Vaginas are pretty amazing – but they can also be really, really annoying. Your vagina and your whole down there area in general is so sensitive that being mindful of taking care of it can be a full-time job. There are so many weird little things that can throw off your delicate pH balance, causing infections down there or simply making things smell a little funky.
Vaginal odor is certainly not the end of the world, and while it happens to literally everyone with a vay-jay-jay, it’s still not fun to deal with. Whether you’re stressing over someone getting grossed out when they’re all up in your business or you have a fear that people are going to smell it through your clothing, it can be pretty worrisome. You’re never going to be able to stop vaginal odors altogether, but there are some things you can do to try to prevent it – like avoiding the below things. Here are 8 surprising causes of smells down there:
Swimming PoolsDo you ever notice things down there getting a little funky after going for a dip in the pool? There's a reason for that: pools can eff with your pH balance. One doctor says that the chlorine used to kill bacteria in a pool (and make it safe for swimming) can go into overdrive and start killing the bacteria on you. As you may already know, your vag needs healthy bacteria to function correctly. If the chlorine kills the healthy bacteria, that leaves your down there area open for infection. Chlorine in swimming pools can cause itchiness, odor, yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and vaginitis. Source: ShutterStock
Sleeping In Your UnderwearThink of your vag as an open wound: it needs to breathe to be healthy. Okay, that's kind of disgusting, but for real - your vagina needs to breathe. That's why doctors recommend going commando sometimes, especially when you're sleeping. If you're always sleeping in tight undies or shorts and you're never giving it a chance to have some fresh air, that could explain a funky odor. Source: ShutterStock
Brazilian WaxesIf you choose to go bare down there, a popular way to do so may be waxing. Maybe you're into Brazilian waxes, which get rid of literally all the hair down there from your vag AND your butt. Brazilians are great for being silky smooth, but they may not be SO great for your girlhood. Pubes serve more of a purpose than you think - they protect your vagina by trapping harmful bacteria. Without pubes, there's no barrier there, so bacteria can get in and infect you faster and easier. This could cause infections or just weird smells. Source: ShutterStock
Scented Pads or TamponsYou might think that a scented tampon is perfectly healthy because it is literally an item that is made to be in your vagina. But you would be wrong. Putting any kind of perfumed scent down there is risky - the area is just too sensitive. Putting something scented literally INSIDE of you? Definitely not a good idea. I honestly am shocked that companies still make these.
Sugary FoodsSome women mistakenly believe that sweet, sugary food will make your down there area taste sweeter. Nope. Eating too much sugary food can actually have the opposite effect. It can cause yeast and bacterial infections, which lead to odor - or odor on it's own. This definitely doesn't mean you have to cut out sugar completely, but be mindful of how much you're eating! Source: ShutterStock
Red MeatNot only does red meat sometimes throw off your pH levels (which can lead to odor, itchiness, and infections), but it can also just generally make you smell bad. Within two hours of eating red meat, you might notice that you smell bad (down there and in general) because red meat makes you sweat more AND makes your sweat smellier. It might be something you want to avoid if you have a big romantic night planned! Source: ShutterStock
Tight ClothingLike I said before: your vag needs room to breathe! How can it possibly do that if you're always wearing clothes that are super tight?! Sure, your skintight leather leggings look amazing, but they could also be contributing to smelly vaginal odor. It's fine to wear these things once in a while, but do it too often, and you'll definitely notice a difference. It gets sweaty down there! Also, tight clothing or underwear becomes a moist breeding ground for bacteria. Yum! Source: ShutterStock
Foods With Strong OdorsYou already know that certain foods can make you smell differently down there - we pointed out red meat and sugar specifically. But other foods that have strong odors can also be contributing to a smelly vag. Some examples: asparagus, garlic, curry, coffee, and dairy. Source: ShutterStock
Which of these things surprised you the most? What did I forget to include? Tell me in the comments.