Bacterial vaginosis is characterised by a white or grey thin discharge, a strong, fish-like odour, irritation and pain in the intimate area, and occasionally itching and redness.

Have you ever wondered what your vagina smells like?

Every woman is different: we have different skin tones, hair colour, nail strength, and we all smell different. A healthy vaginal discharge will usually have a weak smell, and can be thick or thin, more or less abundant, depending on the monthly cycle and current hormonal balance. Paying close attention to your usual discharge can help you to understand what is normal for you. Not only that, but you may also be able to recognise changes such as unusual changes of colour, increased quantity of discharge or a strong fish-like odour and will know how to describe them when talking to your healthcare professional.

What does a strong, fish-like odour mean?

A healthy vaginal flora mainly consists of good bacteria (known as lactobacilli), but it may also contain low amounts of bad microorganisms. Normally the balance of microorganisms is kept under control by several factors in the vagina: the low pH, antimicrobial substances producaced by the vaginal lining or by the lactobacilli. Lactobacilli usually keep these conditions constant, but sometimes external agents (antibiotic therapy, alkaline semen, incorrect vaginal hygiene) or internal factors (hormonal changes) can disrupt this balance and cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria, which can result in discomfort.

One such condition is called bacterial vaginosis and is characterised by a white or grey thin discharge, a strong, fish-like odour, irritation and pain in the intimate area, and occasionally itching and redness. As a consequence of the bacterial imbalance and reduction in lactobacilli, the pH of the vaginal environment becomes less acidic.

What should you do if you experience these symptoms?

Bacterial imbalance can be a mild condition, often self-contained, which can clear up on it’s own after some time. Sometimes symptoms can be improved by using products that help to restore the pH of the vagina and allow the good bacteria to reinstate the balance of the flora in the vaginal environment such as Multi-Gyn Active Gel. If your symptoms are not resolving on their own or with help from over the counter products it is important to talk to your healthcare professional who can assess your case and advise the right therapy.

Want to know more?

Share