It is very common for women to experience vaginal problems due to the menstrual cycle, birth control methods, sex or aging. Vaginal odor may change according to your sexual health. Sometimes, it is wrongly interpreted as infection or any other problem but it is a naturally existing odor which can also be caused by normal sweating. Nevertheless, an unpleasant vaginal odor can also be indicative of infection, irritation or an overgrowth of vaginal bacteria. Four common reasons of vaginal odor are:
1. Bacterial vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an overgrowth of naturally existing bacteria in the vagina which can occur due to unprotected sex, douching or low production of lactobacilli bacteria. This can cause irritation, itching and makes women more vulnerable to sexually transmitted infection and other complications like preterm birth. Bacterial vaginosis is a very common occurrence for women in their reproductive years and is the primary reason for the vaginal odor in most cases.
2. Poor hygiene
Poor hygiene can be one of the major causes of vaginal odor. In terms of hygiene two common reasons which can cause unpleasant odor are the lack of proper washing and not wearing clean undergarments. Due to the presence of sweat around the genitalia and poor maintenance of hygiene, women often experience bad odor.
3. Forgotten tampon
A forgotten tampon can cause bacterial infection and lead to vaginal odor. The growth of bacteria along with menstrual blood can cause itching and lead to unpleasant smelling vaginal discharge. Sometimes, the infection can spread and cause serious problems like pain in the lower abdomen.
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease which is caused by a protozoan parasite. It can cause a foul smelling odor, soreness, pain while urination and intercourse and also vaginal itching. Pregnant women suffering from this disease are more at risk to deliver premature babies. It can be treated with antibiotics and can be prevented with proper use of condoms. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.