Do Yeast Infections Smell
One of the main characteristic of a vaginal yeast infection is the lack of odor or yeast infection smell. This may be a key difference between a vaginal yeast infection to other vaginal infections such as a bacterial infection.
On the other hand, lack of odor or presence of odor is not enough to confirm or rule out a vaginal yeast infection. Here is a quick summary of the main characteristics of a vaginal yeast infection:
- Milky white discharge or very light yellow discharge.
- Discharge is usually thick, chunky, looks like cottage cheese.
- Usually no smell or odor. In some cases there may be very yeast infection odor. Fishy or offensive odor is not a typical sign of a vaginal yeast infection.
Other common symptoms of vaginal yeast infection may include:
- Swelling and burning around the vulva.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
If you have a fishy smell or fishy odor, you may have a bacterial infection. See yeast infection vs bv to learn more.
Can An Infection From Yeast Cause An Odor
Trichomoniasis a sexually transmitted infection also can lead to vaginal odor. Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections usually dont cause vaginal odors. Neither do yeast-based infections. Generally, if you have vaginal odor without other vaginal symptoms, its unlikely that your vaginal odor is abnormal.
Is Vaginal Odor Natural
Yup! When you look at whats normal, it can have a mild or slight odor thats not unpleasant, Dr. Streicher says. There shouldnt be a strong odor, and it shouldnt smell like the zoo or fish. So if you feel like your discharge smells bad but not fishy or like a musky animal, youre probably okay.
Vaginal odor is like sweateveryone has their own scent, Dr. Shepherd says.
Recommended Reading: Male Yeast Infection Won T Go Away
What Does A Fishy Vaginal Odor After Sex Mean
A fishy vaginal odor after unprotected sex isnt unusual as long as the smell is subtle and goes away after bathing.
Just be on the lookout for other symptoms like itching or burning brought on by the mixture of vaginal discharge and sperm. Furthermore, if the smell lingers or becomes stronger, it may point to BV or an STI.
It’s Probably: Your Diet Or A Yeast Infection
If you notice a sweet smell down there, you might not be super inclined to think anything is wrong . And youre pretty much right: Dr. Masterson says this is usually diet-related. “Sometimes citrus fruit can cause a sweet odor,” she says. “Asparagus and garlic are known to change the way urine and discharge smell, too.”
That said, she adds that yeast can sometimes cause a sweet odor, so if youre also having symptoms of a yeast infection, grab an OTC treatment or check in with your doc.
Recommended Reading: Best Food For Yeast Infection
It’s Probably: An Old Tampon
One thing to note, though: If left behind too long the bacteria can sometimes lead to a more serious infection that may require medical treatment. If you know your tampon’s been in for more than eight hours and you’ve got flu-like symptoms , see a doc, ASAP.
Trichomoniasis Or Other Stis
A fishy vaginal odor could potentially arise if youve contracted an STI like trichomoniasis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, it affects 3.7 million people across the United States.
Also known as trich, it occurs when a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis is transmitted during intercourse. Anyone can get it, and it presents symptoms such as genital itching and painful urination and intercourse. If you have trichomoniasis, you may detect a fishy vaginal odor, frothy yellow-green discharge, and vaginal soreness and swelling.
However, only 30 percent of people with trichomoniasis display any symptoms. Thats why its crucial to get regular STI screenings if youre having sex with different partners. Please do not attempt to diagnose or treat trichomoniasis at home. If ignored, it can create serious complications like pelvic inflammatory disease or preterm birth if youre pregnant.
Also Check: Yeast Infection In The Esophagus
Trichomoniasis Infections Versus Candida Infections
Candida and BV aside, you may actually have a common STD known as Trichomoniasis this disease can produce a malodorous smell. Trichomoniasis is caused by the protozoa Trichomonas vaginalis. Often, Trichomoniasis is asymptomatic meaning many women and men who are infected show no symptoms. But, in those cases where symptoms are present, about half of the women who report symptoms have a foul vaginal odor. Also, about half of women who are symptomatic will also see a vaginal discharge of varying color. In a few cases, about 10%, this vaginal discharge will appear frothy. To learn more about this STD and how it compares to yeast infections, check out: Trichomoniasis or Yeast Infection.
What Yeast Is Doing For Your Body
Yeast cells, most commonly Candida species, live in our bodies naturally. They help break down and get rid of the dead cells that would otherwise build up in and around your body.
Having a healthy level of Candida cells present helps regulate your immune, digestive, and reproductive systems, among other things.
Don’t Miss: How To Test For Yeast Infection
What Causes Vaginitis
- Taking antibiotics
- Diabetes, especially if it is not well-controlled
- Corticosteroid medicines
Trichomoniasis can also cause vaginitis. Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted disease. It is caused by a parasite.
You can also have vaginitis if you are allergic or sensitive to certain products that you use. Examples include vaginal sprays, douches, spermicides, soaps, detergents, or fabric softeners. They can cause burning, itching, and discharge.
Hormonal changes can also cause vaginal irritation. Examples are when you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or when you have gone through menopause.
Sometimes you can have more than one cause of vaginitis at the same time.
What Is Vaginal Odor
Vaginal odor is the smell that your vaginaand usually your dischargegives off. A certain amount of vaginal odor is normal, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists . But if the odor is strong and noticeable, its possible that you have an infection or other problem, ACOG says.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Yeast Infection Before Your Period
Why Does My Pee Smell Like Fish
Also called trimethylaminuria, this genetic condition can give your pee a fishy smell. When your body cant break down trimethylamine, it happens. You get rid of the compound through your pee, sweat, breath, and other fluids. Its a sign that you have a problem, but it doesnt mean youre peeing out fish.
This is a condition in which your intestines dont get enough water. This can lead to constipation, which can make you feel like you need to go to the bathroom a lot more than you actually do.
Sitz Bath With Peruvian Pepper Tree
Peruvian pepper tree is a plant with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that is able to fight bacteria and fungi. The bark= of this plant is used in teas to help with treatments of vaginal infections and discharge.
- 10 g of peruvian pepper tree bark
How to prepare
Boil the water and add the bark. Allow it to boil for 10 minutes then turn off the stove. Strain the infusion and pour it into a basin. When it becomes warm, sit in the basin without clothes and perform a sitz bath, making sure to carefully cleanse the entire vaginal area until the water becomes cold. You can do this sitz bath tree times per day for 3 days.
Also Check: Yeast Infection Lower Back Pain
What Problems Can Happen
Most of the time, BV goes away without any problems when properly treated. BV that’s not treated can increase a girl’s chances of having health problems such as:
- problems during pregnancy, like giving birth too early or having a baby that is too small
- pelvic inflammatory disease , which can make it hard or impossible to get pregnant
Infections like BV are one reason why girls who have sex need regular gyn checkups and STD tests, even if they don’t have symptoms. Most girls with BV don’t notice any symptoms, so they might not know they have it and might not get treated.
BV may be mild, but must be treated to prevent other problems. Doctors and can diagnose and treat BV to make sure you stay healthy.
Making The Vaginal Canal More Acidic:
Other ways to make the vaginal canal more acidic:
Probiotics : Probiotics are healthy and naturally acidic. Taking a probiotic orally is not going to help a fishy vaginal odor. Taking a probiotic orally is excellent for the colon and digestive system, but it is not going to balance your vaginal flora.
What you can do is take a probiotic capsule with specific types of beneficial bacteria. Open the capsule and mix the powder with water and a make a paste. Then you can apply that paste to the vaginal opening. Do this at night, so it is less messy and wear a panty liner. It is better than poking holes in the capsule and inserting it into the vaginal canal. Often the capsule doesnt disintegrate well, and the beneficial bacteria is needed near the opening of the vaginal canal.
The next question is, what probiotic do I use? Not all the probiotics are the same. For the vaginal canal, you want a probiotic that has Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Saccharomyces boulardii helps to acidify the vaginal canal and also helps to kill yeast, so it helps for the Gardnerella and if you have yeast issues as well.
I like the broad spectrum probiotic with Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus acidophilus by Orthomolecular Products called Ortho Biotic.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Know When Yeast Infection Is Gone
What Causes Fishy Odor
Plenty of women complain of a fishy smell down south. But they are filled with trepidation to talk to their doctor, health care practitioner about their fishy-like vaginal odor. Of course when thinking of odor, itching or something going on down there, doctors will first look at infection, sexually transmitted diseases or yeast overgrowth. Then you are down the rabbits-hole with testing for STDs and on loads of antibiotics for yeast.
I remember the first time I had a situation downstairs. I was 18 years old and told my primary care doc, Dr. Yam. Dr. Yam had been my doctor since I was six years old. He and I had been through a lot in that time. From mononucleosis to the time my mom thought I had breast cancer at nine years old. It turns out I was developing early. When I was 18 years old and told Dr. Yam that something was up downstairs. He looked at me and said awkwardly, well, I can have a look. Ummmm, even after a breast exam at nine, I was not going to give Dr. Yam a look. Much to his obvious relief, I said, Naw, its okay.
Like I said if you have a vaginal odor it does reflect anything about you as a person. It does NOT mean there is something dirty, or not washed. I promise you, having a vaginal fishy odor doesnt mean you are promiscuous or easy or not clean. If you have a fishy odor, you have an imbalance of the vaginal flora.
Is There Any Way To Prevent Bacterial Vaginosis And Fishy Vaginal Odor
Heres kind of a bummer: Doctors dont totally understand how BV spreads, meaning there are not actually any surefire ways to prevent it, the OWH explains.
That said, there are a couple of basic measures you can take that may reduce your risk of getting BV. They include not douching and using latex condoms properly each time you have penetrative vaginal intercourse, according to the OWH. Be sure youre wiping from front to back, too. Another easy way to potentially avoid infection and generally promote good vaginal health is to clean sex toys between uses, as SELF previously reported.
As for preventing that fishy odor if you are currently dealing with BV? The best thing you can do is get proper treatment ASAP because the smell will go away along with the infection. And avoid the temptation to spray perfume anywhere remotely near your sexual organs. Its not going to cover the smell up, and irritate your vulvar skin, Dr. Streicher says.
Don’t Miss: Yeast Infection Pill Side Effects
What Can I Expect If I Have Vaginitis
Vaginitis is uncomfortable, but finding the cause and the right treatment can bring you relief. If chemical irritants are causing your vaginitis, you can improve your symptoms by avoiding the offending lotion, detergent, spray, etc. Bacterial and antifungal medications may take up to two weeks to clear your infection. Antiviral medications for viral vaginitis cant cure the virus, but they can cause your symptoms to go away faster. Getting the right diagnosis and treating all causes of your vaginitis is key when it comes to relieving your symptoms.
When Yeast Gets Out Of Control
Yeast cells are technically considered a fungus. When too much Candida is present in an area of your body, the balance of healthy bacteria and microflora in your body is off-balance. Thats why the symptoms of an infection begin to appear.
This type of infection is called candidiasis, or a yeast infection. It can happen because of an overgrowth of existing yeast or an infection you become exposed to. A yeast infection shows up
- in the skin folds around and on your breasts and nipples
A yeast overgrowth in the skin between or under your breasts is a type of intertrigo. Intertrigo is a rash that forms in skin folds. Intertrigo can also be caused by bacteria and other fungus.
While you can pass yeast to another person, they wont develop a yeast overgrowth unless they have an imbalance of normal skin flora.
Also Check: Early Symptoms Of Yeast Infection
How Can I Treat Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
Treating abnormal vaginal discharge varies based on the specific cause. If you are experiencing abnormal vaginal bleeding, your doctor may recommend changing your birth control method or performing some tests. Antibiotics may be necessary if you are diagnosed with a bacterial infection. If the problem is caused by yeast, an over-the-counter cream will most likely clear it up quickly.
Should I Be Worried If My Pee Smells Like Fish
A fish-smelling urine may be the first sign of a health problem. Some people may not have any symptoms at all. In either case, a person should contact a doctor if they cannot identify the cause of a fishy odor. Too much harmful bacteria can cause a urinary tract problem.
Urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection of the urethra . It can be caused by a variety of bacteria, such as E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, or Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It may also occur as a result of an infection with a sexually transmitted disease , such gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis.
The most common symptoms are: Urine that smells strongly of fish or fish-like substances. This is called a fishy smell and may last for a few days to several weeks. You may not be able to urinate for several days or even weeks after the odor has gone away. If you do not feel well, call your doctor or go to a hospital emergency room.
Read Also: Does Brewers Yeast Help Milk Supply
Symptoms Of Fishy Vaginal Odor
If the fishy vaginal odor is caused by an infection, then you will likely notice other symptoms. Other symptoms of a vaginal infection include discharge that looks yellowish or gray and has a strong foul odor. Also, you may experience some itching around the labia and notice redness, irritation and possible .
A vaginal infection may also cause a distinct strong vaginal odor after your period or you may notice a fishy smell after having intercourse.
Can Yeast Infection Cause Fish Odor Clearly Explained
The best way to know for sure is to take a vaginal swab and see if it comes back positive. If it does, you should see a doctor right away to get tested for the infection. You may also want to talk to your partner about the possibility that you may have the same problem.
Recommended Reading: Can Sweat Cause Yeast Infection
When Should I Speak To A Doctor About Vaginal Odour
Its important to recognise if the smell is abnormal for you.
Making simple lifestyle changes like using just water to wash down there and avoiding perfumed products is a good place to start. There are plenty of home remedies for vaginal odour too, like eating pineapple or drinking pineapple juice regularly, but these may not work for everyone.
But if the smell seems to be getting worse or you have other symptoms too, speak to a doctor.
This article has been medically approved by Dr Elisabeth Rosén, a medical doctor at Livi who specialises in gynaecology and obstetrics.
Should I Be Concerned About A Fishy Vaginal Odor During Pregnancy
While pregnant, a fishy odor either in your urine or vaginal discharge is a potential sign of a urinary tract infection or BV. Left untreated, the condition could lead to preterm birth or low birth weight.
Following childbirth, the development of a fishy vaginal odor may be from a postpartum infection. Please make an appointment to see your health care provider to follow up.
Recommended Reading: Can Semen Cause Yeast Infections
What Are Symptoms Of Yeast Infection And Bacterial Vaginosis
Like bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection may result in a vaginal discharge. In this case, if discharge is present, it is usually thick and whitish, with a consistency similar to that of cottage cheese. But the most common symptom is itching in the vaginal or vulvar area. A burning sensation and pain during intercourse or urination are also characteristic symptoms of a yeast vaginitis. Unlike the discharge of bacterial vaginosis, the discharge of a yeast infection is typically odorless.
If you have any of the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis or yeast vaginitis, it is important to contact your health care practitioner. The symptoms of both conditions are nonspecific and can also occur in more serious infections and conditions, so a correct diagnosis is important. By examination of the vaginal discharge under a microscope, the diagnosis can usually be established if it is not apparent from the symptoms alone. Both conditions can be effectively treated with antibiotics, and an accurate diagnosis ensures the choice of appropriate antibiotic treatment.
Dont Miss: What Antibiotics To Take For Kidney Infection