Is It Normal For Your Vagina To Smell Different During Pregnancy?

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Vaginal odor during pregnancy can be normal in most women. Changes in hormones and urine composition can be the reason for it. Although many women share pregnancy fears and experiences with friends and family for de-stressing, it can be overwhelming for many to talk about some issues such as vaginal smell. An unpleasant or foul smell from the vagina may occur in pregnancy, and many hesitate to address it on time. Never hesitate to seek your doctor’s consultation to identify the cause of vaginal smell in pregnancy and its treatments.

Read on to know the causes and easy measures to eliminate vaginal odor during pregnancy.

Is Vaginal Odor Normal During Pregnancy?

Whether a faint smell or a strong one, vaginal odor is normal in pregnancy. The smell could be fishy or ammonia-like due to the changes in the urine. Sometimes, the smell could be accompanied by a discharge too. If it is not bothering you much, you don’t have to worry about it. A few home remedies can help deal with it easily.

Continue reading to know what causes vaginal odor during pregnancy.

What Causes Vaginal Smell During Pregnancy?

The reasons for vaginal odor vary from case to case. For some, it could be due to lifestyle changes during pregnancy, while for others, it could be a result of infections.

  1. Bacterial vaginosis: It is an infection that could occur in pregnant women. In the early stages of this infection, there is vaginal odor followed by itchiness. If the condition is bothering you much, you should see a doctor (1).
  1.  Monilia yeast infection: This infection could be a result of hormonal changes, lack of sleep, diabetes, tight-fitting underwear or clothes, or medications and treatments. Yeast infections are common in pregnant women and can result in unpleasant and strong odor (2).
  1. Abnormal vaginal discharge: Odorless vaginal discharge is usually common during pregnancy. But when you get a strong odor, it could be due to infections that can be treated (3).
  1. Poor hygiene: Wearing tight clothes, using chemical-based products, wipes, sprays, and not bathing for several days could also lead to vaginal odor.
  1. Hormonal changes and diet: Like most other pregnancy changes, the vaginal odor could also be due to the hormonal imbalance during pregnancy. Fluctuation in hormone levels, combined with a change in the dietary patterns during pregnancy, could cause a foul-smelling vagina.

The odor can be reduced or eliminated by following a few tips that target the underlying cause for it.

How To Get Rid Of Vaginal Odor When Pregnant?

Bad smell from your vagina should be taken care of in time. Otherwise, the condition may worsen. Here are some easy measures to take.

  1. Keep it clean: Avoid tight, synthetic clothing that does not absorb sweat and dampens the area. Instead, go for cotton panties and loose trousers. You can also change your panties once every few hours.
  1. Focus on the diet: If the vaginal odor is due to your dietary patterns, then try changing it. For instance, excess intake of sugary stuff or adding pungent ingredients such as garlic in your food may be avoided as they can cause vaginal odor. Increased consumption of vegetables and fruits is good. Have a lot of fluids, especially when exercising.
  1. Don’t use chemical products: Chemical substances that are used to clean the vaginal area can destroy the good bacteria and make the area susceptible to bacterial/yeast and other infections.
  1. Stay away from cosmetics: Sometimes, the vaginal smell could be a result of using soaps, scented sprays, and wipes. It is better to avoid these during pregnancy to prevent odor.
  1. Some more: Avoid douching, as it disrupts the balance of bacteria in your vagina. Wear panty liners or frequently change your underwear if you’re prone to urine leakage. If these remedies are not helping you, you should talk to a professional.

When To Visit The Doctor?

Usually, vaginal smell due to diet and hormonal changes can be treated at home. But you should contact your doctor in any of the following cases.

  1. When the odor continues for a long time, and none of the remedial measures is helping.
  1. When the odor is accompanied by unusual vaginal discharge.
  1.  In case you experience redness, itching, inflammation, pain, or anything else that is troubling you.

Changes in urine composition and hormones can result in peculiar vaginal odor during pregnancy. Although vaginal odor is normal in most cases, strong, unpleasant vaginal odors can be due to bacterial vaginosis or yeast infection. Thus, it is essential to pay attention to vaginal hygiene during pregnancy. Keeping the area dry and clean and wearing loose cotton panties may help reduce the risk of infections. Further, avoid cosmetics and cleaning products that destroy the healthy microbes of the vagina. Remaining hydrated and avoiding excess sugar intake can help reduce the vaginal odors to an extent.

Key Pointers

  • Mild or strong vaginal odor is common in pregnancy, and it can often be associated with changes in urine and the presence of vaginal discharge.
  • Bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, poor hygiene, and hormonal changes can cause vaginal smell in pregnancy.
  • Keeping the vagina dry and clean can prevent strong vaginal odors, and you may seek medical care if there is pain or itching.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. Bacterial Vaginosis; Rush University Medical Center
2. Vaginal Yeast Infections; University of Michigan Health
3. Vaginal Yeast Infections; Healthwise
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Dr Bisny T. Joseph

Dr. Bisny T. Joseph is a Georgian Board-certified physician. She has completed her professional graduate degree as a medical doctor from Tbilisi State Medical University, Georgia. She has 3+ years of experience in various sectors of medical affairs as a physician, medical reviewer, medical writer, health coach, and Q&A expert. Her interest in digital medical education and patient education made... more

Dr. Shalini MA

(MS, OBG)
Dr. Shalini MA is a fertility specialist with over seven years of experience in the field of infertility evaluation, IUI, IVF, laparoscopy, high-risk pregnancy, and adolescent care. Currently running her own clinic in Tumkur, Karnataka, Dr. Shalini has presented several research papers and won awards for her contribution, with the latest being on “Cycle day, Estradiol level, Endometrial thickness and... more

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