The fishy smell refers to the abnormal vaginal odor and all vaginas have a mild odor whether it is a healthy vagina, a totally normal vaginal odors vagina or an unhealthy vagina. But some abnormal vaginal odors are unpleasant enough to require a doctor’s consultation, so here we will know the reasons why I have a fishy smell.
There is no need to worry about any fishy smell or unpleasant odor after vaginal penetration, as sometimes stress, lifestyle, or diet changes also reflect this. But the possibility of vaginal itching or urinary infections can put your vaginal health at risk.
1. What is Vaginal Odor?
Every vagina has a foul vaginal odor or vaginal microbiome, an odor that depends on the vagina’s pH levels and level of how acidic the vagina is. Many types of bacteria that live in the vagina create a strong vaginal odor or flora.
The vaginal flora can fluctuate according to the vaginal pH and level maintenance vaginal area. And that imbalance in the good bacteria’s presence creates an abnormal odor or causes a fishy smell.
A healthy vulva or vagina may smell salty or sweet and copper or blood type but commonly there does not appear to be any serious underlying condition or underlying infection or cause. Even a bath wash or body cleaning can resolve your internal issues.
2. What is an Abnormal Vaginal Odor?
Every vagina has its own unique scent or that odor or smell indicates your lifestyle or health. Even in the menstrual cycle, you will see many odor changes.
A strong or unpleasant smell will decide whether your vagina is happy or not because it will reflect the poor health of your vagina or what we call fishy smell. Since it has been going on for more than a day or a long time now it indicates infection or advises the idea of referral to medications.
3. Causes of Fishy Smell
The imbalance of vaginal bacteria and level or pH level occurring in your vagina creates vaginal irritation and an unpleasant or fishy smell that could embarrass you and make you consult a specialist. The condition is vaginitis
3.1 Bacterial Vaginosis
It is a very common cause to show the imbalance in warm water in the vagina’s pH level. It causes a very fishy vaginal odor and is responsible for the very fishy vaginal smell and unpleasant odor. It happens usually after having sex.
Even you can figure it out from the gray or gray-white discharge which can create a strong fishy smell showing the bad bacteria presence.
There is no known exact cause of bacterial vaginosis, but some guesses can be made that can explain the overgrowth of unwanted bacteria.
Those common causes are reproductive age, sexual intimacy with a new partner, or barrier methods, and smoking can be a cause of it.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The yellow discharge tells about other symptoms of this condition that could lead to a fishy and unpleasant smell. The further symptoms of vaginal infection include pain or burning sensation with urination.
There are two types of cancers that can cause this smell and other symptoms of unusual discharge because of the situation. It can be vaginal or cervical cancer. Someone suffering from this disease control can have the symptoms of heavy discharge with a bad smell or strong odor.
This is also a sexually transmitted infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. Initially, only a thick yellow discharge will be seen as a symptom of vaginal infection. But if it is not treated for a long time, it can worsen the health of the vaginal swelling vagina along with foul odor.
This is also a type of sexually transmitted disease which is caused by Trichomonas vaginalis parasite. Along with yellow-green discharge, other symptoms such as strong foul-smelling discharge and fishy odor can also be seen.
It can also further cause a urinary burning sensation, spotting, and genital redness.
3.6. Rectovaginal Fistula
This is a rare condition in which the opening between the rectum and vagina leads to leakage harmful bacteria into the vagina which further affects the health of the vagina. This gives rise to a fishy smell or foul-smelling vaginal discharge sometimes.
3.7. Tampon Stay
Tampons are very comfortable to use but if these tampons are left in the vagina for too long during periods, then the vagina has to face such unhealthy issues as grain, yellow, and white discharge along with the smell of rotten meat.
3.8. Hygiene Issue
It is very important for us to keep our hygiene a priority on a daily basis. It is mandatory to keep the health of the vagina in check and balance. Your diet or lifestyle indicates your health.
If you do not give priority to your internal hygiene after the workout, sweat work, or during periods of sexual intercourse, you will face the problems of fishy smell, unpleasant odor, or continuous discharge.
3.9. Pregnancy Cause
Vaginitis is a common problem in pregnant women because at this time you can see such changes in case of abnormal vaginal odor diagnosed discharge. At this time you will have cravings or mood swings and also hormonal changes which will trigger your vaginal smell and discharge.
3.10. Dehydration and Sweating Issue
If you go to urine disposal and feel a pungent smell or color then it indicates dehydration. Dehydration results in increased amounts of urea, which is made up of ammonia.
When there is too much urea in the urine, it can produce a strong fishy odor along with the urine, which impacts overall vaginal odor or health.
Sweating produces bad bacteria if you have not washed your body for a long time. You should prefer loose and breathable fabric.
Stress or weakness also encourages sweating due to sweat glands whose internal parts get affected a lot.
3.11. Sexual Activity
Whether it’s masturbation or sexual intimacy, you may notice a change in your vaginal scent, which can produce a fishy smell that can be unusually unpleasant.
For this you have to keep your internal health good and include protection at the time of sexual involvement on a mandatory basis.
4. What to Do to Get Rid of that Fishy Smell?
Fast food and unhealthy food imbalance our hormonal levels and worsen gut health which increases the chances of developing urinary infections which impacts vaginal health. Eat more and more fruits and vegetables with the consumption of probiotics.
If you are using a public Western toilet, it is important to remove unwanted drops with the help of tissue as they can lead to urinary tract infections. You also need to clean your body on a daily basis so that sweat bacteria cannot ruin your vaginal health. Even during periods, it is extremely important to remove or clean tampons, pads, or menstrual cups respectively. These are the factors that commonly cause the vaginal to smell or cause a fishy vaginal odor or smell.
Workouts, yoga, or meditation, all can play a good role in maintaining your overall internal hygiene.
If the problem of foul-smelling discharge or fishy smell smelling discharge becomes a more serious complication then medications are needed which are mandatory to improve your overall health even for future plans.
4.5. Home Remedies
Some of the home remedies that you can refer to improve your vagina’s healthy vaginal health.
4.5.1 Bath with guava leaves
4.5.2 Bath with Peruvian pepper tree
4.5.3 Consumption of raw garlic daily
We all know that women have many vaginal odors and scents which is known as vaginal flora. Due to any reason that unbalances your vaginal pH level which starts the problem of unwanted vaginal discharge, and causes vaginal odors with a fishy or odor, that situation can even make you embarrassed.
Just focus on your regular hygiene and diet sessions so that you will not have this unpleasant body odor problem in the long run.
No need to rush getting stressed. Unless you notice unusual symptoms in the long run, focus on daily cleaning while keeping your hygiene and diet in mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What does the fishy smell refer to?
The fishy smell refers to the strong unpleasant, fishy vaginal smell or odor that is a sign of the poor health of your vagina.
Q2. What are the common causes of the vaginal foul odor?
There are a few causes that lead to vaginal infections and foul vaginal odor, like UTIs, vaginitis, chlamydia, tampon stay, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, etc. Diet and hygiene also play an important role in getting the vaginal odor and poor health completely normal again.
Q3. When should I seek treatment?
You should seek treatment and prescribe medications when you start having itching, burning sensations vaginal and genital itching, and, thick discharge along with a fishy smell and foul odor.
Q4. Do home remedies help?
Yes, home remedies can help you to get relief for a while like having a bath with guava leaves, peppercorn, and Peruvian pepper tree and consuming raw garlic.
A postgraduate in history who has around 1 year of job experience as a content writer on e-commerce platform.
At present, an UPSC aspirant who wants to give some time to her writing skill too.