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Vaginal Odors

Every woman’s vaginal area smells different depending on their hygiene habits, menstrual cycles, and their pH balance. A vagina isn’t supposed to smell like your favorite perfume or a flower garden. There are dozens of products that advertise freshness and wonderful scented vaginal areas, but a women’s vagina doesn’t need extra scents or cleansing. Often time these products do more harm than they do good when it comes to keep the vagina clean and fresh. Every vagina has a natural scent to it that shouldn’t be masked by fragrance.

There are variety of vaginal smells that are a result of natural health, infection, bad health, menstruation, and many other reasons. Below we will talk about different smells and what causes the vagina to smell that way.

Vaginal Odors:

· Tangy:

Tangy is the most common vaginal odor. The vagina has a pH scale between 3.8 and 4.5 making it an acidic environment. Lactobacilli is the most dominate good bacteria in the vagina and keeps the vaginal area acidic. These bacteria protect the vagina from growing any bad bacteria.

· Coppery/Metallic:

A coppery scented vagina is often the result of blood. Blood contains iron and has a metallic scent to it. During menstruation is when your vagina will often smell like copper as your body sheds its uterine lining, tissue, and blood.

· Chemically:

A vagina can smell like chemicals for two reasons, urine, and bacterial vaginosis. Urine can build in your underwear or around your vulva resulting in the smell of chemicals. This is scent from urine is due to urine being a byproduct of ammonia. Bacterial vaginosis also known as BV can make the vaginal smell like chemicals close to a fishy smell.

· Skunky:

Your body has two different sweat glands, apocrine and eccrine. The apocrine glands populate not only your armpits but also your vaginal area. When you are stressed or anxious the apocrine glands respond to your body by producing a milky fluid. When this fluid mixes with bacteria in your vagina your vaginal odor produces a skunky smell like BO.


The vaginal area has many different scents and is a constantly changing based on bacteria, blood, urine, and stress levels. At Stetho Health Systems we understand that women are as diverse as the world we live in, and every vagina is different in scent. By Educating yourself in the different scents that may appear in your vaginal area can help you better understand how to treat it and if you should reach out to your doctor. If an odor doesn’t go away or if you have any questions, contact your doctor for better help.

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