Why Does My Vagina Taste Salty?

brown wooden spoon

There’s really no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as a healthy vagina can have a wide range of flavors. For the most part, however, it tastes natural and neutral, with hints of sweat and body odor.

That being said, food and alcohol can definitely impact this taste and smell, as can tobacco.

Food

Most women’s vaginas do a pretty good job of keeping their bacteria status quo, which means that they can smell and taste salty, bitter, metallic or sour. And that’s totally normal!

In fact, the only time that your vulva should smell or taste funky is when something has disrupted its natural pH balance. That’s why it’s best to leave the feminine washes and sprays on the shelf — they may mask or deodorize for a little while, but they can also upend your body’s natural bacterial status quo and invite in more bad bacteria than usual.

If you’re noticing that your vulva is tasting funky or stinky, it might be a sign of an infection like bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, or yeast. Talk to your doctor about the problem so that they can figure out what’s going on and treat the underlying issue. Then you’ll be back to your healthy vulva’s natural aroma and flavor in no time!

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Alcohol

Your vagina normally smells mild and sweet — think of the scent of a fresh hibiscus. But it’s important to note when that changes, because it could be a sign of a yeast infection, which requires immediate treatment. Yeast infections can be caused by hormones, antibiotics, certain cleansers or anything else that throws off the gentle balance of bacteria and fungus in your vulva.

The foods you eat can have an impact on the taste and smell of your hoo-hah, too. Pineapple isn’t the only thing that can make your vulva taste a little tangy, but asparagus, spicy food and excessive sweating might also change its flavor.

Alcohol and tobacco aren’t good for your vulva in any way, but they can have an especially negative effect on its odor and taste. That’s because they both increase perspiration, and the resulting sweat can make your coochie feel salty or even sour. Plus, the toxins in booze and cigarettes can alter your natural body odor and cause your vulva to smell unpleasant. That’s why it’s important to avoid them.

Tobacco

A healthy vulva secretes different fluids to clean, lubricate and support the body. And those fluids can vary in flavor and smell, depending on your diet and other factors like a change in laundry detergent or bath soap.

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The vagina is self-cleaning and normally keeps bacteria at bay, as long as you’re keeping up with your hygiene. But if you neglect the area, it can develop unpleasant odors and tastes. And if you’re smoking, the tar and chemicals from tobacco can add a salty taste or stale smell.

Many of us think that our vulva is supposed to taste like roses or be totally tasteless, but a wide range of flavors are normal for the area. It’s also common for the taste of the vulva to fluctuate throughout the month, because hormones cause changes in pH.

Hormones

A healthy vagina secretes fluids to clean itself, lubricate and move through the monthly cycle. Those fluids can have a salty, musky or sweet taste depending on what you eat, your hormone levels and how often you wash the area.

Your vaginal flora, the bacteria that live there, also have different tastes. Lactobacillus produces lactic acid and has a sour taste, streptococcus gives off a salty flavor and staphylococcus has a musky, bitter or metallic taste. Candida has a slight yeasty taste and Gardnerella has an ammonia-like smell.

The best thing you can do to change the taste of your vagina is to keep it clean and dry. Avoid using fragranced washes or lotions and wear loose cotton underwear, especially during sex. It’s also a good idea to avoid scented sex toys and to use non-porous lubricants that won’t allow bacteria to grow in them, especially since certain lubes can fuel bad bacteria.

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Remember, the vagina is a self-cleaning machine that’s designed to help maintain a balanced pH. Anything that upsets that balance can result in an off taste or odor. If that happens, it’s important to talk to a doctor or nurse about any potential causes and treat them accordingly.

Sweat

The vulva has a natural, musky taste, though that flavor can change due to health or personal habits. For instance, a woman might notice that her vulva tastes differently during her menstrual cycle, or when she’s pregnant.

Some foods can also affect the taste and smell of your vulva, including asparagus, spicy foods, or excessive alcohol consumption. If you’re noticing a new smell or taste down there, it’s best to consult with a doctor. They can help you determine whether an infection or hygiene issue may be causing it.

Of course, it’s difficult to describe the taste or smell of your vulva to someone else. It’s not something that can be easily communicated, despite how much we romanticize it in erotica. Luckily, many people have opened up about the taste and smell of their own vulva in order to help others understand. Here are some of the more common descriptions:

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