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Why does my vagina smell?

So I used to have this really bad fishy smell 3 years ago and I used to get made fun of for it. Ever since then I've worn a pad every single day for 3 years. I always have discharge and it smells pretty bad, but not always like fish. I used to wash and wipe back to front because no one told me any different, but I've recently changed that. I used to wash inside the lips with soap pretty roughly also. But now I just wash the outside, but I feel that doesn't clean enough. How do I get to smell better down there? ( I'm a virgin, but I have put my fingers down there before.)
It sounds like you have been experiencing malodorous vaginal discharge from years and I recommend that you speak with an OBGYN. From your description, it is possible that you are experiencing a condition called bacterial vaginosis which is an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. It can cause white to clear discharge that can smell fishy at times. It doesn't cause much pain or discomfort but it can cause some itching. Bacterial vaginosis is not known to be transmitted sexually. It is most likely caused by an imbalance of "good" and "bad" bacteria in the vagina. All women have lactobacillus, which is a type of bacteria, in the vagina. They help create an acidic environment in the vagina that kills off other organisms; thus, the vagina is known to be a self cleaning system that does not need "extra" cleaning. If you do clean it with harsh soaps or other cleaning reagents, it can kill the beneficial lactobacillus. The vagina will no longer have the acidic environment that protects it from other organisms. This often leads to overgrowth of other bacteria or yeasts that can cause problems. You should may an appointment with an OBGYN doctor to have it examined to ensure there are no concerning medical conditions that is contributing to your condition.
This answer 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 or (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.

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