Does my vagina smell normal?

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Answered by: Nicolette, An Expert in the Women's Sexual Health Category
From childhood our vagina is closed off to be considered a “private part”. Something we do not discuss until puberty hits we miraculously bleed for days on end and aren’t rushed to the ER (I apologize for the gory details) and even then we refer to the menstrual process as “Aunt Flow”, the “Dot”, or “that time of the month”. During womanhood, we push out human bodies to continue the circle of life, yet, it’s considered taboo to discuss what is going on “down there”.



Due to our society’s discomfort with discussing matters of the reproductive system often times when questions of curiosity such as "does my vagina smell normal?" do come up they go unasked, thus, unanswered and a cycle of shame from ignorance continues. But let’s be honest, vaginas are a huge whole that provide an entry way into our bodies (once again apologize for the visualization) and we should be educated on how to best arm this entry way. We should know how to best take care and respect this sacred hole. Yet, how can we when there is “weird” odor emitting creating a barrier between said hole and true education on your vagina.

With bodily functions being labeled as “gross” and “unladylike” from childhood, self-consciousness at the stake of smells is normal but wrong. Excretions are supposed to smell! It is the body’s way of eliminating toxins and wastes. However, we know that. More often than not our true concern is whether or not our vagina has a normal odor. Which in comparison to the strides we have made as women seem silly, but they idea of prim and prissy has been slow to fade in regards to our “private part” upkeep.



Does my vagina smell normal? Or what is it supposed to smell like? It varies. Every woman has their own vaginal odor, specific to a variety of factors such as: diet, hygienic, sweat, bacteria and even how you dress. Pretty much your odor has it’s own personality, so yes, your vaginal odor is normal. What is considered “normal” falls between the picturesque fragrant flowers advertised in douching products and the stereotypical “fish market” of an unkempt vagina. In fact, your scent can change depending on your activity level or even the time of the month. The vaginas transition between acidic and basic pH levels are the culprit of particular menstrual smell. However, certain smells can guide you to what is going on down there. If there is a change in smell, secretion or any discomfort you should seek medical consultation from your doctor.

The best way to keep your vagina pristine is to let it do its job. The vagina is a self cleaner and does the legwork by excreting discharge and removes germs and bacteria out of your body. So, no, douching is NOT the way. In fact, douching kills off the good bacteria that protects you and even sends the secretions of waste in the opposite direction which could lead to a host of other issues, seeing as the vagina is the hole leading to everything. Your best bet is warm water and a tad of soap.

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