Coffee, onion, garlic — as well as excessive meat, dairy and alcohol consumption — are all foods that can make your vagina smell bad.
Your vagina is its own delicate ecosystem. Sometimes even the slightest change to that perfectly balanced environment means big trouble. Changing sexual partners, staying in sweaty workout clothes too long and even the foods you eat can all have an impact in your natural vaginal odor. Once you make the connection between certain foods and vaginal odor changes, you can manages those changes more effectively.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Scent vs. Smell
Your vagina will never be odor free. It will always smell, well, like your vagina. Each woman has her own natural, healthy scent influenced by hormones, diet, weight and genetics. This scent can change at different times in your menstrual cycle or with changes to your age and overall health. These slight changes are normal and don't usually indicate any type of health or hygiene problem. Changes caused by food are also usually mild and don't necessarily indicate an underlying health problem. It's important to become acquainted with your natural smell so you detect how changes in your diet effect your natural odor.
Unpleasant vaginal odor is usually caused by an infection, such as a yeast infection, bacterial infection or sexually transmitted disease. Food doesn't directly cause strong vaginal odors, but it can contribute to changes in the vaginal environment and affect the scent of your vaginal secretions, While these changes can be noticeable, they're usually mild and not a cause for concern. Strong, foul-smelling odors aren't likely to be caused by the foods you eat.
How Food Affects Vaginal Odor
Strong, heavily scented or spiced foods have the potential to change your vaginal smell, according to Oregon State University 1. Foods such as coffee, onions, garlic and strong spices might change your vaginal odor slightly. OSU points out that eliminating these foods and eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables might yield a milder scent. Excessive meat, dairy and alcohol consumption might also change your vaginal scent. Try eliminating strong foods, meat and dairy and slowly adding them back one at a time to detect how each type of food affects your vaginal odor.
When to See Your Doctor
Changing your diet might help change your vaginal odor, but if you have an infection, you'll need to be treated by your doctor. Infection usually causes a foul-smelling, fishy or yeasty scent and not just a slight change to your vaginal smell. It's also regularly accompanied by abnormal discharge and vaginal irritation, according to American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 34. Your doctor will be able to take samples of your vaginal fluid and look at them under a microscope to determine what type of infection you have. If your doctor suspects a sexually transmitted infection, he may also take blood samples or vaginal swabs and prescribe medications to clear your infection.
Your vagina is its own delicate ecosystem. Your vagina will never be odor free. These slight changes are normal and don't usually indicate any type of health or hygiene problem. Excessive meat, dairy and alcohol consumption might also change your vaginal scent. Try eliminating strong foods, meat and dairy and slowly adding them back one at a time to detect how each type of food affects your vaginal odor.