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Unusual or Foul Vaginal Odor? STD Symptoms

Vaginal odor sign of STD

Have you experienced unusual or foul vaginal odor? STD symptoms can help you get to the root of the problem. You see, vaginal odors can be caused by a number of things. Among them are sexually transmitted diseases and infections. If you’re noticing a change in your natural scent, don’t ignore it. Let’s take a closer look at what may cause a smelly vagina.  

About Unusual Vaginal Odor

It is perfectly natural to have a feminine odor. That said, an unusual vaginal smell could be the sign of an infection that needs to be treated. For this reason, it is inadvisable to use douches or scented soaps and washes.  Aside from potential irritation, these products can mask your natural feminine odor. Covering up an unusual vaginal odor may prevent you from recognizing any important changes that are occurring with your body. It is important that you recognize these changes and any other symptoms that may indicate an infection.

Unusual Or Foul Vaginal Odor? STD Symptoms To Look Out For:

If your natural scent seems “off” and you notice a fishy odor instead, you should take action. Sometimes, a smelly vagina is a sign of something more serious. Many readers have asked us: can sexually transmitted infections cause an unusual or foul vaginal odor? STD symptoms can sometimes provide the answer to this question.


Seventy percent of all trichomoniasis infections are asymptomatic. However, this infection can cause a change in the color or smell of your vaginal discharge.  Additional symptoms some women with trich may experience include:

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Itching or redness in the vaginal area
  • Discomfort and burning after urination

Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

While there may not be any symptoms, an untreated infection can lead to serious complications.  If you notice a vaginal odor, it pays to get tested. Some other possible signs of chlamydia or gonorrhea are:

  • discharge from the penis or vagina
  • a burning feeling during urination
  • frequent urination

Bacterial Vaginosis

Though bacterial vaginosis (BV) is not considered an STD, it can increase your chances of getting one.  This infection occurs when the balance of bacteria in your vagina is thrown off. If you notice a fishy smell associated with your vagina, BV may be the culprit. Other symptoms may include:

  • A thin white or gray vaginal discharge
  • Pain, itching, or burning in or around the vagina
  • Burning when urinating

Common Misconceptions: Does a Yeast Infection Smell?

A vaginal yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida.  It often causes itching, irritation and a change in the texture of your vaginal discharge. However, it is not often accompanied by a foul odor.

Other Causes Of Vaginal Odor

Other common causes of unusual or abnormal vaginal odor? STD symptoms aren’t the only culprit. Here are some other possible causes:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Irritation due to douching
  • Tampons, when not changed frequently enough
  • Allergies related to scented lotions or soaps
  • Rectovaginal fistula

Take Control of Your Health: Test At Home

Not sure what to do about your unusual or foul vaginal odor? STD symptoms listed above may indicate that at-home testing is the right solution for you.  After all, testing is the only way to know for sure whether or not you have an STD. Based on the information above, some home tests to consider include:

  • The Safe Box: screens for trich, chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV
  • The V-Box: screens for causes of abnormal vaginal discharge: yeast, BV, chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis.

It is also worth noting how simple the whole process is. Here’s how it works:

  • Order online (with free shipping!)
  • Collect a sample using easy-to-follow instructions
  • Return the sample for testing
  • Receive lab-certified results online

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