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Vaginal Odor: What's Normal?

Vaginal odor is a source of self-consciousness for many—knowing what's normal (and how to attain it) can help ease the worry.

Vaginal Odor: What's Normal?

Every body—and vagina—has a certain smell (hence the phrase ‘body odor’). It’s unique to you, your personal makeup, and your lifestyle.

The vagina itself hosts billions of bacteria, and vaginal bacteria fluctuate daily. With this inevitable fluctuation–especially through menstruation, puberty, pregnancy, and menopause–your vaginal smell will also change.

Some vaginal odor is perfectly “normal” and healthy, while other distinct smells are abnormal. Keep reading to find out what’s normal and what’s not. We’ll also share a few tips on how you can support a healthy vaginal odor

What’s Normal Vaginal Odor?


Don’t be alarmed if your vaginal odor has a metallic-like odor, especially if you’re on your period. It's most likely due to the iron that is in your blood. During menstruation, women and vagina owners shed tissue and blood from the uterine lining through the vagina. 

Sour or Tangy

A slightly tangy or sour smell, like fermented sauerkraut, is normal. It has to do with vaginal pH balance for women. Lactobacilli, the vagina’s primary microorganism, is the same bacteria that appear in beer and yogurt. Research shows that a healthy vagina's pH is slightly acidic, between 3.8 and 4.5.

Skunky (like marijuana smoke)

Although this odor may seem abnormal or downright silly, it is, in fact, normal. Some people experience body odor that smells like a skunk just released its odorous spray. It can be particularly true if you’re experiencing emotional stress or anxiety. It’s because your body has apocrine sweat glands in your groin, right by your vagina, and their main function is to react to your emotions. 

When to Consider Seeing a Doctor: Abnormal Vaginal Odor

Overly fishy

A pungent, fishy smell is not normal. It’s likely due to the following:

  • Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) – the result of an overgrowth in vaginal bacteria. If you have BV, there is no need to be alarmed or ashamed as it’s the most common vaginal condition in women ages 15-44, according to the CDC
  • Trichomoniasis – a vaginal infection that is typically sexually transmitted. 

Both conditions are curable and treatable with antibiotics. So, it’s imperative to seek the care of your healthcare provider if you contract BV or Trichomoniasis.

Spoiled or Rotten

If it smells like something is rotting or decaying down there, it’s because something is not normal. It’s most likely due to a tampon left in your vaginal canal for too long. It could be lodged for days or weeks. Please don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s very common; we’re all busy people. If you can’t fetch the tampon or other object yourself, book an appointment with your doctor.

How to Support Vaginal Health

Restoring overall vaginal well-being requires healthy vaginal pH, vaginal odor, yeast balance, and vaginal flora. That’s exactly what URO Vaginal Probiotic's formula supports. Formulated with V-Positiv Probiotic Blend™ 5 billion CFUs, URO helps target vaginal inflammation and promotes pH balance with potent strains like Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Lactobacillus Reuteri, and Lactobacillus Fermentum.

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