Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why does my vagina smell?"


I keep watching my vagina and dutching all the time really good and i atill have a bad smell to it and it gets worse after intercourse i clean with baby wipes after going to the bathroom i just dont know hat to do anymore can you help me


Vaginal odor typically arises from inflammation of the vaginal area which is often a result of infection in or around the vagina. Such inflammation is termed vaginitis. I recommend discussing this with a doctor who can diagnose you and determine the cause.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Obgyns near you

The most common cause of vaginitis is bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is characterized by a yellow, grey, or white vaginal discharge that may have a strong, unpleasant odor, often described as fishy. This odor may be more obvious after sexual intercourse or menstruation. However, there are factors that increase a person's risk of vaginitis. These include bubble baths, perfumed soaps, scented detergents, vaginal contraceptives, vaginal sprays, spermicidal products, and douches, etc. I strongly advise you to avoid douching. A vagina should contain lactic acid that is produced by bacteria called lactobacilli, making it slightly acidic to prevent other bacteria or fungal organisms from growing there. If there are fewer "good" bacteria (lactobacilli) the vagina may become less acidic and make the environment more favorable for the overgrowth of bad bacteria (anaerobes) that causes infections. A healthy vagina needs to have some bacteria and other organisms to maintain the normal acidity of the vagina to keep these bacteria in balance. Although douching may make you feel cleaner, it can actually upset this delicate balance of vaginal bacteria. That being said, there are some other vaginal infections that may also cause a foul-smelling odor and discharge. They are infections with yeast or Trichomonas vaginalis organisms and sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. I recommend visiting a doctor for a thorough evaluation to determine the exact cause of your condition and treatment.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.