WOMEN'S HEALTH
COMMUNITY
Vaginal Odour Problem
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by Alicebvt, Sep 08, 2005
I work in a busy office amongst male and female coworkers. During this summer, I began to notice a strong vaginal smell when I arose from my chair. My job requires me to sit all day on my bum, and I am "blessed" with a naturally wet bottom. The odor is very distinctive and almost like swiss cheese, pungent and very noticeable. (I am horrified to tell you all this, sorry!!!). I can detect this smell usually when I am ovulating, but at other times as well. I'm married and have 2 children, am sexually active, but my gynaecologist has not detected yeast infection, trichomonas, or BV, nor do I have dysplasia or any other problems that she has informed me about. I have received only sheepish shrugs and dismissals about the smell, which is intermittent, but very noticeable at times. I am so embarrassed that my mates at work can smell me, but I am not sure. Just extremely self-conscious. I wear cotton knickers, never douche, and have recently switched from pantyhose to stockings. I have no itching, irritation or burning, just creamy to clear discharge (I have had a lot of so-called 'normal' wetness since puberty). I wonder if my weight has anything to do with this. Please help. I am 1.65 m in height and weigh 200 lb. Any advice would be appreciated. THANKS!
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Member Comments (30)
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by IWantToBeAMom, Sep 08, 2005
You said you never douche.  Now might be the time to start.  Something gentle, and not everyday.  Maybe every 3rd morning in the shower before you go to work.  Maybe every other morning during your "strong" time.
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by greenpixie, Sep 08, 2005
According to a health book from Kaiser, it sounds like you might have vaginitis.  Sympotms are unusal discharge and odor.  I know you said you've been told your discharge is normal, but why the odor?  Basically vaginitis is a change to the chemical balance of the vagina.  It can be from something major like STDs or as little as douching or using tampons.  I personally would not douche as I think it causes more harm than good.  Maybe you could keep a few wet washcloths in a ziplock bag.  You could clean yourself whenever you got to the bathroom.  Just get a larger purse so you can be somewhat discreet.  Be careful of using soaps too and make sure you always wear cotton panties.
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by Reallyworried, Sep 08, 2005
Hi alice....I just wanted to say that everybody is different, and that maybe you could carry with you some scented wipes in your purse, as long as they don't irritate you and everytime you go to the bathroom use one to refresh yourself, and to wear a really thin panty liner that is scented and change it every so oftend. That way the odor is not staying on your underwear and is on the liner and use the wipes in between. Just an idea. Hope this is helpful :)
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by Alicebvt, Sep 09, 2005
Thanks for the advice. I purchased an OTC single use douche and used it last night. I actually did feel fresher (I had just had intercourse yesterday morning). I used to douche soon after I married but stopped on advice of my gyn following a series of chronic vulvovaqinitis due to candidiasis. I haven't had the "cheese clumps" or red vaginal lips or itching for several years now, thank goodness, but the odor is still the same.

My current theory is that I went on a dose pak of cortisone for a knee injury and it seems like I smelled stronger at about that time. The odor is like when I am aroused (which is very frequently; attributed to the medication maybe?)only much more picquant and noticeable. Unfortunately my vulva and panties still have that interminable wetness and smell. It is not fishy, more acidic and almost like ones fingers smell after handling a sharp cheese. It's not bad, just strong. Oh well, I will keep trying. Thanks for your kind advice all of you.
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by Alicebvt, Sep 09, 2005
Thank you to you as well! I already use the vaginal wipes, but I can't use any perfumes or scented ones, including the scented bathroom paper or pads or tampons on orders of my physician. I am just wondering if my body is changing. I am 46 and very sexually active, perhaps more so than at any time. I still think it could be my hypertension Rx or the oral cortisone. The odd thing is that my husband actually likes my increased odour of late! Men. During cunnilingus, he seemed to be enjoying himself rather well, as I did. I do have a very acute sense of smell, and I believe that I may be pre-menopausal, as I tend to perspire and feel hotter in the breast and abdomen. I have performed a self examination of my vulva with a mirror and light each day and have seen no evidence of abormal discharge or inflamed mucosa. I had a Pap smear in July at about the time I began to feel self conscious of my bottom, and it came back classI. It really is not as bad as when I wore nylon pantyhose without knickers (the crotch would become sodden and I think that contributed). I am of a mind to call my gynaecologist and see if she feels I need HRT orally or by creme. Sorry to rant, but I was so embarrassed today when a mail clerk bent over my desk and looked at me funny. Paranoid? Maybe! LOL!!Thank you all for listening.
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by IWantToBeAMom, Sep 15, 2005
You can make your own douches too, to help save on cost.  Just cut the very top off of one of the OTC bottles you bought (a pair of manicure scissors cuts right through that thin plastic) and then add a little vinegar if you want.  Obviously don't cut the threaded part off or you'll never get the end screwed back on, but just the very top so you can fill it easily in the sink or shower.  Plain water also works very well just to freshen up and eliminate any discharge (for me anyways).
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by Alicebvt, Sep 16, 2005
I appreciate your advice. I will try your tip. How often do you douche, if I may ask? I was advised against it, and even vinegar and water don't abate the smell, but maybe it's just "my scent", stronger but normal?? I used to douche after intercourse and following my period, but my gyn said it would upset the balance of organisms in my vagina. IWantTOBeAMom, what tells you you need to do this, or what sort of schedule do you use? My doc said to wipe the vulva with tissue following intercourse and just use normal bathing to rid menstrual discomfort - even went so far as to say avoid using soap or female clenasers and only to use warm water and fingers.

Thanks, Alice
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by IWantToBeAMom, Sep 21, 2005
I don't know if you're still reading this - it's been a few days and I didn't realize that you responded.

I don't have a schedule.  I do it whenever I feel that have a lot of discharge or anytime that I feel that I might be getting a yeast infection.  I use plain water for the discharge times and vinegar/water for the yeast infection times.

I know doctors say not to, because it isn't medically necessary.  But for me, I feel it's hygenically necessary.  I know they say it can upset the balance of organisms, but I've never had a problem with that.  At times when I'm on vacation and am wearing a bathing suit I douche every day for the duration of the vacation (plain water).

I think someone mentioned it above, but maybe you could try coupling the douching with wearing a pantyliner.  Then you can change the pantyliner half-way through your day and that will help to stay drier.  In my opinon, it seems smelly when the underwear gets discharge on it, so anything you can do to keep the discharge off of your panties and stay dry would be good.
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by Kalee24, Oct 05, 2005
Hi. I am a 24 year old female who was sexually involved
with a man for 2-3 months. I feared pregnancy so the
only sex we had was anal sex. (THIS IS VERY EMBARRASSING)
Anyways, about a month after breaking up with him,
I noticed some itching in the anal area  but did not
pay much mention. About 7-8 months later, I was bathing
and noticed 2-3 tiny bumps in the anal area. I still
was clueless so I ignored this. About 5 months later,
I noticed an increase and spread of bumps, intense itching
and burning at times during urination. At this point, I
realized that I had contracted an STD. Having no insurance
and terribly embarrassed I have yet to go to a doc.
My question is, I am now experiencing a terrible vaginal
odor and discharge unlike anything I have ever experienced
so strong that I must bathe twice a day and change underwear
numerous times as well as changing panty liners.
I am not involved and refuse to date anyone due to this because
it's so humiliating and embarrassing. I am convinced I have
genital warts. Is the odor in relation to the warts? I have only
been with 3 men sexually and almost always USE CONDOMS except
a few times with the guy mentioned above. I am terrified that
if I don't get treatment it will keep spreading and there
will be nothing I can do--and this will bring a lot of distress
when I am in a committed relationship again. Please advise me
what I should do.
Thanks,
Embarrassed and humiliated.

PS TO ALL WHO READ THIS ESPECIALLY WOMEN, PLEASE EVEN IF IT IS EMBARRASSING ASK YOUR BOYFRIEND OR PARTNER TO GET TESTED BEFORE MOVING INTO ANY SEXUAL ACTIVITY WITH OR WITHOUT PROTECTION. THE GUY I WAS WITH HAD NO SIGNS OR SYMPTOMS BUT HE PASSED IT ONTO ME. ALSO, I HAVE READ THAT IT's MUCH EASIER FOR A WOMAN TO CONTRACT ESPECIALLY GENITAL WARTS THAN MEN AND PEOPLE CAN CARRY THE VIRUS FOR YEARS WITH NO SYMPTOMS.  THEY MAY FEEL INSULTED, BUT IF THEY DO OBVIOUSLY THEY ARE NOT WORTH IT. I NEVER DREAMED I WOULD CATCH AN STD..
I AM A VERY ATTRACTIVE YOUNG WOMAN WHO IS TOO EMBARRASSED TO DATE ANYONE DUE TO WHAT HAPPENED TO ME. I WISH I WOULD HAVE DEMANDED HE GET TESTED.
NOW I HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE THOUGHT OF TELLING SOMEONE DEAR TO ME, I HAVE GENITAL WARTS. DON'T LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU--it may not be genital wartsbut could be something deadly like AIDS. FYI>