- Remember that your vagina is an organ, not a flower, so it’s normal to have a slight odor.
- But fishy vaginal odor can indicate an infection like bacterial vaginosis (BV), trichomoniasis, or even certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Practicing safe sex, good hygiene, and getting routine checkups can prevent and sort out fishy vaginal odor.
What causes a fishy vaginal odor?
It’s perfectly normal for a healthy vagina to have an odor, but a strong or foul-smelling scent can be a sign that something isn’t quite right down there. Fishy vaginal odor is most commonly associated with bacterial vaginosis (more on that below), but there are other possible causes. So, what exactly causes a fishy vaginal smell, and how can you treat it?
BV is one of the main culprits behind a fishy vaginal odor. Around 35% of people with a vagina will get it at some point in their life. BV is caused by an imbalance of vaginal flora, which is the bacteria that live in your vagina and protects you from infections. The main symptom of BV is a fishy-smelling discharge that is thin or watery in consistency and white or gray in color.
You might be curious as to what causes BV. Sex is one of the most common triggers (especially if you switch between anal and vaginal sex), but it’s not an STI. Although it’s relatively common, you should treat it as soon as possible, and luckily, BV is easily treated with a course of antibiotics. Your doctor may also suggest a topical solution to ease unpleasant symptoms. And remember, after going to the toilet, always wipe from front to back to avoid bacteria spreading.