The care and keeping of your vagina can cause you to Google some weird stuff. But for the sake of your privates, it's worth getting the answers. For instance, why does my vagina smell like ammonia, and what can I do about it? Super strong odors down there are often a sign of some health conditions, especially if those odors remind you of cleaning products.
For starters, this scent may point to bacterial vaginosis. According to the website for Fit Pregnancy, bacterial vaginosis is an infection that can make your vagina smell like ammonia, cause thick discharge, and create irritation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bacterial vaginosis is a common vaginal infection for women aged 15 to 44, and it can cause some particularly strong odors in the vaginal area, which some people describe as fish-like. Antibiotics such as Clindamycin or Metronidazole are often prescribed to clear up the infection, as noted by the Mayo Clinic, so seeing a doctor as soon as possible is recommended.
There may also be a dietary element to the smell. As noted in Buzzfeed, eating foods such as asparagus or curry can have a direct effect on the way things are scented down there. It's quite possible that the strong odor could remind you of ammonia, although more research is needed to really understand this phenomenon.
Of all the things it could smell like, why might a vagina take on the odor of ammonia? Well, it could simply be a natural part of the surrounding environment, so to speak. According to Zocdoc, urine contains ammonia, and when a person is dehydrated, the ammonia can become more concentrated and intense-smelling. In this instance, a strong ammonia smell down there could mean a person simply needs to drink more water. Yet again, getting adequate hydration appears to be super crucial.
Given the many possibilities, an ammonia smell in your vaginal area should not be ignored. Checking in with your physician is a wise move, even if you otherwise feel OK. Chances are, it's your body's way of letting you know that something is up down there, and that it's time for a checkup.