Hello folks! I have a disgusting question! For the past two cycles, I have noticed that my menstrual blood has an extremely rank odor. I would say that it smells like a cross between dead raccoon and my cat's morning breath. Is this normal, or a possible infection?

My stats:
28yo old cis female
lost a pregnancy two cycles ago
started using a menstrual cup two cycles ago
not on any birth control
taking psych meds (for years)
no dietary changes
fairly stressed out

Is it possible that my menstrual blood has always smelled this way and I am only noticing it now because I am using a menstrual cup and focusing more on it? Or could this be related to the pregnancy loss somehow? Since then, my cycle has been struggling to get back to normal and my cervical mucus is just now back to its regular patterns. As far as I can tell, my discharge has been smelling normal between menses.

Thanks for any advice or anecdotes!

18 Responses to Foul smelling menstrual blood: normal?

  1. Gni007 says:

    I can’t help much – I would tend to think the loss of your pregnancy might matter, but I’m not knowledgeable about that. I’m mostly commenting to say that normally menstrual flow in a cup is nearly odorless – for me, there’s the faint iron-y smell of blood, a hint of warmth, but that’s about it. And I know from other cup users that this is a common experience. The flow in the cup doesn’t have a lot of contact with air and there’s not much bacteria growth.

    I hope someone else can help with the rest of your concern.

  2. RotYes says:

    Thank you for the info.

  3. Gni007 says:

    I wasn’t very clear… I mostly meant to say that it’s probably not the cup itself making the smell happen, although it might make you more aware of it because you’re interacting with your menstrual flow differently than you used to.

  4. RotYes says:

    Yeah, I understand what you were saying! I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the cup; I just wonder if I’m using it wrong or it makes me notice more.

  5. SseNope says:

    Having a menstrual cup does make you more aware of the particulars of your menstrual blood.

    How long are you going between emptying your cup? I found that if I waited 12 or more hours, things smelled…sulfurous.

  6. RotYes says:

    Yes, I did go 12 hours a couple of times. I’ll start emptying sooner. Maybe I should boil it every empty? What I have been doing is rinsing with warm water every time, and boiling about every 3 times. I also boil before and after each menses.

  7. SseNope says:

    Boiling it every time you empty it sounds a bit excessive, especially if your only concern is that it’s stinky.

    If it’s still smelly when you’re emptying it more often, then worry sounds warranted. But it might just be that the blood is sitting around.

  8. RotYes says:

    Okay, thanks. I’ll try emptying more frequently and see if that helps!

  9. Kn0ra says:

    Does your partner ejaculate inside you? Whenever my boyfriend cums inside me, everything stinks for a while hahaha

  10. RotYes says:

    Nah, I have a lady partner. I used donor sperm.

  11. SseFriut says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. Please forgive me if the following sounds overly clinical:

    Did you have an ultrasound after you lost the pregnancy to ensure that it was a complete miscarriage? Sometimes bits of fetal tissue can remain in the uterus after a miscarriage (similar to how bits of the placenta can remain after giving birth). This tissue can become necrotic and cause all sorts of uterine issues like PID. If you haven’t had a check-up since the miscarriage, I would highly recommend speaking to your family physician (or taking a trip to Planned Parenthood or the like) to ensure you don’t need a D&C.

  12. RotYes says:

    I actually already had a D&C for that reason, thanks. Wonder if I need another ultrasound?

  13. SseFriut says:

    I would definitely give your doc a call, just to see what they say. They might want to do a follow up ultrasound.

    Keep and eye out for fevers, pelvic/abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting etc and go to the ER if you have any of those symptoms!

  14. RotYes says:

    Thanks very much for your kind words and advice!

  15. 54ste says:

    Is your cup a meluna perchance?

    My meluna can get quite stinky, and I’m fairly certain its the material rather than me, since it never happens when I use my diva (unless I eat onions or garlic or something…)

  16. RotYes says:

    No, it’s a Diva, but now that you mention it I’ve been eating a lot of garlic and onions!

  17. 54ste says:

    Oh, one day I ate some type of Chinese food with garlic, onions, and peppers and I quickly discovered how much that can change orders with the cup! Oh dear, lol. It only lasted about 12 hours, and I’ve had success with avoiding that type of thing, during that time.

  18. RotYes says:

    That’s funny! I definitely notice that my general odor changes when I eat onions and garlic. I’ll have to do an experiment avoiding them and see what happens!

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