Why Your Vagina Might Smell Like Onions

Most of the time, the vagina simply exists without much fanfare or drama. It just is. At other times, however, it creates some confounding questions about your health. For instance, why does my vagina smell like onions? Many things could cause this strange phenomenon, from food to infections.

For starters, it could simply be a case of you are what you eat, so to speak. As noted on the website for Teen Vogue, eating a lot of onions may result in urine and discharge that smells strongly of onion. If you've ever chopped an onion, only to have its scent linger on your hands for days after, then you know how persistent and pervasive this plant's smell can be. Avoiding onions for a few days, and drinking lots of water, might help dissipate the smell.

On the other hand, a medical issue could be at play. Some infections produce pungent discharge. According to the Mayo Clinic, a vaginal odor is sometimes associated with bacterial vaginosis, a disease that results from the excessive growth of so-called bad bacteria (AKA anaerobes). Getting the correct diagnosis and treatment from a doctor should help the strong odor, and any other symptoms of irritation, clear up soon enough.

What is the normal smell down there, anyway? Well, nobody should expect the vagina to smell like a bouquet of roses. (And if it does, you might want to get that checked out.) According to the Center for Young Women's Health, the natural scent of the vagina will be a little different for every woman, although it should not be particularly strong. That said, everything from wearing tight fabrics that don't breathe to irritations can make the vaginal area more prone to strong smells, as further noted by the Center for Young Women's Health. This does not mean it's time to grab for the feminine sprays, however; simply washing up with mild soap and water is all the hygiene a vagina needs. As long as you keep it clean and let it breathe, your vagina will probably repay you with normal, not unpleasant, scents down there.