The Reasons for Vagina Odor

Vagina odor can be the result of infection; oftentimes, infection arises when there is inflammation in or around the vagina. This foul smell is usually described as "fishy" and it is certainly an abnormal vaginal scent. Typically, when the vagina is infected it is accompanied by this vagina odor as well as itching, irritation and unusual vaginal discharge.

When the acidity levels (pH) of the vagina are completely balanced, then the vaginal area is usually in optimal health. Within the vagina are microorganisms, and most of them are bacteria.  There are both "good" and "bad" bacteria residing in the vagina, and when the pH levels are balanced, so are the bacteria.  Typically, the "bad" (anaerobes) bacteria should not be a concern because the "good" (lactobacilli) bacteria outnumber them.  This is bacterial balance within the vagina.  If the pH should become imbalanced, however, it would result in an overproduction of anaerobes. This can result in bacterial vaginosis, and along with this condition also comes an unpleasant vagina odor.

Bacterial vaginosis is most common amongst women who are of reproduction age, pregnant women, women who douche frequently, and those who have multiple sex partners.  Unfortunately, doctors are still unsure of the precise reason why bacterial vaginosis develops.  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.

You should immediately schedule an appointment with your doctor if you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms.  This is especially true if you have never had an infection; therefore, your doctor will be able to determine what caused this issue, and educate you on how to notice signs and symptoms in the future. It is also imperative that you see a doctor 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 vagina odor.

Another popular cause for pungent vagina odor is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).  This particular infection comes from sexually transmitted bacteria, and they target the reproductive organs.  Once these bacteria are in the vagina, they actually travel up the genital track to the uterus.  By the uterus being infected with bacteria, the woman is highly likely to contract pelvic inflammatory disease.

The signs and symptoms that come about due to pelvic inflammatory disease include 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 absolutely no signs or symptoms whatsoever.  Pelvic inflammatory disease just happens to also be asymptomatic, however it is possible for a woman to not experience any symptoms because she has already been infected with Chlamydia.  Detecting this ailment in asymptomatic women often occurs when they fail to get pregnant, or if they have chronic pelvic pain.

Get to the emergency room as soon as possible if you are experiencing severe pelvic inflammatory disease symptoms.  The more severe symptoms may include shock, fainting, vomiting, fever and severe pain in the lower abdomen.  However, you should surely schedule a doctor's appointment if your symptoms are consistent, although not severe.

Sexually transmitted infections (STI) can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease as well as abnormal vagina odor.  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 immediately.

Women who have unprotected sex or several sexual partners are at a higher risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.  In fact, certain contraceptives 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 meant to be used as 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; the mucus makes it harder for bacteria to reach the upper genital tract.

The sexually transmitted disease (STD) known as trichomoniasis is another common cause of vagina odor.  Trichomoniasis is known for causing unpleasantly smelling discharge and vagina odor, genital itching and painful urination.  If a woman has trichomoniasis while pregnant, she is at a very high risk of premature delivery.

If one of two sexual partners contracts this disease, both people need to seek immediate treatment regardless of the fact that spermicide and condoms can prevent trichomoniasis.  Men do not usually have any symptoms when they have been infected with this disease; but if they do, it is usually 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 megadose of metronidazole (Flagyl).

If you have experienced foul vagina odor, it is imperative you go to the doctor so that they can determine what the cause may be.  It can be severe or very simple. 

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