What kind of odor is considered a "bad" odor? Which smell is "normal" and which is "bad"?


Anything kind of fishy smelling or very strong isn’t good. You know your body best and what is “normal” for you. If something seems up or really different, it’s always a good idea to get it checked out. It’s always better to be safe!


Instead of “normal” and “bad” try thinking of vaginal odor as “typical” or “unusual” for you. Vaginas have a scent. That's the plain and simple truth. It's not a strong odor, so you don't have to worry about others smelling it as you walk down the halls of your school or anything and it's not even a necessarily unpleasant odor. But if you notice a more intense or different odor than usual, there may be something causing it -- particularly if you're having other symptoms such as heavy discharge. If you've recently experienced a change in your vaginal odor, consider going to see your healthcare professional.


Odors down there…. I get a lot of questions about this at the office. Throughout your cycle your vaginal mucus changes and as it changes, the odor it may produce will change too. In the first half of your cycle, as your body is ramping up to ovulate, you will have clear, stringy vaginal discharge with little or no odor. If there is an odor at all, it is slightly sweet smelling due to the acidity of the vagina. After you ovulate, your mucus gets thicker and slightly whitish in color and will be more vinegary in its smell. Even during the last half of your cycle, you have to be right up against the vagina to really smell it. If you can smell your netherparts without being ‘right there’ or through clothing, then the smell means something is amiss. It may just be that you need to do a better job with wiping and washing but it could also mean there’s an infection going on down there. If you aren’t sure or if you’re smelling a foul odor even when you aren’t trying to smell it, head to your healthcare provider.

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