Does the vagina normally have an odor? Yes it does, but it’s usually so subtle most women don’t realize that there is a scent. However, if that odor becomes unpleasant, it could indicate a problem. But what causes abnormal vaginal odor, and how can it be treated.
What causes abnormal vaginal odor
Sexually transmitted disease (STD) and cancer, are some of the most uncommon causes of an abnormal vaginal odor. Most the time an abnormal vaginal odor occurs, it’s the result of an altered vaginal micro-flora pattern.
The vaginal micro-flora refers to the micro-organisms i.e. bacteria and other microbes, that colonize the vagina. When the vagina is in a healthy state the good bacteria (lactobacillus) are predominant. The lactobacilli protect the vagina from infection, and maintain the normal pH at a slightly acidic level. In this scenario, the vaginal secretions are clean and the odor is minimal.
However, there are a variety of factors that can disrupt the healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina. When this happens it can lead to the overgrowth of bad microbes. This causes the vaginal odor to become stronger, which may be accompanied by discharge.
Treating abnormal vaginal odor
Effective treatment for an abnormal vaginal odor must start with an accurate diagnosis of the cause of the problem. If STD and cancer have been ruled out, then a Vaginal Fluid Analysis test can be done to determine if the problem is due to an altered micro-flora pattern. Are you experiencing an abnormal vaginal odor? A noted vulvovaginal expert, board certified gynecologist, Dr. R. Stuart Fowler has a clinic in Phoenix with a CLIA certified lab to evaluate the vaginal constituents to identify those which have gone astray. You can reach him at fowlergyninternational.com, or by calling (480) 420-4001.