Smelly discharge is an issue that could be embarrassing to discuss, and as a result, many women both young and old, suffer it in silence.
Vaginal discharge is very important in keeping the female organ in good condition; in the sense that, the fluid made by the glands inside the vagina carries away dead cells and bacteria, thus keeping the vagina clean and healthy, and help fight off infection.
The smell of your discharge may be different if you are pregnant, or your personal hygiene isn’t good enough, or if you have bacterial vaginosis – a bacterial infection.
However, these discharges have treatments and aren’t incurable; yeast infections are usually treated with antifungal medications, bacterial vaginosis is usually treated with antibiotic pills or creams and trichomoniasis has drugs that will remedy its effect.
A healthy vagina smell is usually described as “musky”, while a menstrual cycle discharge might have a slightly “metallic” scent for a few days.
However, if you notice an unusual odour, you can try the following home remedy:
1. Good hygiene
Clean the outside of your vagina regularly with a mild soap and clean water. Avoid using perfumed soap and body washes or any scented products, as this could upset your body’s natural pH.
Try to always wear 100% cotton underwear; they are usually comfortable and breathable. They are even more important if you’re in a hot environment. Excess moisture can upset your body’s natural bacteria levels. And of course, you ought to change your underwear regularly.
3. Apple cider vinegar
This has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can be used to fight vaginal odour. They can help fight off the toxins that cause vaginal odour.
You can choose to drink a glass of water with one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily. You can also mix it with warm water for a bath; doing this regularly can help remedy the smell in a week.
Yoghurt is rich in lactobacillus which is a known fighter of candida infection – a common cause of vaginal odour. It’ll also help restore the vagina’s normal pH level, and once this is balanced, the odour will be gone in no time.
Garlic also has powerful antifungal properties that can deal with vaginal infections and its odour. Eating garlic or placing a little piece in the vagina for about an hour daily can help fight yeast infection and help your body get rid of other bad bacteria that causes that pungent smell.
6. Tea tree oil
This contains strong antifungal properties and antiseptic that’ll help fight off those smell causing bacteria. Apply a few drops on a cotton pad to your vagina and it can make a huge difference if done daily.
7. Fruits and vegetables
The importance of fruits and vegetables can never be overemphasised; they contain essential vitamins and minerals that not only promote a healthy body system (including your vagina) but also boosts your immune system against disease-causing bacteria. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to stimulate vaginal health.
Water is life, they say and if you want a healthy vagina, you must keep hydrating your system. Water helps lubricate your vagina naturally, which will aid in diminishing vaginal smells.
If the odour is accompanied by unusual symptoms, then you should skip any home treatment and consult your doctor. Strong odours, irritation and itching, as well as unusual discharge could all be signs that you might need to see a doctor.