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"Can smoking affect vaginal discharge odor?"


Recently it seems like my vaginal discharge has an unpleasant odor. I wonder if this could have something to do with my smoking, which has gotten heavier lately. I don't really understand how that could work, but can cigarettes do that to you? I'm 20.


As you have certainly been told, smoking is extremely detrimental to your health increasing your risks of many cancers, along with heart and lung disease. Quitting is the single most important goal for your long term health. Please let your primary care physician know when you are ready to quite and he or she will provide you with tools you can use to increase your likelihood of succeeding.

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Cigarette smoking alone does not cause a change in the odor of your vaginal discharge per se. However, smoking does increase your risk for developing Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). BV is caused by an overgrowth of the normal bacterial in your vagina most notably Gardnerella Vaginallis. The symptoms are pain, and irritation near your vagina and discharge that has a strong "fishy" odor. It can be diagnosed in any primary care physician of OBGYN's office. Besides cigarette smoking BV is associated with unprotected sex with more than one partner. It is treated with a short course of the antibiotic Metronidazole (Flagyl). Other causes of vaginal discharge should be considered but would need to be evaluated by a physician. They are not specifically associated with cigarette smoking. I would schedule an appointment to be seen soon so that you can be treated. Good luck and I hope you feel better.

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