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2 Tips to Combat the Smell “Down There”

The smell that everyone’s curious about, but is too afraid to bring up: vaginal odor. Certain less than pleasant smells are normal for the area (no, it’s not supposed to smell like a daisy), and for some, the natural aroma can be more than just mild.

Tip 1: The Proper Way to Freshen Up

To freshen up “down there,” our experts stress that you need no more than to just shower daily and simply wash the area with water. Steer clear of the douches and cleansers lining the feminine hygiene aisle. Dr. Bollman explains that by using douches and other sprays or cleansers, you are removing the natural, “good” bacteria from the vagina, leaving it prone to infections and irritation.

If any new odor suddenly occurs out of the ordinary, is accompanied by discharge or irritation, and does not after a fresh shower, get it checked by your doctor. “An abnormal vaginal odor usually indicates an infection, most commonly bacterial vaginosis (BV),” explains OB/GYN Charles Bollman, MD.

Certified sexuality counselor and nurse-midwife Evelyn Resh adds, “BV is not a sexually transmitted infection but comes from some over-growth of vaginal bacteria that then causes malodorous discharge.” It sounds scary, but the good news is, it’s easily treated with a round of antibiotics.

Tip 2: Foods to Avoid

If the odor is fairly new and has only occurred for a few days without any other symptoms like irregular discharge or irritation, it might be a smell stemming from your diet. Resh says that garlic, asparagus and onions are among the foods that may cause an offensive odor in your nether regions for a few days after you’ve consumed them, but that this will pass quickly.

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