Center for Young Women's Health
Home > Ask Us

Ask Us:

What does it mean if you have a strange smell coming from your vagina?

Vaginal odor is often linked with vaginal discharge or vaginal itching and can have different causes. Vaginal odor is often caused from a change in the bacteria that normally live in your vagina (bacterial vaginosis) or from a yeast infection. Other reasons for vaginal odor can be caused from a forgotten tampon left in the vagina or from not showering or bathing regularly. However, vaginal odor can mean that you have a sexually transmitted infection, especially if you are having unprotected intercourse. That's why it's important to talk to your health care provider if you've had unprotected intercourse, an unusual vaginal discharge or itching, or if the odor doesn't go away. See your health care provider to see what is causing your symptoms and if you need medication. If you do have an infection, there is medicine that can cure it and the odor too.

Related Guides

Search Our Site
Center for Young Women's Health Center for Young Women's Health Boston Children's Hospital Boston Children's Hospital
Photo of Peer Leaders Meet Our Peers
15 Years!