Nineteen-year-old Tina says, “I always experience a vaginal odor but at times it becomes worse. I wonder if I am the only one who smells so bad. I am embarrassed to even ask my friends and family if they do too. I follow the hygiene routine, but still, I face this problem. So, I always think is there something wrong with me?”
Like Tina, are you facing the problem of vaginal odor? Does it embarrass you and kill your confidence in moments of intimacy? Do you want to know how to get rid of vaginal odor? If yes, then read on to know more about it including its causes and the home remedies to prevent and eliminate vaginal odor.
What Causes Vaginal Odor?
Generally women of child-bearing age suffer from this vaginal odor problem. There are many reasons for which most women experience vaginal odor, which at times becomes embarrassing and frustrating. Let’s have a look.
- Sweating: Like body odor, the vaginal odor can also occur due to sweating. Sweat and perspiration allow bacteria to breed on your skin. As the vaginal area does not dry quickly, it becomes odorous.
- Hormones: Most women notice body odor when their hormones are most active. Just before your menstrual cycle, during your periods or soon after your periods, you may notice a distinct odor. Hormonal upheavals, low estrogen level, use of birth control pills, hormonal therapies etc. may also contribute to vaginal odor.
- Diet: Sometimes your dietary habits contribute to your distinct body odor and vaginal odor. Consumption of foods rich in carbohydrate leads to vaginal odor. Sugar, spicy foods, garlic, onions, asparagus, and caffeine consumption can contribute to vaginal odor.
- Poor Hygiene: Keeping clean and dry is the key to vaginal wellness. Poor hygienic conditions like not changing panty liners and sanitary pads often also lead to vaginal odor. However, using soap can disturb the natural pH balance of your vagina. Avoid douching. Wash yourself every time after you use the toilet.
- Skin Irritants: Shaving creams, hair removing creams, soaps, douches, detergents, lubricants, and sometimes even condoms can irritate the sensitive vaginal skin disturbing its natural pH level causing it to dry, ridden, or cause vaginal discharge that smells foul.
- Pregnancy: According to American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology(ACOG), 90% women experience vaginal odor during pregnancy, due to the hormonal changes in their body.
- Bacterial Infection: Vagina naturally consists of both good and bad bacteria. If their natural ecosystem gets disturbed, the bad bacteria Gardnerella Vaginalis may overgrow and cause bacterial vaginosis, which often leads to vaginal odor.
- Unprotected Sex and Sexually Transmitted Infection: Unprotected sex, semen and trichomoniasis (a kind of sexually transmitted infection) can also lead to vaginal odor. When vaginal bacteria come in contact with semen, it emits a foul odor. That’s why women notice vaginal odor soon after sexual intercourse.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Vaginal Odor
Try out the home remedies for vaginal odor that are discussed below if you are suffering from fishy vaginal odor.
1. Bath Soak
Soaking yourself in the bathtub with some effective ingredients can work wonders in eliminating the fishy vaginal odor.
a. Baking Soda
It is the most commonly found ingredient in your kitchen which can be an effective natural home remedy for your vaginal odor.
- Baking soda- ½ cup
- Warm water- 1 full tub
- Take half-a-cup of baking soda and add it to your bath water and soak your lower body in that water for 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse and towel dry your body.
b. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties. It also helps balance the pH levels of your vagina.
- Apple cider vinegar- 3 cups
- Warm water- 1 full tub
- Add 3 cups of apple cider vinegar to warm bath water and soak your lower body for 15-20 minutes. Rinse and towel dry your body.
- You can also try this with white vinegar or rice vinegar to get rid of vaginal odor.
c. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties which help you to get rid of vaginal odor instantly.
- Tea tree oil- 8-10 drops
- Warm water- 1 full tub
- Add 8-10 drops of tea tree oil to your warm bath water.
- Soak your lower body in that water for 15-20 minutes. Rinse and towel dry.
[Also Read:Vaginal Itching Home Remedies]
d. White Vinegar
White vinegar will help you to flush out the impurities from the vagina. It also has the ability to break down the proteins that cause vaginal odor, so if you use it to clean your vagina, you can easily get rid of the odor.
- White vinegar – 1 cup
- Sea salt – 2 tbsp
- Water – 1 bathtub
- In a bathtub of water add a cup of white vinegar and stir it by your hand.
- Add 2 tbsp of sea salt to it.
- Now, take a bath with this water to get rid of vaginal odor.
- You can do this frequently till you get relief from the irritation and odor in the vagina.
e. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil solves your problem when you think about how to get rid of vaginal odor. It has the ability to remove vaginal odor. Additionally, it also reduces the irritation and itching sensation in the vagina as it has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties.
- Lavender oil – 1 tsp
- Witch hazel – ¼ tsp
- Water – 1 cup
- Take a cup of water, and add 1 tsp of lavender oil and ¼ tsp of witch hazel to it.
- Mix all the ingredients well and use this solution to cleanse your vagina while bathing.
- Do this twice in a week to get results soon.
- Repeat this remedy till you get rid of vaginal odor.
2. Vaginal Rinse
A vaginal rinse is a liquid that you could use to rinse your vaginal area. You can make your own vaginal rinse using various simple ingredients. Let’s have a look.
Neem or popularly known as Indian Lilac is a very popular medicinal plant. It has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
- Neem leaves- 10-12
- Water- 1 liter
- Empty bottle- 1
- Take a handful of Neem leaves.
- Boil them in 1 liter of water till the water gets a nice greenish color.
- Allow the water to cool down and then strain the water.
- Store the liquid in a bottle and rinse the vaginal area to get rid of the fishy vaginal odor.
[Also Read:Natural Home Remedies for Yeast Infection]
b. Guava Leaves
Guava leaves have antibacterial properties along with antioxidants and tannins. This helps to reduce the vaginal odor as the bacterial action will get reduced after the application of the remedy.
- Guava leaves- 10-12
- Water- 1 liter
- Pick a handful of guava leaves and boil them in a liter of water.
- Allow it to cool down and then strain the liquid.
- Store the liquid and use it as a rinse to get rid of vaginal odor.
c. Alum Powder
Alum is nothing but Aluminum Sulfate. It is an antiseptic and has astringent properties which can help curb the growth of odor causing bad vaginal bacteria.
- Alum powder- ½ tsp
- Water- 1 mug
- You can purchase alum powder from any grocery store near you.
- Mix ½ tsp of alum powder in a mug of water and use it as a vaginal wash.
d. Green Tea
Green tea is a natural antifungal and antibacterial agent which kills the bacteria responsible for vaginal odor. The remedy provides instant relief from vaginal odor.
- Green tea bag- 1
- Water- 1 cup
- Dip a green tea bag in a cup of boiling water.
- Brew it and let it cool down. Use the green tea as a vaginal rinse.
e. Boric Acid
Certain substances like menstrual blood or semen will affect the acidity of the vagina, making it more alkaline. This increased alkalinity promotes the growth of bacteria, which leads to bacterial vaginosis.
As boric acid has antiseptic properties and a bit acidic in nature, you can use it to restore the acidic level in your vagina, which will ultimately remove the musty vaginal odor.
- Boric acid – 2 tbsp
- Size “00” gelatine capsules – 10 to 15
- Take 10 to 15 gelatin capsules.
- Now fill them with boric acid.
- Store them safely.
- Insert 1 boric acid-filled capsule into your vagina at bedtime.
- You can do this once or twice in a week to get rid of musty vaginal odor.
Note: If you are suffering from severe vaginal odor, then increase the dose of boric acid and use 1 capsule for 3 consecutive nights.
Warning: Do not use these boric acid capsules if you are pregnant.
f. Cinnamon and Cardamom
Do you want to know how to get rid of vaginal odor with cinnamon and cardamom? Then read on!
- Cinnamon stick – 1
- Cardamoms – 2
- Medicated gauze – 1
- Take a cinnamon stick and 2 cardamoms.
- Roast both of them and wrap them in medicated gauze tightly.
- Insert them into your vagina.
- Leave them for 20 minutes and then throw the cinnamon and cardamoms out.
- Repeat the same 3 times in a day.
- Continue this till you get rid of vaginal odor.
3. Remedial Drinks
You can make simple remedial drinks at home and consume them every day to beat the vaginal odor naturally.
a. Fenugreek Tea
Fenugreek seeds help calm down your hormones and manage your menstrual cycles.
- Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
- Hot water- 1 cup
- Take 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds, add 1 cup of hot water and brew it for a minute and drink it every day.
- You will see a remarkable difference in your vaginal condition.
b. Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice helps deodorize the urine which can make a huge difference in vaginal odor.
- Take a glass of cranberry juice every day to get rid of vaginal odor.
c. Turmeric and Milk
Turmeric has natural antibacterial properties, which destroy bad bacteria that emit a foul odor.
- Milk – 1 glass
- Turmeric- ½ tsp
- Take a warm glass of milk and ½ tsp of turmeric to it.
- Stir well and drink it. You can consume this daily to fight vaginal odor effectively.
[Also Read:Home Remedies To Get Rid of Jock Itch]
d. Indian Gooseberry
Do you know about Indian Gooseberry (amla)? It is being used since years by our ancestors to cure many diseases. It has cooling and laxative properties. It has the ability to reduce irritation in your vagina. It is also a natural blood purifier and an organic cleanser. So you can use it to clean your vagina.
This amla also has the power to control problematic leucorrhoea (thick vaginal discharge).
Method 1: Amla water
- Amla – 1
- Water – 1 cup
- Take 1 amla and wash it with water.
- Cut it into small pieces.
- Let the amla pieces soak in 1 cup of water for the whole night.
- Take out the amla and drink that water in the morning.
- Repeat this daily to get rid of vaginal odor in a month.
Method 2: Amla and Honey
- Amla powder – 1 tsp
- Honey – 1 tsp
- Take 1 tsp of amla powder and add it to 1 tsp of honey.
- Mix them well and eat this twice in a week.
- You can get relief from vaginal odor in a month.
Method 3: Amla Juice
- Amla juice – 4 tsp
- Honey – ½ tsp
- Water – 1 cup
- Take 1 cup of water and add 4 tsp of amla juice to it.
- Add half a tsp of honey to it.
- Mix it well and drink it.
- Have this once in a day.
- Follow this remedy for a month to get rid of vaginal odor completely.
Food plays a huge role in combating any kind of health problem. Including certain foods in your daily diet can make a remarkable difference to treat and prevent vaginal odor.
- Yogurt: Yogurt contains a lot of good probiotic bacteria which can reverse yeast infection and help combat yeast infections. So have a serving of yogurt every day.
- Garlic: Garlic is a powerful antibiotic that can combat bad bacteria in your vagina and treat the foul vaginal odor. Include garlic in your daily diet and your foods. You can also take 1-2 cloves of garlic with a glass of warm water every morning on an empty stomach to get rid of vaginal odor.
- Citrus Fruits: Include citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, sweet lime, cranberries, grapes or pineapples in your daily diet. Citrus fruits are rich sources of Vitamin C. These fruits will strengthen your immune system and help you combat the odor causing bad bacteria. You can also consume the citrus fruit juices.
Along with the natural ingredients that prevent the foul smell, there are some more tips to avoid vaginal odor. Do you want to know them? Then read here.
- Drink more water to flush out the bad toxins and bacteria from the body, so that you can avoid vaginal odor.
- Excessive sugar in your body creates a way for the bacteria to grow and causes vaginal odor. So avoid the intake of sugar and caffeine drinks like coffee, tea, and other sugary drinks.
- Avoid the consumption of spicy and starchy foods.
- Avoid unprotected sex as it causes infections and other sexual diseases, which may lead to vaginal odor.
- Use cotton panties and wash them with scentless soaps. Ensure that your innerwear is soaked in antiseptic and antibacterial liquid and sundried after every wash.
- During the menstrual cycle, change sanitary pads frequently. If you use tampons, remember to take them out.
- Always wash your vagina properly after intercourse and urination.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes as they don’t allow air and result in sweating that leads to fishy vaginal odor.
- Sprinkle some brown cornstarch powder into your panty as it absorbs the moisture and keeps the skin dry. Dry skin does not get infected easily.
- Change your innerwear every day.
- Ensure that you use a toilet seat sanitizer/cover when you use a public toilet.
- When in doubt, always consult a health care provider.
Now, I am sure that you know well how to get rid of vaginal odor with the help of home remedies. Hope that these remedies will work well to get rid of that foul-smelling vaginal odor. Use these remedies and share your experiences with us.