First time poster, although I’ve poked around quite a bit in the past.

I know that this question has been asked a million times before, but I always feel like the situation is a little different and then I get confused. I’m sure I’m just being silly, but I can’t help it ^^;;

Anyways, I have a somewhat funky odor to my vag. I’ve had it for quite some time, so I’ve always thought that it was typical, but recently I got a new boyfriend and he’s been complaining. I will mention that he’s never been with anyone else (I dated him once before many years ago, and I know I was his first, and he hasn’t dated anyone else since), so he can’t compare the way I smell to other women. He’s asked that I douche before we get more intimate, but I’ve always heard that it’s not good for you.

I typically have a slight discharge, it’s usually clear to milky white, and is not all the time. I want to say it has a slight fishy smell, but it’s not really rank. It tends to be stronger when I’m bleeding, and since I spot often, that may be part of my problem lately.

Also, I don’t actually have health insurance and am really broke at the moment so seeing a doctor is incredibly hard. I know I’ve heard of sliding fee doctors before, but I wouldn’t know the first place to look for one and am a little hesitant because of a poor experience I’ve had before. So if anyone knows of a home remedy, I’d really like that.

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14 Responses to Vaginal odors

  1. Egneeva says:

    This is the perfect time for boric acid. It cures both yeast infections and BV, and won’t hurt you to use it if you DON’T have an infection, resulting in perfectly happy, acidified vagina and pleasant smell.

    Boric acid is cheap. You can either buy the powder and empty capsules yourself, or have them made at a pharmacy (you’d have to ask if they offer the service). I buy mine on Amazon.

    Make sure to insert it a couple days before you plan on intimacy, or once every other week or so as routine. It’s ok down there, seriously.

    Of course, you’re perfectly fine and he may just not know what a vagina is SUPPOSED to smell like 😉

  2. Ihs007 says:

    Thank you so much~ I’m for sure going to try this! How much am I supposed to insert and am I supposed to dilute it with water or anything?

  3. Egneeva says:

    You will make a capsule and just push it in as far as you can vaginally before bed. Before my hysterectomy, I was able to push it up alongside my cervix. It will dissolve and probably let a slight “gush” feeling the next day so you may want a liner then.

    You don’t have a dilute anything at all. Since the boric acid is powder, that’s why I suggested a couple days before so the residue won’t get in the way of sexy times. You can always do a water rinse too if you’re worried about that.

    Good luck!

  4. Ihs007 says:

    Okies, thanks so much for all the info!

  5. Nahro says:

    Honestly, unless you yourself have noticed anything unusual about your body,(e.g. itching, odors that smell weird to YOU, redness, bumps, etc.), then I wouldn’t worry. If you’re still not sure, go see a doctor, (if you can). I’ve heard that staying hydrated helps with strong vaginal odor, and I’ve also heard that eating things like kale and lettuce can help with other types of body odor.

    Lastly, I would definitely tell you to NOT DOUCHE. (No offense to those that do, of course.) Unless your doctor has instructed you to do so for medical reasons, do not do it. It is not only unnecessary, but it can also mess with the natural flora of your vagina. This, in turn, can cause infection, which wold obviously not be good.

  6. Ihs007 says:

    Thank you for the advice~ I’m going to try some of the things the other girls have suggested and I’ll be sure to see a doctor if problems persist. I’ll have to try drinking more water. I’ve been cutting down on my soda intake, but I’m so used to not drinking anything unless I’m eating or feeling overheated that I probably don’t drink nearly as much as I should ^^;

  7. Nahro says:

    You’re very welcome. 🙂

  8. Hteall says:

    Douching is definitely not a good idea! (A vinegar-water rinse, being extra-careful not to put it in quickly (don’t want to force stuff through the cervix), would be one of the few things that would be reasonably un-bad. Boric acid is likely to be better, though.)

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2567125/ is a study of Why Douching Is Bad, with this one “faint praise” paragraph: “Three vinegar-containing douches selectively inhibited vaginal pathogens associated with bacterial vaginosis, group B streptococcal vaginitis, and candidiasis, but not lactobacilli, suggesting to the investigators that vinegar (5 percent acetic acid) douches may be less harmful or may be beneficial.”

    (Lactobacilli are the good bacteria that keep the vagina acidified; yeast does not like an acid environment, and I believe BV tends to not like the same levels. Also, lactobacilli can colonize the “turf” so that BV doesn’t get a foothold.)

    If you have a spotting issue and a slight fishy odor, it might be a very mild case of BV (odor + irritation of the cervix which makes it more likely to be unhappy) — which boric acid is one of the home remedies for. Then again, your current fellow may just have a quirked sense of smell, and be attributing a “fish” designation to what is actually a “blood” + “normal vagina” odor.

    If you want to look for a doctor — for this or any other reason — you might try checking Planned Parenthood, or search on free health clinic [yourtown] [yourstate]. You can also try searching on free STD clinic [yourtown] [yourstate], on the grounds that even if such a place does not do testing for yeast/BV, as a free clinic, they might know where you could find other inexpensive or free health services.

    Good luck!

  9. Ihs007 says:

    Thank you~ I think I’m going to try the boric acid and if I still have issues I’ll search for a doctor like that~

  10. SseNope says:

    Everyone else has given really good suggestions. I just want to add a bit:
    * Taking probiotics can help your vaginal flora be more resilient and fight off infection. This can be yogurt, pills, kombucha or maybe something new I haven’t heard about. Yogurt can also be administered vaginally, and some pills can as well.
    * Drinking lots of water will help dilute the smell at the very least, and just support vaginal health in general.
    * Similarly, cutting down on coffee, beer, etc will help you be more hydrated and also reduce the stinkiness of sweat. Groin sweat can definitely play a role in vaginal smell!
    * Garlic is an antibacterial and an antifungal, though it might be too powerful for the mild infection you might be running.
    * Clear to milky white is totally normal.
    * Spotting, like a period, can definitely contribute to an environment that allows for overgrowth of something. You could try taking vitamin E or ibuprofen as explained here to stop the spotting.
    * Are you on birth control? Some people find that birth control changes their vaginal “normal”. Sometimes this means they have really low key infections, other times they just have a new healthy normal.
    * I’ve used apple cider vinegar douche as Beth describes, but the faint praise is definitely the key phrase here. You have to be SUPER SUPER SUPER careful to not push anything up inside the uterus.
    * Consider your underwear. Cotton is good. If you’re having problems, anything else is likely to be bad. Don’t wear thongs, and avoid nylons. Go commando if you can, especially at night.

    I don’t know where you’re located, but Beth’s “free health care [your location]” tends to work. Look into your local govt health authority, but also inquire at places that do other outreach to low income people. Really big hospitals in the area, particularly teaching hospitals, tend to have sliding scale or low income services. And lastly, those minute clinics at some pharmacies tend to be cheaper.

  11. Ihs007 says:

    Thanks for all the info!

    I was unsure about the spotting. I usually have really irregular periods, for years now I’d only get them maybe once every couple of months, although this past year or so they’ve gotten even less frequent and instead I’ve just been spotting more frequently. I might have to try that treatment anyways though, I don’t really like the constant spotting x__x I keep ruining my panties! I’ll occasionally wear pantyliners, but I find them to be highly irritating and usually just prefer to buy new panties x__x

    The underwear thing you mention is actually pretty much how I already do it, lol. I love cotton bikinis and anything else feels uncomfortable to me, and commando at night is how I always sleep.

    I’ll have to look into sliding scale hospitals again. The last one I went to I was really mad at. I made around $800 a month, and although I lived alone then, I didn’t really have a lot of spending money (although I’ve since learned to make that stretch more, I had to support me and another person for a while on that same budget when our rent was almost double what mine was then!) Anyways, I went to see a doctor to find out if they could do anything about an ingrown toenail that I had that had gotten really infected. They wouldn’t give me a price estimate when I got there, and when I saw the doctor, she looked at it, confirmed that it was indeed infected (which was incredibly obvious) and told me I had to go see a podiatrist, which they didn’t have at that clinic, and sent me on my merry way. The bill I got for that little chat was $100 ;__; I’m sure that it was much cheaper than if I went to a normal clinic, but I was quite upset since nothing had actually gotten resolved.

  12. GodNew says:

    Out of curiosity, what’s wrong with thongs, assuming they’re cotton lined?

  13. YppSuper says:

    Because of the shape of them, and how they sit, there is a greater chance of them transferring bacteria from the anus area to the vulva and causing problems.

  14. GodNew says:

    Hm, okay. I wear thongs fairly often but haven’t noticed it shifting around where it shouldn’t be or anything.

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