Not going to lie, I’ve spent endless hours Googling to see what my vagina should smell like and the best answer I’ve gotten is metallic.
It’s a bald-faced lie when they try to convince you that your vagina should smell like absolutely nothing, so don’t be fooled.
However, I can also think of countless times where I’ve scurried into panic mode in order to figure out what the not-so-metallic smell is down there. I went into a (now hilarious) downward spiral the first time I had a yeast infection, but mostly because I spent the day on search engines discovering all the things that could be wrong.
As you can imagine Google’s number one answer will almost always send you into a helpless ball of fear.
So, we’re not here to help you self-diagnosis but to instead give you a better idea of all the other things that could be throwing your vagina scent off. And, here are 5 of the very best answers.
- Your Tampons And/Or Pads
While you should feel free to use whichever tampon or pad you like, sometimes using them can change the pH of your vulva — and that can affect the scent you’re used to. If pH imbalance is something you’re worried about, switching to a menstrual cup may help. “The cups don’t interfere with the vaginal balance,” says Julie Weigaard Kjaer, co-founder of the Ruby Cup. Just something to consider, should you be interested.
- Your Favorite Sugary Foods
If you’re all about donuts (and really, who isn’t?) it may eventually change your scent. As Weigaard Kjaer tells me, a particularly sugary diet can lead to a different vaginal odor. Fruits and veggies, on the other hand, may lead to a more subtle scent.
- Your Prescription Medications
Some medications can mess with your scent, Weigaard Kjaer tells me. So if you notice an odor change, this may be why. If you’re worried about it, talk with your doctor. He or she can look into switching things up for an Rx that has less side effects.
- Your Go-To Washing Technique
On a day-to-day basis, you might clean around you vulva with expert care. Or, you might just give yourself a once over with the shower nozzle. Depending on how thoroughly you clean, you might notice a change in scent. This is especially true if you happened to use a strong soup, which can throw off your pH. As Weigaard Kjaer says, “If you must use soap, find a mild, natural, or neutral soap without perfumes or chemical additives.”
- Your Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is one of those things (like asparagus, garlic, or spicy foods ) that can change the way your body smells, Weigaard Kjaer tells me. If you notice that your pee (or your general vaginal area) smells a bit different after a night of heavy drinking, it may be due to all those vodka cranberries.