Alright ladies—today we’re delving down under, so leave your bashful nature at the door and let’s jump right into the taboo.
All vaginas smell. They don’t necessarily smell bad, but they all have a definitive vaginal quality to them. Not to worry, though—believe it or not, vaginas are supposed to smell and taste like vaginas! Expecting to greet your lover with the aroma of wildflowers and lavender when they’re… surveying the area—pardon the euphemism—is, bluntly put, a little unrealistic.
Like any normal vagina, yours probably has a distinctive tangy, sour, or even metallic odour. You can thank the Lactobacillus bacteria—a healthy (and welcome) resident of your vaginal canal—for this lovely aroma. It’s what’s keeping your lobby happy and healthy.
That said, though your lady parts should smell like a crotch, some have a stronger scent than others. It can come down to anything from diet to hydration or just plain luck of the draw, but if you’re self-conscious about your natural odour, fret not—we have some solutions.
Ahead, we’re covering all the ways you can improve your natural taste and smell safely—from staying hydrated to eating right and shopping smart:
TIP #1: Go for cotton underwear over synthetic materials
Keeping your vagina healthy is the best way to get it to taste and smell its best, and wearing the right underwear is one important factor in said intimate health. Cotton is a great choice for underwear as it’s breathable and moisture-wicking, preventing the dreaded swamp groin and thus nipping any odours in the bud.
TIP #2: Ditch the douche
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Don’t worry, we’re not talking about your boyfriend (though, if he’s showing any of these red flags, it’s worth considering). We’re talking about your “feminine hygiene” wash. Most women who douche believe that the practice can help to deodorise the vagina, prevent pregnancy, flush out menstrual blood or semen, or even reduce the risk of STIs. While the belief is prevalent, unfortunately, no studies support the idea that douching helps with any of these things. In fact, not only is douching totally unnecessary, but it’s also potentially dangerous for you.
Vaginas are self-cleaning—through the flora (read: good bacteria) that live in your hoo-ha, the vagina is able to maintain a moderately acidic pH between 3.8 to 5 to keep “bad” bacteria at bay. Further, your natural secretions (the mucousy bits you may find in your panties at the end of a day) help to flush out anything that isn’t supposed to be up there.
Douching can actually remove this good bacteria in your vagina, changing the pH balance and thus allowing bad bacteria and other nasties to proliferate. If this happens, you can get a host of issues like yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis (ew). Really, the only smells you should worry about are those that are fishy or rotten-like as these can be an indication of such infections.
In short, your vagina really doesn’t need a power wash to keep it spick and span. At most, you’ll need to rinse your vulva with water and a very mild, gentle soap in the shower to get rid of sweat and grime for the day. Then, once you’re out of the shower, make sure to dry off the area thoroughly. That’s it.
TIP #3: Avoid fragrances or other allergens
While we’re on the topic of douching, you should also avoid fragrance in any products that come into contact with your vulva and vaginal opening—including tampons, pads, toilet papers, and body washes. As mentioned, the microbiome of your nethers is a precarious ecosystem and any kind of fragrance can throw it off balance, causing everything from irritation to infection.
In addition, you’ll probably want to keep an eye on the types of condoms and lubricants you’re using during sex. Using scented or flavoured contraception can affect the way you taste, often making your bits smell more chemically—it’s no cause for concern unless it’s causing any discomfort, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re worried about your vaginal odour.
TIP #4: Avoid booze, smokes and strong foods
Just to reiterate: Unless your vagina smells fishy or like rotten meat, you do not have to worry about how it tastes or smells. That said, if you are self-conscious about your aroma, there is something that you can do to potentially make your vaginal secretions a little milder to the senses.
In particular, your lifestyle and diet potentially affects how you taste—for instance, some have reported that cutting back on alcohol, smoking, and eating strong foods (think asparagus, garlic, and onions) has helped to improve the taste and smell of their nethers. Further, you could try upping your intake of sweet foods before getting down to business—anecdotal evidence has suggested that fruits like pineapple or mango can potentially make you taste sweeter. No studies have corroborated this claim, but there’s no harm in doing your own experiments…
TIP #5: Stay hydrated
Dehydration never leads to anything good, but in the case of your vagina, it’s probably the cause behind any particularly unsavoury stinks. Specifically, it can lead to a dry vagina, which can affect your vagina’s natural cleaning process as well as its delicate pH balance. As a result, this can lead to problems like burning, itching, and infection, eventually causing objectionable smells and flavours to arise. The lesson of the day? Drink up!
All in all, don’t worry too much about your vagina’s scent or flavour—if you’re worried about it putting a dampener on your sex life, we guarantee that your partner is probably just happy to be involved. Either way, we hope these tips helped!
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