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

  • April 5, 2014 at 11:05 am

    How can we know if our womb is healthy and disease free?

    • April 8, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Womb in medical parlance is called uterus. There are several symptoms which may indicate something is wrong with your womb. They are:
      • Irregular menses.
      • Abnormal heavy bleeding.
      • Painful menses.
      • Abnormal discharge from vagina.
      • Pain in lower abdomen.
      • Reduce fertility.
      • Pain and bleeding after sexual intercourse.
      • Vaginal bleeding after menopause.
      • Consistent lower back pain.
      If you have any of these symptoms you should consult your family physician. He may recommend tests which may help to detect any abnormality in the uterus and reproductive system. The preliminary tests are Cervical PAP smear, Ultrasound of pelvis, and Pelvic examination.

  • June 15, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    My menstruation has horrible smell. The odor is too bad and it smells like rotten meat. Can I become pregnant if my menses blood produces extreme bad odor.

    • June 17, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      You have to maintain good hygiene, especially when you are menstruating. Avoid using tampons, instead use sanitary napkins. Also wear undergarments which can allow air circulation in the area. Bad menstrual odor can also occur due to infection. Consult your doctor if you suspect any infection in vagina.

  • September 4, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I recently noticed a change in the color of my menstrual blood flow. This time I had serious pain in my abdomen which lasted for 3days. Does it mean I have got an infection?

    • September 4, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Change in color and thickness once in a while of menstrual blood is normal. However, if occurs repeatedly it is cause of concern and you should discuss it with your doctor. Some problems that can cause change of color are and pain in abdomen are:
      • Fibriod in uterus.
      • Hormonal changes.
      • Miscarriage.
      Infection is less likely to cause change in menstrual color, although it may lead to pain.

  • 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.

  • October 16, 2014 at 5:51 am

    My menses smell horrible like rotten meat and the color sometimes appear brownish. It makes me uncomfortable. What can I do? Is there any home remedy?

    • October 21, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Foul vaginal odor is embarrassing for women. A mild odor is normal during menstrual period, however if the discharge is extremely pesky and odorous, it may be due to an infection in vagina or the cervix. Change in pH from acidic to more towards alkaline makes a favorable ground for bacteria to survive. Few home remedies may help.
      • Wash the area with rice water. It is believed to be useful in reducing foul odor.
      • Avoid using tampons.
      • Use cotton undergarments.
      • Add garlic in your food. Garlic is known to be a natural anti fungal remedy.
      • Eat yogurt regularly.

  • November 2, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    During my periods there is some lumpy discharge from my vagina. The flow of blood is also dark. What can be the reason?

    • November 5, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      It is normal for women to pass few lumps of blood sometime. However, if it is excessive and continuous, then you should undergo few tests such as Sonogram of pelvis. It helps to detect presence of fibroid in uterus which is a frequent cause of large blood clots during every menstrual cycle. Banana flower is effective remedy to deal with menstrual problems. Boil banana flower in water and eat it with yogurt daily for few days. If the condition does not improve than consult a gynecologist.


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