Health And Wellness

6 Important Reasons Your Vagina Smells Kinda Funky

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woman in panties

Having a weird smell down there isn't only potentially embarrassing and uncomfortable, but it can also be a major health red flag.No one wants to be out and about in public getting brunch with the girls when you suddenly get a whiff of your nether regions.

Now you're sitting with your legs crossed praying no one else notices it but you. Obviously, our lady parts always have a distinct scent, but if that scent seems to change or feel "off," it's time to see what's going on.

Anything from an infection to an STD to a change in diet (and so much more!) can lead to a weird smell in your vagina.

RELATED: This Is What Your Vagina Is Supposed To Smell Like

6 Important Reasons Your Vagina Smells Kinda Funky

1. Infections

Oftentimes, a bad vaginal odor is the sign of an infection, says Emily Morse, sexologist. If it's distinctly and noticeably different, have your doctor check it out. They will let you know what's going on down there and whether you need antibiotics or other remedies.

2. Sexually transmitted diseases

Foul odors matched with changes in the color of your discharge could be a sign of an STD, says Morse. Anything abnormal and persisting should be checked out by a doctor ASAP.

3. Sex accessories

Have you tried a new lube? New condoms? Even a new sex toy? Any of these can impact odor, especially if you added something new to the equation.

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4. Yeast infection

"The most common culprit for bad vaginal odor is bacterial vaginosis, which is essentially just an overgrowth of the naturally occurring bacteria that live in your vagina," says Morse. Yeast infections can also give off a "yeasty" smell, along with your natural odors. These can be cured with antibiotics or over-the-counter solutions.

RELATED: We Asked Men What They Really Think About The Smell Of Your Vagina

5. Poor diet

Diet can also affect the way you smell down there, says Morse. Gastrointestinal distress from what you're eating causes an increase in your yeast production. If you notice a problem, try cutting out white starches, gluten, sugar, and dairy. In addition, some foods like onions, garlic, and asparagus are responsible for a slightly different smell. If you don't like any of those foods, then you're already in the clear!

6. Fluctuating hormones

Smelly vaginal fluids can be the result of changes in hormone levels, commonly encountered with menses, says Dr. Jenny Jaque, OB/GYN and co-founder of Health Goes Female. Discharge that smells can also indicate a bigger problem, like an infection, including sexually transmitted infections. Any abnormal and foul-smelling vaginal discharge needs to be evaluated by a healthcare provider. 

DISCLAIMER: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. 

Aly Walansky is a lifestyle writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter.