Many women find the monthly phase of their periods to be a total agony with the cramps, mood swings, extra poop, hunger, and many other problems that give them a tough time.
To make things worse, comes on the foul smell from the blood. It sometimes becomes real foul, apparent, and quite embarrassing leaving a foul odor as you exit a room.
Why does my period smell? That is a question many women have asked at one time or another during their lifetime. Even if you are very meticulous about your hygiene and extremely careful as to keep the evidence of your periods hidden, sometimes you need a little extra help keeping the smell under control as well.
Here is why this happens:
The levels of pH rise during a period making the blood less acidic, resulting in bacterial growth down there and eventually the bad smell. Also, the uterine lining which sheds during this process may have presence of fungus and bacteria, which results in the smell. If the blood stays longer in the uterus, the chances that it will smell stronger are higher.
Moisture gets retained in the vagina during the period and it can sometimes cause fungal infections which may give a fishy smell near the vaginal area. If there is a constant blockage of air in the sanitary napkins and tampons, then there will be a bad odor too. Menstrual pads are a huge culprit in causing bad odors during periods because they block air from reaching the genitals. In addition, they keep menstrual blood from drying.
The combination of these things can cause a strong odor that is hard to cover up. Tampons prevent odors when inserted, but at the same time they make the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. A forgotten tampon often becomes a problem too. The abandoned tampon starts smelling very foul. You can check this yourself by inserting your fingers into your vagina to see if you can feel anything. If you do, try and remove it.
If you can’t remove the tampon yourself or are still unsure if anything is still in there, see your doctor who can remove it for you. Other causes like Trichomonas infection, yeast infections, or cervix infections can also cause strong odors during menstrual periods. Inflammation and an abnormal discharge usually accompany the smell.
Let's now find out what can be done to get rid of this menace. Good personal hygiene goes a long way in preventing menstrual odor. Daily bathing and trimming of pubic hairs are also helpful.
Try Using Chemical-Free Menstrual Products. Cloth pads allow your vaginal area to remain dry and they do not contain chemicals too. Also, menstrual cups differ from tampons as they allow vaginal self-cleaning while not exposing your menstrual flow to air.
Do not use wet wipes or baby wipes. Since they contain chemicals, they can mess with your vaginal pH. You can replace wipes with dampened toilet paper.
Keep an Extra Pair of Panties with You. Menstrual products need to be changed every few hours, but we often get busy and forget. Pads, menstrual cups and tampons can leak. If that happens, change into a pair of clean panties as soon as you can. This will help eliminate the odor that has soaked into your soiled underwear. Also, wear cotton underwear as it allows more air to reach your vagina. This helps it stay dry during your periods. Synthetic materials, on the other hand, trap moisture leading to bacterial growth.
Take a shower every day, especially during your menstrual period. There is no need to use soap products around your genital area as they may mess with your pH balance. Water is good enough as your vagina is self-cleaning. Also, when you menstruate, your body releases more oil and sweat that helps to keep your body clean and odors under check.
Avoid scented products like feminine wipes and spray deodorizers as they can cause irritation in the vagina, and lead to a bacterial imbalance. They can also decrease the vagina’s natural protection against infections. If you wish to wear a perfume or fragrance, try ones that go on your wrist or neck, as they do not have the same concerns as vaginal fragrances.
Douching disrupts the natural bacterial balance in the vagina; hence, do not douche. It has also been linked to numerous health problems including yeast infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, and problems during pregnancy. Normal showers and changing of pads, tampons, or cups can help mitigate foul odors.
There are many home remedies that can help control odors associated with menstruation. They include eating more garlic, which has anti-fungal properties, consuming yogurt, which has good bacteria that helps keep the acidic pH levels in the vagina balanced, eating a good, healthy diet, and drinking water that has steeped overnight with fenugreek seeds. You can use a rice wash to flush your genital area and rinse away unpleasant odors.
You should eat, exercise, and relax well during these days, and before you know, you will be as free as a bird for a whole month again.