How To Make Your Period Blood Smell Better

Dear Heather,

Is there a way to make your period blood smell better? I feel so gross every time I have my period and I smell fishy. I’m worried that everyone can smell me. What do I do?


Ugh. Periods. Why do they have to make our lives so complicated? Of all the weird side effects of having your period, one of the most annoying has to be the smell – this is because it feels like everyone is conscious of it, and because no one ever talks about it. This lack of conversation about the smell of period blood probably makes you feel even worse, because it most likely makes you think you’re the only one dealing with it. You aren’t! Now that that’s out of the way, can you make your period blood smell better?

Although I feel pretty confident on my answer here, I spoke to a professional to make sure I was giving you the right info. I went to my friend Dr. Sherry Ross for advice – she’s from the site HelloFlo (a monthly period package you need in your life ASAP). First, what I wanted to know was this: is smelly period blood normal? Dr. Sherry Ross said, “Your menstrual or period blood has a certain kind of smell. It is usually mild and should not be offensive or smell fishy.” So, that settles that! It’s blood, and of course the smell is normal.

However, if your period blood is especially smelly (like, distractingly so), that might be an issue. Dr. Ross said, “If period blood comes in contact with unwanted bacteria in the vagina and a foul odor is noticed, an infection may be brewing.” Okay, wait, don’t panic. That odor could also be a result of other things that are completely harmless and don’t mean anything’s wrong. It could be a few different things! But Dr. Ross suggests, “I would have you see a health care provider if you are noticing an offensive or unusual odor not typical of menstrual bleeding.” This means if your period blood smells worse than normal and you’re experiencing other symptoms (itchiness, burning sensation when peeing, etc.) you should see a doctor.

Okay, now, for how to make it stop smelling? To be honest, there’s not much you can do. Period blood is period blood – it might smell sometimes. The best advice I can give you is to stay as clean as possible. Shower regularly, change your period products very few hours, and wear clean underwear. Don’t try using any kind of spray down there, as the scent could mess with your pH balance and give you an infection. If you’re really stressed about it, wear jeans or shorts instead of a dress or skirt, which will ~contain~ the smell more. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t worry too much. You probably notice it more than anyone else!

What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at You can also reach our buddies at HelloFlo with questions about your body or health. Just ask Dr. Flo at HelloFlo!


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