THIS IS HOW TO DEAL
WITH VAGINAL ODOR

THIS IS HOW TO DEAL WITH VAGINAL ODOR

DECEMBER 2022 | 5 Minute Read 

deal with vaginal odor

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Vaginal odor is one of those incredibly embarrassing things that many women are concerned about, but no one likes to talk about. Oftentimes it can be hard to determine what is considered normal and what is reason for concern.  

Vaginal odor is normal to some extent and is usually not a reason to worry, however a strong or persistent odor can be signs of a deeper issue, or most commonly due to excess sweat. Sweating occurs all over the body and helps our bodies regulate our temperature when it becomes overheated. Unfortunately, some areas of our bodies sweat MORE than others, including, you guessed it, the groin. 

Before I go further, I want to clarify that when people say “vaginal odor”, they think it is an internal issue, but the vulva and groin are usually the source of the odor, not the vagina itself.  

vaginal odor

VAGINA, VULVA, GROIN – AREN’T THEY THE SAME THING?

No, they are NOT the same! It’s important to first make the distinction between the vagina and the vulva. 

The vagina is the internal part of the female genitalia. The vulva is the outer part where hair follicles are present and the part that can become sweaty. The vulva includes the vestibule (opening of the vagina), the outer lips (labia majora), the inner lips (labia minora), and the clitoris. 

The area where the skin creases at the top of each leg is called the groin. 

The vulva is home to a lot of different smells, so it’s important to know how to manage it without doing harm to certain areas. 

vaginal odor

WHY DOES IT SMELL DOWN THERE?

The vagina itself does not have any sweat glands, so it’s the vulva and groin area that are responsible for sweat and odor production. Just like with our underarms, the groin houses apocrine glands which secretes a fatty type of sweat that contains proteins. This protein is broken down by bacteria, which results in sweat with a much more distinct odor than from other parts of the body. 

Virtually all other parts of the body have eccrine glands (secretes water, less odorous), with the highest density on our palms, feet and head. 

As if vaginal sweating isn’t already uncomfortable enough, it can be embarrassing due to odor. Even though deodorant is a great solution for underarm odor, it should never be used on the pubic region as it can throw off the natural pH balance of the body. 

vaginal odor culprit

THE ULTIMATE CULPRIT FOR VAGINAL ODOR

Typically, areas of the body that are dense with hair follicles produce more sweat! With more sweat comes more odor when mixed with bacteria on our skin. These areas include our underarms, our head and of course – the groin area.   

However, if you are experiencing increased odor or have abnormal vaginal discharge, you should always consult with your doctor. 

@madamesweat

Replying to @jeweliadelrey1 4 tips to prevent #odor “down there” before intimacy! The powder I recommend is my “kaia naturals the sweat powder”. Talc-free, naturals and very absorbent. #kaianaturals #thesweatpowder #talcfreepowder #bodyodor #bodyodorremover #hygieneroutine #hygienetips #hygienetiktok

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SHOP NATURAL DEODORANTS

HOW TO KEEP IT HEALTHY AND FRESH

1. GENTLE CLEANSING IN THE RIGHT AREAS

The vagina itself is a self-regulating system that must maintain a pH level around 3.8 to 4.5. That is why internal douching is NOT a good idea and can often do more harm than good. However, the exterior area of the vulva where hair follicles grow can be maintained by washing with warm water and a gentle, unscented, pH-balanced soap. 

2. USE A TALC-FREE POWDER IN THE BIKINI AREA

Powders can do wonders to manage sweat and moisture in the area that can lead to odor but you have to be cautious and selective. Always look for a talc-free option, and never apply it internally or near the vaginal opening. It’s best to put it on after you put your undergarments on so you don’t risk powder migration. 

I created the sweat powder which was designed to absorb sweat in the bikini area, as well as underarms and breast region. The targeted brush applicator makes it easy and safe to distribute the powder without it poofing everywhere and keeps it away from the vaginal opening. 

3. COTTON UNDERWEAR

Let it breathe down there! Wearing breathable underwear made of cotton can help to reduce sweating around the groin. A lot of women’s underwear is made of synthetic fabrics that hold heat. Unlike cotton, they do not have the ability to absorb moisture, which means that the sweat stays on your skin. However, if you choose synthetic panties, at a minimum, make sure there is a cotton gusset. 

workout clothes vaginal odor

4. AT THE GYM

Not only should you change out of your  gym clothes right away, but it is also important to change your underwear after the gym. Spending the day in wet underwear can give yeast the opportunity to grow and promote the growth of odor-causing bacteria in the area. 

5. PUBIC HAIR

Public hair serves the purpose of protecting the skin against friction, abrasions, and bacteria; however, in the case of vaginal odor it can sometimes cause problems. Trimming pubic hair can help reduce the amount of sweat produced by the area. 

6. PADS & PANTY LINERS

Avoid using menstrual pads or panty liners for vaginal discharge if possible as most of them are made with non-breathable materials. Just like with synthetic underwear, this can result in sweat production. 

THE TAKEAWAY

Oftentimes it’s not actually your vagina that smells, it is the external vulva and groin region due to sweat and bacteria. To combat this, use a talc-free powder and implement easy lifestyle changes such as breathable, cotton underwear and trimming pubic hair to minimize the chances of odor-causing bacteria to thrive in the area. As always, if you are experiencing persistent or abnormal odor, please seek the advice of a medical professional. 

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I also share lots of body and skincare tips on on my TikTok page @madamesweat and Instagram @kaianaturals

All content found on this website is created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. 

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The Little Book of
Human Discomforts

BY MADAME SWEAT

Clean beauty industry maven Madame Sweat (Mary Futher) founded kaia naturals® after spending 20 years working for global beauty companies. After seeing the complexities of underarm problems, she set out on a mission to educate and eliminate the stigma associated with these “unsexy” hygiene issues, providing practical solutions and advice.

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