The Causes of Feminine Odor

When there is inflammation in or around the vagina, it is often due to infection; this can lead to feminine odor. This foul smell is typically described as "fishy" and it is most definitely not a normal vaginal scent. When there is an infection of the vagina, it is usually accompanied by other frustrating issues such as irritation, itching, and odd vaginal discharge.

In order for the vagina to be at its optimal health, the acidity levels (pH) need to be completely balanced. When the pH is the way it should be, the bacteria living within the vagina are also balanced. There are both "good" and "bad" bacteria residing in the vagina and they are called lactobacilli and anaerobes. When the vagina is balanced properly, the lactobacilli outnumber the anaerobes, however when there is a problem with the pH balance, the anaerobes multiply and eventually outnumber the lactobacilli. This can result in bacterial vaginosis, and along with this condition also comes an foul feminine odor.

Bacterial vaginosis can crop up in any woman, however it is most common in women who are of childbearing age and have multiple sex partners. This infection is also very popular amongst pregnant women. Unfortunately, doctors are still unsure of the precise reason of why bacterial vaginosis develops, but they do know that women who have unprotected sex and practice douching are more likely to contract the infection. Other signs of bacterial vaginosis include burning during urination and light vaginal bleeding. There are however some women who have this infection but do not experience any symptoms.

If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, you should visit your doctor promptly. This is especially true if you have never had an infection, if you have had an infection but are experiencing different symptoms, you are with a new sex partner, you have multiple sex partners, you've been treating yourself for a yeast infection, you have a fever and/or you have distinct feminine odor.

In addition to bacterial vaginosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is another cause for feminine odor. This infection deals with the reproductive organs, and it is due to bacteria that have been sexually transmitted. If the bacteria travel up the genital tract to the uterus from the vagina, it can certainly lead to pelvic inflammatory disease.

In you happen to have PID, you may be experiencing signs and symptoms such as pain in the lower abdomen, lower back pain, pain in the pelvis, heavy vaginal discharge, unpleasant feminine odor, irregular bleeding during menstruation, pain during sexual intercourse, fever, difficult/painful urination, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting or no signs or symptoms. PID just happens to also be asymptomatic, however if the woman is not experiencing any symptoms, it is usually because she has Chlamydia.

If you are experiencing severe symptoms of PID, it is highly necessary for you to get to the emergency room. The more severe symptoms may include shock, fainting, vomiting, fever and severe pain in the lower abdomen. However if the symptoms are not severe, although consistent, schedule a doctor's appointment.

There are other causes of unpleasant feminine odor such as sexually transmitted infections (STI). Other symptoms associated with sexually transmitted infections include bleeding between menstrual cycles and painful urination. Stop having sex and see a doctor immediately if you are experiencing any of these signs. You are least likely to develop pelvic inflammatory disease if you see a doctor about a sexually transmitted infection as soon as possible.

Having unprotected sex whether you have one or multiple sex partners increases your risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. There are also contraceptives that can have differing affects on the development of pelvic inflammatory disease. For example, an intrauterine device (IUD) can actually increase the risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease, and condoms reduce the risk. Birth control pills are not protection against any sexually transmitted infections, but they may possibly aid in the prevention of pelvic inflammatory disease due to the fact that they cause the body to produce thick cervical mucus. This mucus makes it more difficult for bacteria to actually reach the upper genital tract.

Another popular cause of feminine odor is trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Trichomoniasis is known for causing bad smelling feminine odor and discharge, genital itching and painful urination. If a woman has trichomoniasis while pregnant, she is at a very high risk of premature delivery.

Condoms and spermicidal's are known for preventing trichomoniasis, however if the woman or man have contracted this disease, then both of them will need treatment. When it comes to men, they do not usually have any signs or symptoms, but if they do, it is typically painful urination. If either person has contracted this disease, then it is highly important to seek immediate treatment, thereby reducing the potential of a reoccurrence. Fortunately, the treatment for trichomoniasis only requires one mega dose of metronidazole (Flagyl).

A tiny, singular-celled parasite called parasite is the cause of trichomoniasis, and it travels from one person to the next during sexual intercourse. There is an incubation period between exposure, and the literal infection can last from 5 to 28 days. If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms such as an unpleasant feminine odor, green, yellow, gray or white vaginal discharge, genital burning, painful urination, painful intercourse or itching or redness in the genital area, then it may very well be from trichomoniasis.

If you have noticed an odd, foul smelling feminine odor, go to the doctor so that they can determine the cause.

Femanol is providing the above article as a courtesy and is for informational purpose only.


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