If you have a vagina, you've probably noticed that your vagina has a unique scent that can change every now and then. It's easy to panic and think something is off or wrong, but more than likely, everything is fine. To help you better understand the various scents your vagina may be producing, Hina J. Cheema, MD, ob-gyn, made a quick explainer TikTok video, and it's rather genius. "It's common to have odor. Every vagina has its own microbiome (bacteria and yeast), which gives it it's natural odor," Dr. Cheema explained in the video.
If your vagina smells earthy, musty, sour, or fermented, you shouldn't worry because these are all normal scents, according to Dr. Cheema. If your vaginal odor is more of a musty and "skunky" combination, Dr. Cheema said this is likely a product of vaginal discharge and groin sweat. If you've had sex, you may notice a tangy odor which is caused by semen; metallic odors can be caused by blood; and "bleachy" scents are likely a result of having intercourse with condoms.
If your vagina smells fishy, you may have a common infection called bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis, and if your vagina is producing more of a bread-like odor, it could be due to yeast. For both of these scents, Dr. Cheema recommends consulting an expert, like an ob-gyn, for treatment.
If you're experiencing more of a rotten scent, you may have a tampon that's been inserted for too long or an STI, according to Dr. Cheema. A chemical scent is more than likely the result of urine. If you've noticed either of these scents lately, she recommends seeing a doctor as well.
Hopefully, this quick rundown on vaginal odor eases any concerns you may have, but as always, trust your instinct and consult a doctor if you're worried about your vaginal health.