Why Does My Vagina Smell Like Garlic?

Your vagina is a lot like a potpourri basket; it's made up of several different scents, all of which can be traced to a definite source. A sweet smell is probably dried rose petals. A pleasant spicy fragrance - dried cinnamon sticks. And a woody smell - sprigs of cedar. Your vagina works in much the same way, what you smell down there is what's in there. Have you noticed a pungent smell lately? Does it smell like the aromatics of spaghetti sauce? If yes, you may be asking yourself (or your doctor) why does my vagina smell like garlic? Assuming you're not putting cloves of it up there for some bizarre reason, there's another simple explanation.

"Your vagina smells like garlic because you are probably eating too much of it in your diet," Dr. Sherry A. Ross, women's health expert and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period tells Romper. "You are what you eat is an idiom for all things body-related." Naturally, your vagina should not smell or taste unpleasant according to Ross, however things you ingest can play a huge role in how things smell down there. "Pungent foods and spices seem to take a fast lane in our bodies through the blood stream, lungs, sweat, and vaginal secretions creating especially intense smells," Ross explains.

Don't go throwing away everything in your refrigerator and pantry yet. The good news is that if you dislike your vaginal smell, you can counteract it by ingesting other foods. Ross recommends stocking the following if you're dealing with a garlicky vagina:

  • Fresh fruits (especially pineapple)
  • Fruit juices
  • Vegetables (ones that are not aforementioned)
  • Whole grains
  • Greek yogurt
  • Plenty of water

The last thing you'll want to consider is this: is your vagina smelling like garlic, or is it a pungent, yet unidentifiable odor? If you're not sure what the odor resembles, you may want to be checked for a yeast infection. According to Very Well, a yeast infection is usually categorized by more of a fishy smell, but if you're not sure what the smell is it's a good idea to get an exam and possible test by a doctor. It's important to note that with a yeast infection you'd probably have other accompanying symptoms including: itching or burning sensations, swelling, redness, or white spots.

The state of your vagina can sometimes provide a snapshot of your diet and overall health. The best thing you can do is take note of any changes in smell (or taste) and alert your doctor if you become concerned that it's more than a dietary factor.