What Causes Vaginal Smell? 14 Possible Causes You Should Know

All women will experience some form of vaginal odor in their lifetime. But most of the time, it is nothing to worry about. The vagina has an ever-changing smell due to various factors, such as diet, exercise, sexual activity, stress, and menstrual cycles. 

In most cases, women may notice that their vagina smells differently after eating certain foods or perhaps when they sweat more during exercise. Other women may find that their vaginal odor changes during different stages in their menstrual cycle or during pregnancy. These are all considered normal changes and have no cause for concern. However, there are times when vaginal odor can indicate an underlying health condition.

The pH level of the vagina can also affect vaginal odor. A pH level of 7 is considered neutral. A pH level lower than 7 is acidic, while a pH level higher than 7 is basic or alkaline. The healthy vaginal pH level is between 3.5 and 4.5, which is slightly acidic. This acidic environment keeps bad bacteria at bay and prevents infections from developing. However, when the pH level becomes imbalanced, it can lead to issues that can cause strong odors. Here are some of the common causes of different vaginal odors.


Most women are aware that their bodies undergo many changes during pregnancy. From mood swings and morning sickness to weight gain and swelling, it seems like there’s no end to how pregnancy can make a woman feel uncomfortable. 

During pregnancy, the levels of estrogen in the body increase. This can lead to changes in the vaginal pH, which in turn can cause the vaginal smell to change. In addition, pregnancy can cause increased blood flow to the pelvic area, which can also contribute to changes in vaginal odor. Finally, the increased sweating accompanying pregnancy can further add to the problem by providing a breeding ground for bacteria.

Fortunately, there are a few things that can be done to help manage any changes in the vaginal smell that occurs during pregnancy. Drinking fluids throughout the day is important to keep the body hydrated to help flush out toxins and keep everything working as it should. It is also crucial to practice good hygiene by regularly washing with mild soap and water.