Sweet discharge may not be a bad thing. However, it may concern you because it is out of character down there. Your vagina can take on different smells depending on different things. When things smell sweet down there, you can feel comfort in knowing that it at least isn’t due to an infection. It still may leave you questioning why your vagina has a smell at all. This article will take you through some of the things that may cause this to happen.
Is Sweet Smelling Discharge Normal?
A sweet discharge may be your “normal” for the moment. However, if it is something new or unusual for you then it may be a cause for concern. When it comes to the vagina, there actually isn’t a “normal” at all. One person’s scent may be stronger than someone else’s. Other people may have a “fruity” or “sweet” scent. As long as it is pretty consistent over time, then it is normal. When you need to worry is when you have a major change in your scent, especially if you start experiencing other changes in your vagina like itching, pain, or irregular bleeding.
What Is Causing That Sweet Smelling Discharge?
Your vagina has an entire ecosystem going on inside to help keep things clean and healthy. You have a strain of bacteria called “lactobacilli” and some yeast too. Both of these work hard to keep each other in constant balance. When things are working properly, your vagina may smell sweet or even a slight “yogurt like” odor. You don’t really have to do anything to keep this balance, but sometimes things go wrong and it gets disrupted. Things that can cause this include:
1. High Blood Sugar
When your blood sugar is above normal, you may encounter a sweet smell from the increased sugar and yeast growth. You see, yeast feeds on sugar and when you eat a diet higher in carbs or processed sugar, you are actually giving them free dinner. If you notice a sweet smell that isn’t normal for you, try checking your blood sugar to see if it is higher than normal range. Normal blood sugar is:
- 70 to 110 before eating
- 140 or less 2 hours after eating
If you are above these numbers consistently, then you should see your doctor.
2. Foods You Have Eaten
Certain foods can give your vagina a sweet smell. When you eat citrus fruits, the scent can go into your vaginal fluids. These include grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, and tangerines.
3. Hormonal Changes
Hormonal changes during ovulation can kick your pheromones into gear. Pheromones are sweet and musky scents your body gives off to make you more attractive to your mate. These hormonal changes may even continue the sweet scent during early pregnancy, throughout pregnancy, and shortly after your baby is born.
How to Deal with It
If you are uncomfortable with your vaginal odor and nothing is going on down there, you can do a few things to keep things fresh:
- Easy with The Washing: Keep your cleaning routine down there very simple. No douches, feminine sprays, or feminine wipes. Perfumes can disrupt your delicate balance. Only use mild soap and water.
- Take a Pregnancy Test: If the new smell is new onset around two weeks after possible ovulation, this could be a sign of pregnancy. Take a pregnancy test to see if this is the cause of the change in vaginal odor.
- Try Hormonal Birth Control: You may be noticing fluctuations in your vaginal smell from sweet to sour and it may be very pronounced. Taking hormonal birth control may help to regulate these fluctuations.
- Watch What You Eat: If the sweet smelling discharge is bothering you, try to watch what you eat. Eat citrus fruits like pineapple, grapefruit, and oranges in moderation.
- Don’t Do Anything: Since sometimes the vagina may smell unpleasant, leave the sweet smell alone. Consider it a stroke of luck.
Is There a Way to Prevent That Smell?
You can help prevent changes in your vaginal odor by:
- Wearing only lightweight clothing and underwear.
- Change out of sweaty gym clothes after your workout.
- Do not use douches.
- Keep your blood sugar levels stable.
These home remedies can also help rebalance your vaginal flora and prevent odors:
Even though it smells strong when you eat it, garlic can help take care of any bacteria and yeast in the vagina. This changes the flora and the scent. Try eating garlic daily in your foods or you can chew one clove with a glass of water.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda is alkaline and can change an acidic pH in your vagina. Adding ½ cup baking soda to a warm bath can help wash away vaginal odor and rebalance things down there.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has many healing properties for your body, including taking care of vaginal odor. You can pour two cups into your bath and soak for 20 minutes. You can also put one tablespoon into a glass of water and drink it.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has properties that can lower bacteria and yeast levels in your body. Try using 3 drops in one-cup of water and use to wash your genital area.
Yogurt has long been known to be good for vaginal health. It is loaded with necessary lactobacillus that helps keep your vaginal flora in balance. Just eat more yogurt every day or you can place some plain yogurt on a tampon and insert for a few hours.
Smells That You Should Never Ignore
If you have sweet smelling discharge, you probably have nothing to worry about. If you have odors from down there that aren’t so nice, you may have a reason to worry. Check with your doctor if you have the following odors:
1. Fish Smell
When you notice a fishy type of smell you may have bacterial vaginosis. This is just an overgrowth of the normal vaginal bacteria. Other symptoms include white/grey discharge, thick discharge, and itching.
2. Decaying Meat Smell
If it smells like something crawled up inside and died, this could be a sign you left a tampon inside. This could be a medical emergency because it can put you at higher risk for toxic shock syndrome. Remove the tampon immediately and if you have a fever or other signs of infection, seek medical help right away.
3. Bread/Yeast Odor
A yeast infection gives off a yeasty odor. It is normal to have some yeast in the vagina, but it doesn’t usually give off an odor. When you notice the yeasty smell and have cottage cheese like discharge, you might have to treat the infection.
4. Sour Odor
The infection, Trichomoniasis causes a sour odor from the vagina. It causes a type of vaginitis. It is easily treated with antibiotics and is sexually transmitted so use a condom during treatment.