Put up-Interval Odor: What Is Regular for the Vagina?

When it involves speaking about vaginal smells of any kind, I’m firmly on “Staff Normalize That Vaginas and Vulvas Aren’t Speculated to Odor Like Fruit or Flowers” as a result of, nicely, that’s not what they’re. In truth, a wonderfully wholesome vagina can odor bitter, bittersweet, or metallic as a result of regular variations in vaginal flora (aka the combo of yeast and micro organism inside the vagina) brought on by something from adjustments in your weight-reduction plan or your sweat ranges to hormonal shifts, and sure, your interval. However what does it imply when a vaginal odor lingers post-period or exhibits up afterward?

In line with obstetrician-gynecologist Himali Maniar Patel, MBBS, DGO, it may be completely regular to have some extent of vaginal odor after your interval ends—and never simply once you’re actively bleeding, when it may appear apparent that issues might odor a bit of off down there.



It is true that sure vaginal smells can sign an an infection brought on by an imbalance within the vaginal flora (extra on that under). And satirically, among the largest culprits behind that imbalance are “hygienic” merchandise that promise to make you odor higher down there. However, a post-period odor doesn’t essentially signify the presence of any situation. Because it seems, sure menstruation-related shifts could cause a standard, momentary post-period odor.

Why your vagina may odor after your interval

A few completely different causes may very well be behind vaginal smelliness as soon as your interval subsides. An enormous one: leftover blood. “A standard motive for a metallic odor is the presence of iron in your interval blood,” says Amy Wetter, MD, a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist at Pediatrix Medical Group. “This will linger, particularly when you have brown discharge from leftover or outdated blood and tissue nonetheless making its approach out.”

“A standard motive for a metallic odor is the presence of iron in your interval blood.” —Amy Wetter, MD, board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist

Some different-than-usual micro organism may also be rising or proliferating in your vagina post-period, inflicting a shift in how issues odor. “The vagina requires a low pH (acidic pH) in an effort to keep a wholesome bacterial steadiness,” says Dr. Wetter. “Since interval blood has a excessive pH (fundamental pH), this will enable sure sorts of micro organism to flourish [more so than others], which can trigger [temporary] odor or discharge.”

Certainly, Dr. Patel says that “a buildup of micro organism on the floor of your vulva or in your vagina” is a significant potential reason behind any sort of post-period funk. “This will additionally occur extra so across the time of your interval as a result of hormonal adjustments and elevated moisture close to the realm,” she provides.

One other stunning offender: leaving a tampon in for too lengthy or after your interval is finished. (On that observe, right here’s your pleasant reminder to alter your tampon each 4 to eight hours, at most.) The blood and secretions that acquire on a tampon can result in a “foul” or “rotten” odor as they permit for micro organism to develop, says Dr. Wetter. To not point out, a tampon sitting within the vagina for too lengthy can throw off the steadiness of your current vaginal flora, which may enhance your danger of an an infection, like bacterial vaginosis (BV) or a yeast an infection.

Each of those infections could cause vaginal discharge that may have a powerful odor (within the case of BV, a fishy odor, and with a yeast an infection, a bitter or yeasty odor like sourdough) at any cut-off date—which is why it’s necessary to research additional when you discover extreme odor or discharge post-period, says Dr. Patel, significantly if it’s accompanied by different signs of an an infection, like itching, burning, redness, or ache throughout penetrative intercourse.

How will you tackle a post-period odor?

Any non-infection-related vaginal odor it’s possible you’ll discover after your interval will subside by itself with none particular therapy. However when you’re trying to clear it up extra rapidly—or stop a post-period odor within the first place—it might be useful to brush up in your vaginal hygiene practices.

Dr. Wetter and Dr. Patel recommend doing the next:

  • Bathe every day, utilizing solely heat water to softly clear the vulva and across the opening of the vagina
  • Bathe and/or change instantly after figuring out
  • Keep away from utilizing any scented vaginal-care or hygienic merchandise
  • Don’t douche
  • Put on loose-fitting pants and cotton underwear
  • Keep well-hydrated
  • Devour probiotics to assist stave off infections (for instance, by consuming gut-healthy yogurts)

When must you see a physician for a post-period odor

Dr. Wetter encourages looking for medical care if any unusual-to-you vaginal odor lasts greater than two to 3 days after your cycle, if it’s accompanied by fever or chills, or when you expertise pelvic ache. Additionally, when you discover discharge together with the odor, she provides, and it’s yellow or inexperienced, it’s a good suggestion to see a physician. “These are all indicators that you will have an an infection (which will require medicine to resolve), and never only a momentary change as a result of your menses,” she says.

Seeing a doctor may also help you both rule out an an infection or obtain therapy for one, in the event that they decide that that’s the reason for the odor.

The excellent news? Once more, most post-period odors are completely regular, momentary, innocuous, and can go away on their very own. And even when you do be taught that your vaginal odor stems from an an infection, the sorts of infections at play listed here are usually simply treatable, says Dr. Patel. “With the best therapy and care, you may rapidly get again on observe and really feel extra snug in your personal pores and skin.”

Put up-Interval Odor: What Is Regular for the Vagina?

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