You expect a lot of changes to your vagina when you’re pregnant, namely that whole pushing a baby out of one business, but some of the differences in your hoo-ha are a bit more subtle. You may have already noticed increased discharge or swelling, but does your vagina smell different when you’re pregnant? What else can cause your lady parts to take on a new scent?
It seems like some kind of cosmic joke that a heightened sense of smell is a pregnancy symptom along with a change in your vagina’s scent, but there you go. Chances are, you haven’t smelled your own hoo-ha lately, but it is possible. OB-GYN Miriam Greene told Fit Pregnancy that because of the enhanced blood supply, your vagina’s pH balance is altered. This can mean your lady parts have a “sweet, doughy, or gluey scent.” Totally normal, but it still might make you feel a little off. Regardless of the scent, be sure to stay away from any vaginal deodorants or sprays, as certain products can cause irritation whether you’re pregnant or not.
Although a doughy or gluey scent is normal, it’s important to note that excessive itching, burning, redness, or strange discharge is not and can be signs of a yeast infection. Unfortunately, as Mayo Clinic notes, yeast infections are more common in pregnancy than any other time of your life thanks to all of that increased estrogen, so be extra mindful.
If you notice a distinct vaginal odor, but it’s more of a fishy, foul smell, you might be suffering from bacterial vaginosis. An inflammation of the vagina, Mayo Clinic writes that bacterial vaginosis can be treated with medication from your doctor and is often caused by a change in your pH balance. (Thanks again, pregnancy!)
Your vagina’s pH balance isn’t the only thing that can affect your hoo-ha’s scent. These three things can alter the smell (and taste) of your vagina, even if you’re not pregnant. But not to worry! It’s still totally normal for your vagina to sport its own scent, as long as it’s not accompanied with other symptoms that could mean an infection.
Some people smell sex and candy, but some just can’t get past that smell of love in the air. Women’s Health reported that sex can cause your vagina to smell due to a combination of semen, vaginal secretions and any other bedroom products at play like lube and condoms.
Whether you’re in the middle of your period or just coming off of it, that monthly visitor can really affect the way things smell down there. Bustle reports that your vagina might have a metallic scent or an off-putting smell thanks to tampons retaining all of that menstrual fluid for a few days.
Body odor isn’t reserved for your pits, especially if you’re wearing fairly tight clothing like skinny jeans. All of that sweat comes with it’s own odor and if you’re not rocking some breathable undies or clothes, it has a way of keeping its musky scent around until you hop in the shower.