Why Does My Vagina Smell Like Iron?

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Studies have found that the vagina is a veritable cornucopia of bacteria and flora with its own unique odor. A coppery or metallic odor can be normal, especially when you’re on your period.

The smell usually comes from good bacteria like lactobacilli. But if you’re bleeding unrelated to your period or have a metallic scent after sex, it may be a sign that something isn’t quite right.

Blood

A coppery, metallic smell is usually a sign of blood down there. This is normal during your period, when blood and tissue are shed from the uterine lining and travel through your vagina canal. It could also be a result of light bleeding after sex, which is common as the pH balance of your normal bacteria changes – This section was prepared by the service’s author Sexy World. The odor can be a bit off-putting, but it’s nothing to worry about.

A rotten or fishy smell can be a sign of a yeast infection called bacterial vaginosis. This can be caused by a change in your normal bacteria, or it can happen because of a tampon that you left in for too long. If this odor is accompanied by itching or discharge, speak to your doctor about antibiotic treatment options.

It’s worth noting that some people don’t experience any kind of odour at all, and that’s totally normal! Everyone’s vulva is as unique as they are, and it has its own ecosystem of good and bad bacteria. Your vagina’s odour can also change depending on what you eat, so if yours suddenly smells like a Playstation or a laptop, it’s probably because you’ve been pigging out on too much garlic or onions! Changing your diet can help restore the normal balance of your bacteria. You can also try wearing cotton underwear to absorb excess moisture, which will reduce the odour.

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Infection

It’s pretty normal for you to smell a little odd down there on occasion — and that’s totally fine. After all, the vulva is a delicately balanced ecosystem complete with its own bacterial flora. This bacterial flora can change on a daily basis depending on things like your period, sexual intercourse, what you eat, or even whether you’re sweating from a workout.

Sometimes the odor is nothing to worry about, and other times it may signal that something’s up. A coppery or metallic scent, for example, is often associated with your period and is a sign that the iron in your blood has made its way down to your vulva. It should go away once your period ends.

A strong, putrid or dead fish-like smell is another potential symptom of a bacterial infection, such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) or trichomoniasis (an STD). Both of these infections can cause a thin vaginal discharge with a bad odor and itching around the vulva, so if you’re experiencing one of these symptoms then it’s time to book an appointment with your gyno.

And, if you’re suffering from these ailments then your gyno can prescribe an antibiotic to help clear things up. You might also want to start using a feminine hygiene product that contains ingredients to help control unpleasant odor, like Kotex Odor Care pads.

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Semen

A lot goes on in your vagina — a veritable cornucopia of flora, and that’s part of the reason why it can smell different than other parts of your body. But if you smell something that makes you go, “Wow, that’s fishy,” it could be a sign of an infection or disease.

Your vagina has its own bacterial flora that works to keep your V-Zone in balance, and it’s perfectly normal for odor to change from day to day. This is especially true during your menstrual cycle or after you eat certain foods. But if the scent becomes persistently strong or is accompanied by itching and discharge, it’s time to book an appointment with your gynecologist.

If you notice a copper-like or metallic smell, this is also completely normal. It occurs because of the iron in your blood cells. This usually happens during or right after your period, and it will fade as soon as the bleeding stops. You may also notice a similar smell after you have sexual intercourse, as semen can alter the pH balance in your vagina.

You may also notice a bleach or chlorine-like odor, which is typically caused by the type of condom or lubricant you’re using. If this is the case, it’s best to switch to a new brand of lubricant or condom and wash your body with plain water to prevent further irritation.

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Discharge

A lot of the time, what you smell “down there” is totally normal. Vaginal odor can change slightly depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, whether you’ve had sexual intercourse or not and a host of other factors. But a few not-so-normal odors can also be a sign that something is off.

For example, if you smell something like fermented or tangy foods such as sourdough bread or Greek yogurt, it’s probably the result of the healthy bacteria in your vulva known as lactobacilli. They produce lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals that keep harmful bacteria at bay. When they’re working well, the pH level in your vulva is 3.8-4.5, which is acidic, which helps to protect against infection.

However, if you notice a strong, metallic odor, it’s probably a sign that your blood has changed the pH balance. That’s because period blood contains iron, so it will have a coppery or metallic scent.

Similarly, if you smell something like ammonia, it’s usually because there is urine residue on your vulva from not wiping properly after going to the bathroom. Keeping your vulva clean and dry can help reduce odor and prevent infections. And remember to drink lots of water so you stay hydrated. That’ll cut down on body odor and reduce the amount of bacteria that grow in your vulva, which can cause infections such as yeast and bacterial vaginosis.

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