5 Reasons Your Vagina Might Smell Fishy

There are a lot of opinions regarding vagina odor, so much so in fact that there is an entire cottage industry built around keeping it "fresh" despite its self-cleaning capabilities. Not to mention that, as a society, we've been led to believe a vagina should smell like flowers instead of having a musky, pungent odor - which is normal, by the way.

There are times when the vagina can smell a little "off." This can happen for several reasons, and below we break down five reasons your vagina may smell fishy.

  • Your Diet Sucks: Believe it or not, what you eat impacts how you smell. Some foods can influence your body's pH, resulting in your smelling rank in your nether regions.
  • Poor Hygiene: Not washing your body thoroughly with a gentle cleanser, urinating after intimacy, or wiping front to back can set off the perfect storm for infections, leading to an unpleasant and sometimes fishy odor.
  • Excessive Sweat: Although sweating is a function of the body cooling itself, it can also result in the vagina smelling fishy due to sweat collecting in the pelvic region. This is why it is important to wear breathable fabrics such as cotton and bamboo.
  • Bacterial Vaginosis (BV): This condition is one of the more common reasons for the vagina to smell fishy. BV occurs due to an imbalance of the vagina's eco-system or flora, specifically, Gardnerella vaginalis and Bacteroides. In addition to a fishy vaginal odor, BV also causes itching and discharge that may appear thin, grey, yellow, white, or green.
  • Menstrual Cycle: Due to elevated pH during that time of the month, the eco-system of the vagina shifts. This can lead to your vagina having a slight change in scent, including a fishy odor.

If you are experiencing a fishy or unusual odor, it's always good practice to consult with your physician to ensure there are no underlying conditions. Safe is always better than sorry.