Vaginal odor isn’t always something we like to talk about. Often it’s treated as a dirty secret or something to hide. It’s understandable that you’d feel that way. There are products everywhere claiming to treat this very “problem” in fact. But the truth is you shouldn’t be embarrassed by your vaginal odor.
It’s normal but let’s talk about why. You shouldn’t have to keep wondering if you should feel bad about something that’s normal. Knowing why it’s normal and why women often feel bad about it are great tools in your pocket when it comes to talking about vaginal odor. So let’s talk about it.
Why Vaginal Odor Is Normal
Your vagina a part of your body that has discharge. It’s normal to have vaginal discharge and it’s a sign of a healthy vagina. That’s part of how your vagina maintains the pH level and cleans itself. It’s why you don’t need to do anything to “detox” your vagina. It’s doing an amazing job of taking care of itself already.
But sometimes that means there’s a slight odor that comes with the discharge. This is normal. It is normal for your vagina to smell like a vagina and not like a field of flowers. There’s nothing wrong with you and it doesn’t mean your vagina is dirty if it doesn’t smell great.
As long as you are washing it with gentle soap and warm water, your body does the rest. No extra help needed.
Why Women Are Shamed Into Being Embarrassed
For decades women have been told that they should “freshen up” down there. There are products all over the market for you to clean up your vagina. Heavily scented items that aren’t your vagina’s friend but will make it smell “better” temporarily. The truth is women are shamed about a totally normal way to smell because there’s money in it.
It’s also become a part of our culture for men to assume vaginas should smell good or there’s something wrong. This is because they are just as susceptible to marketing and they have also seen marketing saying a normal vaginal odor is not okay.
They make jokes about vaginal odor because marketing and porn have told them that women smell like perfume down there unless they’re dirty. We can work to change these things by being more open about vaginal odor and refusing to change our entire routine to make someone else understand we aren’t dirty.
Why You Shouldn’t Be Embarrassed About Vaginal Odor
You shouldn’t be embarrassed about your vaginal odor. You shouldn’t be embarrassed because it’s normal and it’s a sign that your vagina is healthy. No matter what partners or advertisers tell you, a healthy vagina smells exactly like your vagina does right now. There’s just no need to make it smell any different.
It’s okay to want to freshen up down there, but use products that are friendly for your vagina. Soap and water, or wipes that aren’t scented. Even baby wipes are an okay option. As soon as you see a product that has scent in it, put it away and buy something else. It’s never going to be a friend to your vagina.
You smell the way you’re supposed to smell. Just keep right on being awesome and don’t let anyone tell you any differently.
Sarah Nelson is a nurse with 15 years of experience working with a variety of patients. She has a Masters of Science in Nursing and has spent a large portion of her career working exclusively with women in an OB/GYN setting.
Nursing is a passion for Sarah but she also enjoys writing and sharing her expertise online with people who need helpful information. Treating patients well and helping them learn more about their own bodies is a key essential to a healthy lifestyle that Sarah truly believes in.