why does my period blood smell bad

Keeping things dry down there can help. While there is nothing wrong with the natural blood smell (and the likelihood that it is noticeable to anyone but you is very small), Dr. Shirazian says keeping the surrounding area as dry as possible can help reduce it if it's bothering you. Change your tampon, pad, or menstrual cup regularly and try to "wear cotton underwear and breathable clothing, not a lot of spandex or tight clothing" during your period to reduce sweating, she says. Although it's not the main cause of period blood odor, sweat can definitely contribute to it. "Many types of bacteria can grow during your period that are due to both blood and sweat," Dr. Shirazian explains. "Sometimes the issue is very heavy periods or a lot of bleeding. ThereБs just so much blood that it will allow bacteria to overgrow," she adds. This means that if your flow is naturally heavier, you're probably going to experience more odor than someone with a lighter flow. If you notice that you're bleeding more than usual, or you're worried that you're bleeding excessively, Dr. Shirazian recommends talking to your doctor. "Heavier bleeding could be a sign of fibroids, polyps, or hormonal changes," she says. Plus, even if it turns out that you just have a naturally heavier flow, there's actually no reason to put up with
; you can just skip it entirely with the help of a hormonal birth control method.


Don't douche, ever. The bottom line is that vaginal odor, much like vaginal, is totally normal. As long as you're maintaining healthy period habits Б keeping track of any weird changes to your normal cycle (including changes to the smell), changing your period protection regularly while you're bleeding, and most importantly, Б you don't need to worry about the normal odor. As self-conscious as any odor may make you feel, there's no reason to go to extremes like douching, which, in fact, has been linked to bringing on the very infections (like BV) that cause even more (and honestly, much grosser) smells. First things first: it s normal for menstrual blood to have a certain odour. Some say it can be described as rusty or metallic. But actually, why does it smell? Basically, it s the combination of blood, tissue from the shedding of our uterine lining, vaginal secretions and a mix of organisms that are found inside our vagina. If you re nodding you re head in recognition, great! Now you can stop contemplating this question, which, let s face it, you might have felt too uncomfortable to ask. If you re still worried, these are the signs that things downstairs might require further attention.


This could indicate an infection. Our vaginas are filled with millions of bacteria and fungal organisms. If the balance of these is out of whack, this might lead to increased discharge or an abnormal odour from the vagina, and can occur with periods or without. Common cause of infections include tight clothing worn all day yes, including your activewear wearing a swimming costume for too long after the beach, being run down or having unprotected sex. If there is increased white discharge or an itch, this could be thrush, which is an overgrowth of fungal organisms and is easily treatable with creams, pessaries or tablets. This may be bacterial vaginosis. This is a common bacterial infection that is not sexually transmitted. It is treated with a single course of oral antibiotics. Other common causes of abnormal odour especially if there is discharge may be a Trichomonas infection or an STI like Gonorrhoea or Chlamydia. These are all quite common and are easy to treat. If you have any of these infections it is advisable that your partner is treated as well. See your doctor if there is a particularly foul smell or if the odour is different to usual. Also, if you have sex during your period, this should not cause an increase in odour.


If there is, consider the fact that you may have contracted an infection. Your GP will be able to give you a correct diagnosis. If you are having any fevers, crampy abdominal pain, heavy bleeding or abnormal discharge, see your doctor immediately for an exam and retrieval of the object. A retained tampon is an emergency and can cause a severe infection. In less extreme scenarios, one of the most common causes of foul smelling period discharge is not changing pads or tampons frequently enough. This is because the blood comes into contact with air and this gives a chance for bacteria to develop. When these bacteria ferment, this can cause an abnormal smell. It is recommended to change menstrual products at least every 4-6 hours. If you are using a menstrual cup, be sure to thoroughly wash it regularly. Otherwise, it is not recommended to use any scented products to clean the vagina. It is a self-cleaning organ and certain products can actually make the smell worse. Never ever douche. It is best to use a simple unscented soap or body wash or just plain water. If you are worried, book an appointment with your medical practitioner. Dr Jessica Ivany MBBS Dip Paeds is a GP currently working at Cooper St Clinic in Sydney.

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