What are the Causes and Symptoms of Smelly Discharge after Period

Smelly Discharge After Period

Vaginal discharges are usually odorless or have a mild scent to them. Menstrual flow also has its own distinctive scent. Some women also experience a smelly discharge a couple of days after their menstrual flow ends. For the most part, this is just the remainder of the endometrial lining being sloughed off, however, it could also be due to a pathologic disease process that will need medical attention.

Normal Menstrual Flow

A woman’s menstrual flow is not caused by an active bleed in the womb. Instead, the bleeding observed is the sloughing off of the endometrial lining at the end of a menstrual cycle. This occurs when no embryo implantation has occurred and prepares the uterus for the next cycle.

There are several characteristics to menstrual flow, they include:

  • Whitish Creamy Odorless Discharge. This can occur towards the end or at the start of a period.
  • Pinkish Discharge. This is a mix of the white discharge and the bright red bleeding. It can also occur at the start or towards the end.
  • Bright Red Blood. Occurs when there is active shedding of the endometrial lining.
  • Brown Discharge.
    This is old blood or the old lining being sloughed off. It can occur towards the start or towards the end of the flow. It is normal and it can have a distinctive smell.

Smelly Discharge After Period Symptoms

Normal discharges are often isolated symptoms, which means that they are the only observable symptom that a woman experienced. However, when the discharge results from a disease process, patients may experience a number of other problems which can include:

  • Pain. It can be felt on the pelvic floor or it can be a low abdominal pain.
  • Itching. In some instances it is so severe that it interferes with daily activities.
  • Large amounts of discharge.
  • Fever and other signs of an infection.

Smelly Discharge After Period Treatment

Treating a smelly discharge is going to depend on the underlying cause. If it is a benign condition, it can resolve on its own after a few days. However, there are some home remedies that can be used to treat the problem.

  • Wearing an absorbent liner for a few days after menstruation. This can help deodorize the discharge and it can leave the woman feeling fresh and clean. The liner can be replaced during the day.
  • Regular with a pH balanced wash. This is important as it can help prevent odors. It is also the key to choose a pH balanced wash so that the vagina is not dried out and that the normal pH levels are maintained.

When the cause of the discharge is pathologic (yeast infections, Vaginosis, or an STD), it will require specified medical care in order to get rid of it completely. Some treatments to be expected include:

  • Antibacterial medication.
  • Antifungal drugs, this can be given orally, intramuscularly, or as a vaginal suppository.
  • Medicated douche, this is given to some patients to help give them relief from itching and other symptoms.

3 thoughts on “What are the Causes and Symptoms of Smelly Discharge after Period

  • March 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Many women are known to forget tampons inside their vagina. If you are using tampons and find smelly discharge for the first time, check out for the tampon. If there is any doubt, you can insert your finger to feel if you have left tampon inside. If the cause is infection such as yeast infection, intake of yogurt has been found to be an excellent home remedy. Yogurt contains friendly bacteria that help to restrict the growth of yeast. However take care, use sugar free yogurt.

  • January 7, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    I have this problem every time when I am about to start my periods. The discharge is smelly. Even at the end of my periods the same thing happens. The smell irritates me. Should I check with my doctor?

    • January 7, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Often there is small amount of discharge left once the menses is over. This discharge has peculiar smell. But in most cases the discharge is residual endometrial lining that is sloughed off. However, if the discharge is excessively smelly it can be due to any pathology or infection. In such situation you should consult your physician. After examination he may be able to tell you whether there is any infection. If it is due to an infection it may require specific medical care.


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