If you’ve ever felt self-conscious about the scent of your vagina, the first thing you should know is healthy vaginas aren’t smell-free. That’s because you’re a real live person, not a Barbie doll.
A healthy vagina is populated with helpful lactobacilli — good bacteria that makes your vagina slightly acidic to protect against microorganisms. Because of this, your vag’s natural scent may be tangy or musky.
Still, the odor myth is a biggie. Here, we tackle it and two others:
Your Vag Should Smell Like Fruit
Vaginas are not designed to smell like coconuts, strawberries, or roses. This is a fake vagina fact. And it’s not only bad for your self confidence, it’s bad for your health. Spraying harsh chemicals into your vagina or douching away your scent can actually alter the delicate vaginal chemistry, doing more harm than good.
What’s more, there’s no one-scent-fits-all when it comes to your vagina. Your scent changes during your cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. This is all totally normal. However, an overly fishy smell could signal a bacterial infection that you probably want to get checked.
Baby Wipes are Good Vagina Hygiene
You’ve likely seen ads for feminine hygiene wipes that promise to wash away that “less-than-fresh feeling”. This reinforces the harmful message that vulvas and vaginas are somehow “dirty.”
Worse, some of these products contain irritants and potential allergens. One study found women who used vaginal hygiene products were three times more likely to report getting a vaginal infection. Even wipes free of alcohol and chemicals might have preservatives that can irritate your sensitive skin.
What You Eat Changes Your Vagina’s Scent
You’ve probably seen stories advising you to eat pineapple to make your vagina smell sweet. As with a lot of things you read online, it’s a load of hooey. The “evidence” was a bunch of Reddit threads and anecdotes.
Truth be told, there’s hardly any science linking a specific kind of food and the scent of your vagina. However, eating strong-smelling foods like onions can affect the smell of your sweat and other bodily fluids, and you may be able to sniff the difference below the waist.