A vagina is never odor-free but what is a 'normal' smell for a vagina? Find out!

Smelly panties

A vagina is never odor-free. It is completely normal for your vagina to have a natural scent that is individual to you.

First, it is important to understand what is a 'normal' smell for a vagina.

Your vagina is a carefully balanced ecosystem and will normally be host to a community of 'good' bacteria. One of the main bacteria is called Lactobacillus, similar to the type found in 'live' yogurts. In return for its home, Lactobacillus generates lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide. This keeps the vagina's pᵸ at an optimal range of 3.5-4.5. These acidic conditions act as a disinfectant and discourage less welcome bacteria from causing infections. It is these natural bacteria that can contribute to a vagina's natural scent.

Factors that may affect a vagina's smell, without meaning that there is something wrong with your hygiene or vaginal health include:

Exercise and sex

During exercise and sex, it is normal for the genitals to get sweaty and this may contribute to a more prominent vaginal odor.

If you have noticed a strong vaginal odor after sex that is more than can be attributed to sweaty genitals, it's possible you could have an infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV occurs when the balance in that all-important vaginal ecosystem is disturbed, allowing a bacterium called Gardnerella vaginosis to thrive. The infection causes a thin, grey discharge with a fishy odor that is more pungent when in contact with semen. Your GP can help diagnose this and administer treatment.

Semen or 'cum'

Semen or 'cum' is normally a white or grey colored fluid that carries the sperm. It has a mild chlorine-like smell due to alkaline substances. With sexually transmitted infections, it is possible for the semen to change color to yellow or green and it can smell offensive. This means semen could be a potential cause of a bad vaginal odor after sex.

After a male has ejaculated into the vagina, most semen will either seep out or dry up. It certainly won't 'rot' inside you. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, and any remaining semen will exit the body via a women's discharge. Sperm can survive for a maximum of five days inside the vagina.

Hormonal changes

Vaginal odor may vary in response to your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause.


Hormonal treatment such as the contraceptive pill and antihistamines can dry the vagina out and change its odor.


Mainly anecdotal evidence has suggested that vaginal odor may change with certain foods, such as garlic, onions, and strong spices.

Other causes of an abnormal vaginal odor, particularly if accompanied by symptoms such as an itchy or irritated vagina or a change in discharge, may require investigating with your GP. Potential causes include: 

➧ Poor hygiene.

➧ Sexually transmitted infections.

➧ A forgotten tampon.

➧ Thrush infection.

➧ Rectovaginal fistula (an abnormal connection between the vagina and the rectum, most commonly due to bowel problems like inflammatory bowel disease, childbirth-related injuries, cancer, or cancer treatments such as radiotherapy).

➧ Vaginal and cervical cancer.

How to get rid of the vaginal odor? Read on to find out!

We are often bombarded with adverts for feminine hygiene products encouraging you to keep your vagina clean and smelling like flowers. This can send damaging messages to women that the vagina is unhygienic and needs regular cleaning. Both are nonsense.

Your vagina is self-cleaning, and using feminine hygiene products can affect your natural microbiome, leaving you more susceptible to infections (and accompanying bad odors). A recent study demonstrated that women using feminine hygiene products or douches were more likely to have BV, yeast infections, sexually transmitted infections and UTIs.

Avoid all the expensive (and sometimes harmful) products and simply adhere to the following advice to keep your vaginal healthy naturally:

Drink Enough Water To Make Your Vagina Smell Good

The standard for everyone is to drink eight glasses of water on a daily basis, but people have different metabolic rates and activity levels, so some may drink too much water while others might be lacking hydration. For your vagina to smell good, drink enough water, especially when you notice your pee looks pale yellow or clearer. Whenever we are dehydrated for not drinking enough water, our urine becomes more acidic and makes the vagina taste sour, something that will develop into a severe smell afterward. When we drink enough water, it helps us flush out toxins that can make our excretion organs including the vagina smell terrible. Drinking 500 ml(17 oz) of water daily can improve metabolism by up to 30% and drinking 2 liters(68 ounces) of water every day can improve your energy expenditure by 98 calories. So drinking enough water is not only beneficial in making your vagina smell good.

Shave The Vagina, Clean It With Water; Avoid Douching

Your man might have given you a sign that he is coming to hit it in a couple of minutes and you are worried if your vagina smells fine. Those minutes are enough for you to prepare that vagina. Go to the bathroom and wash your vagina with plenty of water. Rinse it a couple of times and put your fingers in the vagina to clean all the dirt and sweat in there. However, avoid vaginal douching. Douching is cleaning your vagina using water and a mixture of fluids, for instance, apple cider vinegar, which is not the right thing to do. You also need to shorten the hair around your vagina regularly. Hair can trap moisture which can then turn into a sweat in a short time and become smelly. A sweaty vagina will not be pleasant. If your vagina smells like ammonia, vinegar or urine, it’s because of the sweaty bikini area.

Get Herby To Keep The Smell Attractive

Herbs are well known for helping to eliminate powerful smells from body openings including a vagina. One of the herbs is rosemary. Yes! The plant with a lovely aroma can help you make your vagina smell good. And you don’t have to cook it, just put some few sprigs in your drinking water on a daily basis. You can also add the sprigs to your bath and feel its strong scent. The strong smell will definitely help in making your vagina smell fresh. Rosemary is not the only herb that has been known to refresh your vagina and make it smell fresh. There are other herbs including parsley and mint which have strong oils that help to maintain a pleasant smell in your vagina. But you don’t use them like the rosemary. Instead, you drop a few sprigs of mint to your dessert and eat it. It will help your vagina smell fresh, especially if you have some things to do in the evening that are quite frisky. Be kind to your vagina, and it will be useful to you. Make herbs like rosemary your friend!

Wear Cotton Panties, Avoid Thongs

The easiest way of making your vagina smell amazing is wearing panties that are made of natural fibers such as cotton or linen. Some girls make mistakes of buying undies that are too tight. Avoid tight pants because they can cause you to sweat and change the taste of your vagina considerably. Why should you avoid thongs? Thongs look sexy, that’s for sure, but their tiny strips can spread bacteria from your anal to your vagina and make it smell terrible. Changing your panties twice a day or wearing one for 12 hours will help your vagina smell good. By now maybe you are thinking what is the need of wearing a panty? Well, if you are wearing a dress or a skirt, you can just stay free as the wind. It’s actually better and more comfortable. It’s recommended to change your panty if it is silk or satin because they trap urine and sweat smell, making your vagina smelly. And before you hit the bed, wear a comfortable cotton panty and all will be well.

Eat More Citrus Fruits And Pineapples

According to research, grapefruits, lemons, oranges, and the likes, as well as pineapples, are widely known to sweeten the semen and vaginal discharge thus making your vagina smell good. These kinds of fruits possess vitamin C, a very powerful antioxidant, and a strong disinfectant that keeps your vagina clean. Doctors say that the acids in those fruits are helpful in pushing the water in our bodies and removing toxins, leaving our bodies, especially the openings like the vagina pleasant and smelling fruity. They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and I would say a citrus fruit a day, keeps your vagina amazing and the gynecologist away. So why don’t you grab a slice of pineapple starting today to keep the smell of your vagina wonderful?

Use Scented Lube To Smell Good Before Sex

It has been observed that many women smell and taste good in their vaginas before they have sex. You are perhaps wondering how to maintain that vaginal smell during sex. How can you manage to preserve that smell in your bedroom after experiencing some climaxes? Well, first of all, you should know that when your partner ejaculates in your vagina, the smell will change instantly. The reason why your scent changes is because his semen’s pH is different from your vagina; a man’s semen is basic while your vagina is acidic. The combination of alkalinity and acidity will definitely make your vagina smell. That’s where a scented lube comes in. It helps to make your vagina smell good during and after sexual intercourse and increase your sensation for more sex.

Become A Vegan To Maintain Good Smell

According to research, red meat and oily fish have been known to cause bad body odors and of course, smelly vaginas. If you have ever tasted fermented whale fat, a delicacy popular in Alaska, you must have noticed that it left you with a foul smell in your mouth, and maybe your vagina too, not for one day, but three or more. Doctors say that you can smell worse two hours after eating some red meat, not only in your mouth but also down there, your vagina. Red meat is not even healthy, and if you eat much of it, you will get exposed to some diseases. Anecdotally, women who eat veggies have the best smelling vaginas because they are used to eating fresh vegetables and fruits which have significant health benefits for their bodies and vaginas.

Practice Good Personal Hygiene

Some girls don’t know how to protect their vaginas. You should not wipe your anus from back to front as it will be like transporting bacteria from the anus to the vagina. You need to wipe from front to back to reduce the risk. Other girls don’t dry the region completely, and their vaginas end up being prone to infections due to humidity. Moreover, some don’t keep their nails clean, and you know dirty fingernails carry a lot of germs. You need to avoid scented products like feminine sprays and toilet papers that are sensitive to the skin of your vagina. They can cause inflammation and result in a smelly vaginal discharge. Clean nails will not leave bacteria in case you accidentally scratch your vagina.

You Need To Choose A Good Partner

Some girls don’t know sleeping with many guys can make their vaginas smelly. You should have one partner only and also make sure he has cause tested negative for any STD. Your vagina is very sensitive and failure to keep it in good condition can embarrass you. STDs can result in multiple complications leaving your vagina with some smelly discharge, not forgetting the pain and an itchy feeling. STDs can also cause degeneration of your reproductive organs, and so you should consider all these before allowing him through the “gates.”

Establish Good Sleep Routine

You might be asking yourself what a good sleep has to do with making your vagina have a wonderful smell. The answer is, everything! When you get a night of good and quality sleep, your body’s immunity improves and fights infections better. According to doctors, the liver and the gallbladder are usually busy repairing and detoxifying our bodies between 11 pm and 3 am. If you are awake by then, the organs don’t concentrate on their jobs, and more toxins remain in our bodies. It’s recommended to sleep by 10 pm every night to make your body relax and detoxify. By doing so, your vagina will stay clean and smell fine.

To wrap this up, a woman who knows her vagina is smelling good is confident. Moreover, she won’t turn off her man from a strange smell. So, it’s crucial for you to implement all the above and leave a happy life.


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