex. After proper diagnosis, you can be treated easily with prescription oral pills and vaginal gel.


Many STDs such as Trichomoniasis, (“Trich”) Gonorrhea, Clamydia, HPV, Syphylis and even HIV can cause a vaginal smell. In some cases, a foul vaginal smell may be accompanied by other symptoms such as an abnormal discharge or itching/discomfort also caused by the STD, or the smell could present by itself. Many STDs can be easily cured with antibiotics, but could develop into more serious conditions if left untreated, so it is imperative to see a doctor as soon as possible. It is important to remember that many times, STDs show no symptoms at all so being routinely screened for STDs is imperative to your health.

Bad Hygiene

The vagina has a very delicate PH balance that has the same acidic level as a tomato. That means that many everyday things can upset this balance and cause a bad smell or lead to an infection. Some things that are important to remember and practice include:

Always make sure you are wiping from front to back to avoid getting any bacteria into your vagina.

Change out of wet, or sweaty, undergarments after working out or swimming as soon as you’re done.

Never, EVER douche - this flushes out all of the good bacteria and will put you at an even greater risk for infection. Change your pads and tampons regularly during your period.

Do you have any of these symptoms? If so, It is important to come and see us as soon as possible.

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