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Vaginal Odour - Is It Always A Sign of STDs?

Dr. Ashwini Talpe 94% (3298 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics & Gynecology, Fellowship in Infertility (IVF Specialist)
Gynaecologist, Aurangabad  •  11 years experience
Vaginal Odour -  Is It Always A Sign of STDs?

Most women have their own distinct smell below the belt. It might be a little embarrassing to know that there is a feminine odor, sometimes foul, in the private parts of a lady. But, it is true that this smell can be a cause of concern as well. Vaginal odour is a symptom for sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea. Besides, a combination of factors including infection of the vaginal tract, unhygiene, gland secretions, sweating and improper clothing are responsible for vaginal odour.

Common reasons for vaginal odour:

  1. Bacterial vaginosis: It is a very common phenomenon. Vagina contains bacteria, which are produced there naturally. Bacterial vaginosis refers to bacterial overgrowth. It leads to vaginal odour. Most women experience this condition at least once during their lifetime, especially in the reproductive years. Though the exact cause behind its occurrence is unknown, it can occur due to having unprotected sex or frequent douching.
  2. Yeast Infection: The odour caused due to yeast infection is not very strong. But it has other symptoms like white vaginal discharge and itching. The discharge looks like cottage cheese and is caused due to the excess growth of yeast named Candida. There might be a burning sensation at the time of having sex or urination.
  3. Sexually transmitted diseases: Vaginal odour is a symptom for STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
  4. Vaginal odour can intensify after having sex. It can also be caused due to inflammation of the pelvic region.

When is vaginal odour a signal for STDs?

Vaginal odour is normal. But, you need to watch out other symptoms to be sure that whether or not you are infected with STDs. If you have vaginal discharge, painful urination and difficulty in having sexual intercourse, there is a possibility of developing STDs. In case of STDs, the discharge is bloody or brown in colour. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.

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