Perimenopause Answers

How to Deal with Vaginal Odor during Perimenopause

A strong vaginal odor results from a lot of factors – from the natural changes in the woman’s body to infections (like bacterial vaginosis).

When a woman nears menopause, bodily changes become much more pronounced, specifically hormonal changes. The hormonal changes result in vaginal dryness.

Vaginal dryness is one of the common perimenopause symptoms. Aside from making sexual intercourse painful and producing itchiness, vaginal dryness can also make a woman susceptible to infections and strong vaginal odors.

Although a smelly vagina is relatively harmless (if you are diagnosed to be free of infections), it can be potentially embarrassing. Here are some of the ways to deal with it.

1. The likely tendency is for you to wash several times a day or to douche frequently. Do not do that. Frequent washing only exacerbates the dryness and strips off your vagina’s natural protection. And douching – it is not even necessary because your vagina is naturally equipped to “clean” itself. Basic hygiene is already sufficient to minimize the odor. And when it comes to your feminine hygiene products, you may want to stay away from antibacterial feminine washes. If you are not suffering from infection, you do not need to kill off the natural vaginal flora with antibacterial products. Warm water and mild unscented soap is sufficient for washing your genitals twice a day.

2. During your periods, change your pads regularly. This is important because the damp blood-rich environment can easily harbor bacteria.

3. Do not use underwear that’s made of synthetic material. Stick with cotton panties that allow air to circulate. Tight pantyhose and tight trousers can also lead to odor, itching, and irritation.

4. Avoid one of the biggest causes of vaginal odor – antibiotics. The improper use of antibiotics kills off the helpful gut flora and the genital flora that protect you from infections. If you are only suffering from “minor” illnesses, then you may want to deal with them using natural remedies instead of resorting to antibiotics, which have harmful side effects. You may also supplement with probiotics to maintain the natural balance of good bacteria in your body. Getting lactobacilli and acidophilus from yogurt and other probiotics can help greatly when dealing with vaginal odor.

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