Menstruation Odor Causes: Home Remedies For Foul Smelling Discharge

Many women find menstruation odor to be pesky during and after their periods. It is an embarrassing experience to have that lingering foul smell wherever you go. People may think that you are not maintaining a proper hygien, even if you are. A normal vaginal discharge does not have any smell.

Therefore, a foul smelling vaginal discharge is a distinguishing point between a normal and abnormal menstrual period. The foul odor during menstruation is not normal, it is either due to an infection in the vagina or in the cervix.

Causes Of Foul Menstruation Odor

  • Trichomonal infection in the vagina is the most common cause for bad odor during menstruation. Usually the odor is associated with abnormal discharge from the vagina.
    Vaginitis caused as a result of trichmonial infection is the main cause of menstruation odor.
  • The other symptom associated with vaginitis is itching in the vaginal area. There may be burning urine accompanied with vaginal itching.
  • Monilial infection of vagina is another cause for menstruation odor.
    It is commonly observed in patients suffering from diabetes, or women taking antibiotics for a long time. Pregnancy and women taking contraceptive pills are also prone to monilial infection.
  • Inflammation and infection of the cervix can also cause abnormal discharge and foul odor during menstruation.

Foul Odor During Menstruation

The pH level of vagina changes during the menstrual cycle. Generally, the pH of vagina is acidic. But few days prior to and during menstruation, the vaginal pH becomes more alkaline . Bacteria flourish in alkaline pH. Infection in the vagina is more likely to occur during this period as a result of favorable environment. This causes foul smelling menstruation.
If you forget the tampon inside your vagina for a long time during and after menstruation, it will emit a very bad odor. When in doubt, insert two fingers in the vagina and check for the tampon and remove it. Alternatively, consult your gynecologist who can easily remove the tampon.
Under normal circumstances, the menstrual bleeding will vary in consistency, color and odor from time to time during the whole cycle. But you should be alert and take remedial action when the menstrual discharge odor is very abnormal.

Home Remedies For Foul Smelling Menstruation

  • Douching is used since olden days and is a time-tested remedy for menstruation odor.
  • Douching has to be done 4 to 6 days after the completion of the menstrual cycle.
  • Rice wash is generally very useful in curtailing the menstruation odor.
  • Soak few fenugreek seeds in a cup of water at night. Drink the water along with the seeds in the morning.
  • Remember to change your sanitary pads throughout your periods, as stale blood can give rise to foul odor.
  • Avoid using tampons when you are prone to foul smelling menstruation. Instead, use sanitary pads. Tampons may allow the bacteria to thrive in the vaginal area, especially when you keep it for long time.
  • Always wear cotton panties during your menstrual cycle. This encourages free air circulation around the vaginal area. It keeps the area dry during your period. Synthetic material traps the moisture. It makes an ideal atmosphere for the yeast and the bacteria to produce menstruation odor.
  • Eat garlic as it is known to have anti-fungal properties. It will help fight the fungal infection.
  • Eat proper nutritious diet. Consume yogurt regularly as it helps curtail the vaginal infection. Yogurt contains good bacteria that maintain the acidic pH of the vagina. It helps in combating odor causing bacteria.

12 thoughts on “Menstruation Odor Causes: Home Remedies For Foul Smelling Discharge

  • September 30, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    My menstrual blood smells really horrible like something rotten. It is not the first time. I really feel shy being around people when I’m having periods. I heard that vinegar helps in eliminating bad bacteria in the vagina how true is this? I’m really considering on trying it.

    • February 22, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      The most common cause for bad odor during menses is trichomonal infection. It can be also caused due to monilial infection. Inflammation in cervix may also be one of the reasons. Here are some of the tips to reduce the smell.
      • Acid cider vinegar is helpful in reducing foul smelling menses. Vinegar has antibacterial properties. Add 2 cups of vinegar in bath water and soak in it for about 10 minutes.
      • Eat yogurt daily.
      • Eat garlic or add garlic in your food. It has antibacterial qualities.
      • Wear cotton panties.
      • Change the sanitary pads frequently when they become wet.
      • Do not use tampons.


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