Nothing is more exasperating than to discover that you have joined the ranks of thousands of women with vaginal odor. Your first thought is to run to the store and grab the nearest vaginal product. You could be wasting your time and money. If you buy a product that is not made for your specific problem, your problem will be around even longer.
So, what do you do? First, determine the cause of your unpleasant odor. Most likely, it is vaginitis. This is nothing to be ashamed of, but it is something you have to deal with. Usually the cause does not just disappear on its own.
There are actually six kinds of vaginitis: Candida (“yeast” infections), Bacterial vaginosis, Trichomoniasis vaginitis, Chlamydia vaginitis, viral vaginitis, and non-infectious vaginitis.
How do you know which one you have?
The way the odor smell is a clue. A yeasty odor indicates that you may have an overgrowth of yeast in your system. The over-the-counter remedy is a topical cream or suppository. The most popular brands are Monistat (miconazole), Femstat 3 (butoconazole), and Terazol 3 (terconazole), Lotrimin (clotrimazole). These products (including the generics) are designed to quickly reduce yeast levels in the vagina, as well as stop the itching and irritation. Other anti-fungal medications are available in pill form through your doctor and do the same thing.
These products, however, do not fix the cause of the problem. Yeast in the vagina indicates that there is an overgrowth of yeast throughout your whole body. This can lead to a wide variety of illnesses. Probiotics are extremely effective for reducing yeast levels in your body. This is because they introduce “friendly” bacteria into your digestive system. These “good” bacteria get rid of the out-of-control yeast that are taking over your intestines and leaking into your bloodstream (that is how the extra yeast got into your vagina in the first place). You can buy probiotics at pharmacies and health food stores. Yogurt contains one of these good bacteria, so eating yogurt regularly, especially if it contains live acidophiles, may help control yeast levels in your body.
If the vaginal odor smell fishy, that is a sign that you have a bacterial infection. This is something you want to get treated as soon as possible. Left unchecked, you may risk getting pelvic inflammatory disease. Try Femanol to get rid of the odor as well as the bacterial infection or seek professional advice from your primary care doctor or OBGYN for a prescription.
If you only have itching and irritation, maybe dryness, but no odor or pain, you may have non-infectious vaginitis. This is usually caused by an allergy. Check to see if you have changed laundry detergent or drier sheet brands lately. Also take note if you have a new bath soap or body wash, bath oil or body spray, powder or anything new that has come in contact with your sensitive area. Just switch back to your old brand, and you should feel better.
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