How to Get Rid of Vaginal Odor: The Best Natural Remedies
If you suffer from vaginal odor – you are not alone. This is a very common problem that affects many women, but luckily 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.
This article will discuss some of the most common causes of bad vaginal odor, simple home remedies that will help you to get rid of vaginal odor, and I’ll also discuss when you need to see your doctor.
What Causes Vaginal Odor?
An unusual vaginal odor may occur due to different reasons and here are some of the most common causes of unpleasant vaginal smell:
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. I have written an article about the best natural ways for treating bacterial vaginosis (BV).
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 medical treatment if symptoms are present or during pregnancy to avoid complications.
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. This scent and its cause are not abnormal and do not generally require antibiotic or antifungal treatment; however, they can make you feel self-conscious and there are steps you can take to eliminate the unpleasant vaginal smell.
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.
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.
Menstrual cycle – 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.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Vaginal Odor
For whatever reason you may be experiencing a problem with vaginal odor, there is hope ahead. Try one of the following natural home remedies to get rid of unpleasant odor and restore the balance within your body.
1. Probiotics – One of the natural ways that can be used to get rid of vaginal odor is probiotics. Taking probiotic supplements can aid in keeping all of your inner flora in balance, including those within your vagina.
Probiotics are touted as helpful with digestive troubles, but can be wonderful for helping to keep the rest of your body in balance as well. Take the probiotics according to instructions to reap the best benefits from the products. Read more about probiotics in my article 9 Reasons To Take Probiotics And Why It’s So Good For You.
2. Yogurt – Another good ingredient that can be used to treat vaginal odor is yogurt. Eat plain yogurt. Consuming yogurt that has had no sugars or other sweeteners added on a daily basis—a half cup per day—helps to ensure long-term health and promotes the flourishing of “good” bacteria. Avoid syrupy, sugary yogurt brands and stick to the all-natural stuff.
3. 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.
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.
4. 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 and, if needed, use the low setting on a hair dryer to ensure dryness after bathing.
5. 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 intermittent unpleasant vaginal odor. For more information about tea tree oil, read my article 75 Extraordinary Uses for Tea Tree Oil.
6. 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. Also have a look at these 7 uses for baking soda as a kitchen medicine.
7. 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. Also read my articles How to Use Garlic as a Medicine, and 6 Common Mistakes When Using Garlic As an Antibiotic.
8. Steer clear of alcohol – Excessive alcohol consumption can throw off your body’s internal balance like nothing else. Avoid consuming alcohol, especially beer, if you are plagued by vaginal odor or recurrent yeast infections.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. Cleanse 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.
When to Call your Physician
While getting rid of vaginal odor can be simple with some home remedies, if your vaginal odor is accompanied by an unusual discharge, itching, burning, or pain, consult a doctor immediately—you may have an infection that requires antibiotic or antifungal medical treatment.
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.
Read my other related articles:
1. How To Treat Yeast Infection Naturally
2. Home Remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) – Research Based
3. The Top 10 Home Remedies for Vaginal Itching (Research Based)
4. What Is Vaginal Detox And How To Do It At Home