An unpleasant vaginal odor is a problem that occurs in some women. Superficially, this problem may seem embarrassing, affect self-esteem, ruin sex life and may even damage your relationship with your partner. But, internally, it may indicate a disease or an infection. Strong vaginal odor usually occurs due to a vaginal yeast infection.
A mild vaginal odor is normal and not a cause for concern. But, a strong, fishy vaginal odor, accompanied by other vaginal symptoms, such as itching, burning or irritation could be a sign of a more serious issue that may require medical intervention. Vaginal odor is usually more noticeable just after sex and can vary all through the menstrual cycle. Here are a few simple methods by which you can prevent and eliminate vaginal odor.
1. Include Nuts And Seeds In Your Diet
Consuming nuts and seeds with your daily diet is one way to prevent vaginal odor. Nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts are extremely nutritious foods that are rich in vitamin E, which helps prevent vaginal dryness. Almonds and pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc, which helps in regulating the menstrual cycle, reduce itching and other symptoms of dryness that can cause bacterial growth and odor.1 Other seeds like ground flaxseed are rich in phytoestrogens and omega-3 fatty acids, which increases estrogen levels and may prevent vaginal dryness.
2. Take A Bath In White Vinegar And Sea Salt
Contrary to its name, white vinegar is actually clear and is usually produced from sugar cane. White vinegar helps in neutralizing odors by breaking down odor proteins. A white vinegar bath can help eradicate vaginal odor and restore pH levels in the vagina.2 Sea salt is particularly beneficial as it contains an array of minerals including potassium, which helps balance skin moisture. Mixing half a cup each of white vinegar and sea salt in lukewarm bath water thrice a week is an effective method to reduce vaginal odor.
3. Eat Garlic
Though garlic is famous for its strong odor and often used in cooking, it is also widely used as a medication for its antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It’s a natural antibiotic that may be effective in treating vaginal infections and vaginal odor. The antifungal properties of garlic help fight a yeast infection, which, in turn, destroys bad bacteria.3 One method is to include garlic in raw or cooked form into your diet. Garlic is also available in capsules at health food stores.
4. Take A Bath In Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a multi-purpose product that has a variety of uses in numerous home remedies. Its antibacterial and antiseptic properties can help prevent and eradicate vaginal odor.4 Adding a few drops of apple cider vinegar into your bath and just soaking in the goodness can help destroy the toxins and bacteria that cause vaginal odor while restoring the acidic quality of the vaginal flora. You may also drink a glass of water mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily.
5. Load Up On Fruits And Vegetables
Fresh, organic fruits and vegetables are crucial for our health. They also promote vaginal health owing to the variety of vitamins and minerals they contain. Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits such as guava, strawberry, kiwi, and green and red peppers, help boost immunity.5 For improved blood circulation and preventing vaginal dryness, leafy vegetables are mandatory.
Women suffering from vaginal odor must consume lots of green, leafy veggies such as spinach, kale, cabbage, salad, Swiss chard, and collards. Avocados stimulate vaginal health and improve libido as they contain vitamin B6 and potassium, which supports healthy vaginal walls and reducing the risks of infection and bacterial growth.6
6. Apply Tea Tree Oil And Witch Hazel
Tea tree is renowned for its strong antifungal and antiseptic properties, which are effective in eliminating the bacteria that may cause vaginal odor and discomfort.7 It is also great for healing superficial wounds.8 Add a few drops of tea tree oil along with witch hazel, dilute it with water and using a cotton pad, apply it on the groin area to eliminate vaginal odor.
7. Wash With Water
Drinking sufficient quantities of water is crucial for our health. Keeping the body well-hydrated prevents many forms of odor, such as body odor, oral odor, and even vaginal odor. The mucous vaginal membranes require water to function properly and remain well-hydrated. Water helps lubricate the vagina naturally, which is important in preventing and eliminating vaginal odors.9
|↑1||Gupta, Mrinal, Vikram K. Mahajan, Karaninder S. Mehta, and Pushpinder S. Chauhan. “Zinc therapy in dermatology: a review.” Dermatology research and practice 2014 (2014).|
|↑2||Genet, J. “Natural remedies for vaginal infections.” SIDAhora: un proyecto del Departamento de Publicaciónes del PWA Coalition, NY (1995): 40.|
|↑3||Mohammadzadeh, Farnaz, Mahrokh Dolatian, Masoome Jorjani, Hamid Alavi Majd, and Nasrin Borumandnia. “Comparing the therapeutic effects of garlic tablet and oral metronidazole on bacterial vaginosis: a randomized controlled clinical trial.” Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal 16, no. 7 (2014).|
|↑4||Mota, Ana Carolina Loureiro Gama, Ricardo Dias Castro, Julyana Araújo Oliveira, and Edeltrudes Oliveira Lima. “Antifungal activity of apple cider vinegar on candida species involved in denture stomatitis.” Journal of Prosthodontics 24, no. 4 (2015): 296-302.|
|↑5||Frobenius, W., and C. Bogdan. “Diagnostic Value of Vaginal Discharge, Wet Mount and Vaginal pH–An Update on the Basics of Gynecologic Infectiology.” Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde 75, no. 04 (2015): 355-366.|
|↑6||Ryan-Wenger, Nancy A., Jeremy L. Neal, Ashley S. Jones, and Nancy K. Lowe. “Accuracy of vaginal symptom self-diagnosis algorithms for deployed military women.” Nursing research 59, no. 1 (2010): 2.|
|↑7||Di Vito, Maura, Paola Mattarelli, Monica Modesto, Antonietta Girolamo, Milva Ballardini, Annunziata Tamburro, Marcello Meledandri, and Francesca Mondello. “In vitro activity of tea tree oil vaginal suppositories against Candida spp. and probiotic vaginal microbiota.” Phytotherapy Research 29, no. 10 (2015): 1628-1633.|
|↑8||Shenefelt, Philip D. “18 Herbal Treatment for Dermatologic Disorders.” Lester Packer, Ph. D. (2011): 383.|
|↑9||Hassan, Sarmina, Ashwin Chatwani, Herman Brovender, Richard Zane, Thomas Valaoras, and Jack D. Sobel. “Douching for perceived vaginal odor with no infectious cause of vaginitis: a randomized controlled trial.” Journal of lower genital tract disease 15, no. 2 (2011): 128-133.|