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Topic Tuesday: Does a weird smell mean I have an infection? I don’t have any itching, just a foul odor down there.

Typically a foul odor (described as fishy or rotten) is a sign of an 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, is 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 stronger after sex. After proper diagnosis, you can be treated easily with prescription oral pills and vaginal gel.

An STD
Many STDs such as Trichomoniasis, (“Trich”) Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, HPV, Syphilis 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, or the smell could be 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 necessary for your overall health.

Bad Hygiene
The vagina has a very delicate PH balance which 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.

It is impossible to diagnose your problem without seeing a doctor, so we recommend you make an appointment right away for an exam.

Need to make an appointment or have questions about the symptoms you are having? Call us at (877) 883.7264 or click below to make an appointment online.

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