"My vagina smells like taco meat...is that normal?"
I asked my husband this question one evening.
“Yeah, I think so,” he said. “But I like tacos.” I was disgusted and confused by his response: A vagina that smells like taco can't possibly be healthy...right?
Either way, my husband convinced me a taco-smelling vagina was normal, saying that everyone doesn’t always smell like roses down but that didn't mean my vagina was dirty, and even after cleaning my vagina there might always be an odor. But I knew in my heart I needed to ask my gynecologist what was up with my funky smell.
So, I made an appointment and straight-up asked my doc: "My vagina smells like taco meat... is that normal?"
I thought I’d see a look of horror on her face but her reaction was as calm as a cucumber; she didn’t seem fazed by my question. Meanwhile, I was cringing and biting my nails in anticipation of my vaginal diagnosis.
The year before, I had abnormal discharge in my vagina so I wondered if that was contributing to my not-so-nice smell.
“Do you clean your vagina with anything?” she asked.
"Yes, always with soap," I replied.
She said I should stop because vaginas clean themselves and the soap was only making the situation worse.
In my head, I thought “How the hell can a vagina clean itself?”
It seemed so off and strange to me — the thought of not cleaning my vagina horrified me — but how I could question my gyno? She obviously knew what she was talking about.
Pre the no-soap rule, I only allowed my husband to go down me if I had taken a shower and cleaned myself.
But per my gyno's instruction, I stopped cleaning my vagina for a day or two and then asked my hubby to go down on me.
As I opened my legs and watched his head bob, I asked, "What do you think?" He popped his head up and responded with, "It tastes the same."
"What the hell?" I responded. "Despite the no-soap? UGH." The thought of him tasting me freaked me out and I questioned whether self-washing vaginas were a hoax.
I didn't go back to the gyno after that because I've (mostly) come to terms with my natural vaginal scent. I still don't clean or douche because I don't want to mess anything up downstairs.
So, ladies: if you’re washing your vagina with soap, gels or antiseptics, stop! Apparently, it's making your area smell worse and you’re actually disrupting your vagina's healthy natural pH balance. (At least, according to my gyno.) When washing down there, use unscented soap around it, not on the inside. Also, stay away from bath bombs and bubble bath if you're prone to infections.