Okay, we all know that as women we can be pretty self-conscious about smells coming from down there. We want our vaginas to smell ‘pretty’ and not like something resembling a creature from the deep blue. But for 1 in 3 women, a ‘fishy’ vagina is a monthly struggle. So what’s causing the unpleasant smell?
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is basically your vag saying ‘no sis’ to the bad bacteria causing havoc and fishy smells. Think of your vagina as a well-balanced ecosystem, and one little upset can cause major problems (and smells). BV is a vaginal infection or inflammation caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria. This causes an unbalance which can lead to the following symptoms:
- A thin off-white discharge
- Fishy odour
- Mild itching or irritation on your vulva or in your vagina
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But the tricky thing is 50-75 % of women do not experience symptoms at all! That’s why it’s super important to take note of any vaginal changes that are different from your usual discharge or smell.
BV tends to be more common in women that are sexually active but can occur in women that are not as well. It’s unclear as to what exactly causes BV but there are numerous factors that can cause you to be more likely to get BV.
- Using scented pads or tampons.
- Washing your vagina with soap or douching.
- Using fragranced lotions or perfumes on your vagina.
- Washing your underwear with strong detergents.
- Having multiple or new sex partners.
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BV usually does not cause any serious health problems. But in some cases, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease which can cause infertility. Pregnant women that have BV may experience birth complications such as preterm birth.
The great news is that BV is totally treatable. Your doctor can prescribe you antibiotics or if you’re feeling a bit too embarrassed to see your doc, there’s over the counter solutions too. But it is recommended that anytime you are experiencing vaginal problems, it’s best to see you doctor to ensure that you don’t have an STD or other health problems.
And remember, this infection is extremely common, so it doesn’t mean that you are dirty. To prevent you from getting BV just engage in healthy vaginal and sexual behaviour, so no perfumes or soap near your vagina and always use condoms with new sexual partners.
Looking for more? Here’s everything you need to know about vaginal infections.
Health Health Advice Sexual Health Vaginas