ZocdocAnswersHow can a woman keep her genitals fresh?

Question

How can a woman keep her genitals fresh?

I want to prevent my vagina from getting sweaty and Having a slight smell without having to use perfumes and washing with soap!

Answer

This is a good issue to discuss with your primary care doctor. Body odor generally comes from the action of normal bacteria that live on the surface of the skin. These bacteria feed on the sweat and other secretions our skin produces, and some of the chemical byproducts of their digestion are the main contributors to body odor. In the case of the vagina, much of the odor that you notice may not be coming directly from the vagina but rather from the skin around the vagina, which has a similar sweat and bacterial composition to other odor prone parts of the body, such as the armpits. It is important to remember that this odor while sometimes undesirable is not usually actually a medical problem. As such, the best strategies to approach it are usually the common sense ones, such as regular skin hygiene. Some individuals also find that wearing light, breathable undergarments can help reduce odor. Please mention this issue to your primary care doctor the next time you see them. They can help you figure out whether or not this is anything more than normal body odor that might need further investigation. In particular, if you have any vaginal itching or discharge, the odor might be a sign of a vaginal infection, and that would need evaluation and treatment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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