feminine pads

Vaginal Odor During Pregnancy

We know what you are thinking?  Yuck, right. Here you are pregnant and beautiful and glowing, and ‘smelly’? You knew that pregnancy was going to change things, but you may not have prepared yourself for the unpleasant side effect of vaginal odor. And now, every time you go to your prenatal visit, not only do you have to get used to being disrobed and poked and prodded, but you are concerned you are going to knock your provider out with your ‘vaginal odor.’

Vaginal odor during pregnancy is actually quite normal.  Of course, if you begin to notice a pungent odor that is present with a chunky discharge, itching, irritation or pain – your best course of action is to contact your health provider. With increased hormone production (yep, its always the hormones) and increased moisture in the vaginal area – you may run a higher risk of vaginal yeast infections, or bacterial infections.  And if a yeast infection is the source of the odor, your doctor is the best person to give you advice on how to handle it. They will also perform tests to make sure that the infection is not something more than a yeast infection.

Even so, around 65% of all women report that they have an odor, from strong to light – that seems to coincide with pregnancy. And many women are embarrassed about it. First of all, realize this: Your OBGYN or prenatal provider has literally seen, heard and smelled it all. They are in the business of vaginas, and taking care of women. So while you may feel embarrassed, there is no reason to be. Chances are you aren’t the first women to walk into the exam room horrified that your vaginal smell is going to make the doctor gag.  It won’t (Pinky swear promise!).

Secondly, if all your tests come back negative – for yeast infections, bacterial infections and STD’s – it may just be the hormonal changes that are causing the smell. If this just showed up during pregnancy – chances are it will also go away once your baby is born. In the meantime, staying as dry as possible, changing your underwear frequently, wearing cotton underwear, using light pads and even carrying feminine wipes may help you to feel less self conscious. Thirdly, realize that while you may think everyone can ‘smell’ you – they can’t. Seriously, how often have you ever smelled another woman’s vaginal odor while she was fully clothed walking around the grocery store?  Never, right. So try to shake it off as much as possible. As long as you have taken steps and have been checked out by your doctor – you will likely just have to wait it out.

In some cases, it may be the foods that you eat or the spices you use that are causing the smell. With increased secretions of the vaginal area and the sebaceous sweat glands during pregnancy, the foods and spices synthesized by your skin can often be the culprit.  So if you eat a lot of spicy foods – try altering your diet.

Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.

Team Health & ParentingVaginal Odor During Pregnancy

Comments 27

  1. Crystal

    After three children, this is the first time experiencing this oder. I had oders with them but nothing i was embarrassed about. This time I’m so embarrassed i won’t even allow my children to ly on my lap unless i have a pillow or cover over my legs. I’ve gone to er due to my very first was a miscarriage i just wanted confirmation. Everything came back fine but i was still not satisfied knowing this was not normal for me. I knew i was not gone use pads unless felt necessary, or use any vaginal wipes or cleaners. I don’t think they are necessary being the vagina is self cleansing plus was afraid it would harm my baby.Listening to stories from elders and researching, i feel much better about this issue. Feel more comfortable being around people. Also i do eat differently than my other pregnancies too so it could have something to do with it also. I just keep my clothes clean, try to have healthier variety food choices and def picky about soups and moisturizers after showering. Always drink PLENTY or more WATER. I DRINK PH AND ALKALI every once in awhile.

  2. Allison

    HI my name is Allison

    And yes i have the sames problem, i dont like being around people, everytime someone came to me i fine some reason to move away but i thought im the only one going true this problem thank god for this website it make me feel relieve thinks guys for sharing. have a good pregnancy.

  3. Layla

    Hi, I’m 16w +2 and I’m SO glad this article appeared today because literally only this week have I started to notice an odor! It’s not so bad that I won’t let my partner near me, but it did cross my mind that it might be the beginnings of a BV infection. I had that for the first time ever shortly before falling pregnant. It was vile (the odor) and produces a lot of watery discharge. The odor is one symptom I’ve never read about until now – and I’ve been reading everything and it seems I’ve had it all! But even so, if your odor is pretty bad plus you have a watery discharge, go and get checked out and don’t rely on it just being a pregnancy symptom. With BV I had no irrigation or anything and went on unchecked with this peutrid odor for weeks just coz I thought it would pass, it didn’t and it was a really self conscious time because I think ppl actually could smell me. I feel better now I know about this symptom but defintely going to get checked out ASAP!

  4. Lauren

    I noticed it this morning ..My partner was close in between my thighs n made a joke about it .Ofcourse I chewed him up..😅😅😅.Now I’m at work and I can smell this.I keep spraying that area but frankly it’s not helping .I am 26weeks.And yes I eat a lot of spicy foods but I always are spicy foods even with my first wonderful child.Hmmm I don’t like this smell at all it’s so 😩 🙊🙊.Im glad I’m not the only one .I can’t wait to go home n shower immediately again n again .Thanks y’all and hope y’all have healthy wonderful blessed pregnancies!!

  5. theresa

    Have just started experiencing this odour and I was like is my one month old baby rotting or what so now have got courage after reading this article that it’s normal for every pregnant women to go through this.i was worried about it.

  6. lali

    Hi all,I am 16 weeks and 2 days.my vagina is very dry and is painful during sexual intercourse. Any help pls

  7. Ruth

    So relieved to read this article! 16w+2d with our first and wow! This issue has almost caused identity crisis because I thought it was just me. Pantyliners work great and also a very mild, natural soap like Dr. Bronners unscented Castile helps (tiny amount!). Blessings!

  8. Aliana

    Thankfully I’ve no infection, but my dr and midwife said that your sense of smell is higher in pregnancy (which everyone knows) , this is why when you go to the toilet , your urine smells so strong, unlike the article states, your urine isn’t actually more smelly , you just smell it more , so to all those claiming to not have this issue .. Very doubtful

  9. Happy

    Iam four months pregnant Ive been concerned about this smell I feel like my whole body smells I did google about changes in the virgina and came back saying I need to stay in warm water for about 3minutes n use non perfumed soaps and not to wear panties I did all that but the smell persists so I went to the docter gave me some prescription that too didnt work I really waz confused and thought I will never be normal again until I found out that its part of the pregnancy

  10. Mariah

    I was so worried wen I first smelled it,but am much better after hearing from you ladies.Thanks I now have courage to call my doctor.

  11. Amanda

    Don’t be afraid of your vagina! As long as you don’t have any itching or unusual discharge, just chill. I’m really sad to see the blog author recommending ‘feminine wipes’. The vagina is self cleaning and does not require wipes. In fact wipes and panty liners may contribute to yeast infections etc. I’m sick of women being made to feel their bodies are ‘wrong’. That’s what these unnecessary products do for you. Your vagina is an amazing body part and a bit of change in odour is just part of all the changes pregnancy brings. You do not need to be cleaned or scented.

  12. Amanda

    Those coupons for panty liners really come in handy! I’ve had an increase in my discharge as well. Gotta say, not fun at all. But my tests are coming back from my OBGYN clean so I’m not worried. I just really had to up my hygiene! Lol

  13. Taylor Fredieu

    I found out my smell when I was around 29 weeks pregnant and had tons of discharge. I also freaked out too!! But then my discharge would stop and became to leaking and I would have to wear pantie liners or pads, and yes I was so embarrassed of the smell too. I would think other people could smell me when I would walk by or sit by them, but they couldn’t so they gave me a good relief. But when me and my spouse would have sexual time I wouldn’t let him go down on me because of the smell and sometimes I just didn’t want to even have sex. I’m now 38 weeks pregnant still have the smell!! And discharge/leak still but not a lot………
    around 36 weeks at the time I wanted to have sex and so did my spouse and he knew about the smell I ended up telling him because it was bothering me. He said he couldn’t smell it that was a good thing, well we ended up doing it one night and I asked him if he could smell and of course he said YES, but he also said that it didn’t bother him because yes its normal during pregnancy… But leaking isn’t normal so if you ever have that problem call your doctor ASAP I know I did!!!

    But having a smell ladies is from eating SPICEY food and eating things you shouldn’t be eating. Or drinking things you shouldn’t be drinking.. Make sure to eat healthy..

  14. Patricia

    Am so stressed by this killer smell, I feel everyone can smell it too. I hve to wear pads all the time when getting out of the house.

  15. Jasmine

    To all the woman going threw this i feel your pain i just expieranced the worst yeast infection ever my vagina swole up and gave me the worst smell also.

  16. katie

    huh, finally a symptom I don’t experience. With both of my prior pregnancies I experienced thrush early on though so I feel for you all with that one.

  17. Jennifer

    Yes, we’re all experiencing it. Just make sure you’re showering at least once a day and wear panty liners :-)

  18. kaylee

    I’m 20weeks and I have a oder n I won’t have any sexual contact with my boyfriend because I always feel like I smell …

  19. Katrina

    I never had an odor but did have an increase in vaginal discharge. My obgyn said it was completely normal because of the hormone increase. I did have a yeast infection without the burning, odor, or itching so she prescribed me a 7 day antibiotic that knocked it out. Just ask your obgyn. Trust me. Its completely common and not embarrassing at all because we’re all in this together! :-)

  20. ella

    Jan yes. You’re sweating down there. We always sweat down there. You just may notice it more now.

    For me, I swear I smell like pee because THAT’S HOW MUCH I’M PEEING YO. I know my nose is sensitive. It’s not sickly sensitive but I can smell every damn thing. I’m self conscious about this. Odor like sweat or a little bit of crotch doesn’t imply you’re peeing yourself. Pee does imply that. I’m not peeing myself. I’m only 5.5 weeks. So that hasn’t started yet. I’m just peeing like crazy all the time.

  21. Amy

    Any remedy to this vigina odour cos its killing me and my husband feels irritated cos of this odour. I really need help

  22. Lauren

    I don’t have an odor problem, just a raging yeast infection for months! I’ve been tested for everything, all negative except yeast. It’s tormenting me. Not even the best probiotics are providing any relief

  23. Amy

    I felt like I had odor due to excessive sweat during pregnancy, so I wore a bladder-protection panty liner. Always mades a new one called Always Discreet & they are the best.

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