Sex and Vaginal Odors: What to do about them!

sex and vaginal odor

Almost all women who are sexually active, would have at least one experience of interesting smells during sex  in their lifetime.

But sex and vaginal odors make for challenging and difficult table discussions.

Because it can be so embarrassing and shoved under the table, many women are left wondering if there is something wrong with them, and could end up emotionally scarred if the smell actually becomes a turn off from sex.

Interestingly, women seemed to be more inclined to think, or are often made to think that they are the main culprit for the odor, but your partner actually plays a role too!

Believe it or not, odor during sex is fairly common.

First up, all vaginas have a unique brand of scent, and so do penises.

Coupled by the various hormonal and environmental circumstances, different smells that waft during and after sex is far more common than what most people are usually willing to discuss.

Let’s dive in and discuss sex and vaginal odors in its technicolor glory!


1. Musky 

Sex and vagina odor -  Musky smell

Most vaginas and penises have a mild musky scent.

When turned on, sex pheromones (your musky smelling hormones) turn up the amp to seduce your partner into some happy times.

This is a switch provided by nature.

In the wild, animals in heat churn out the muskiness to attract the opposite sex with hopes of mating for reproduction.

Wikipedia offers the definition of Olfactophilia, as being sexually aroused by, smells and odors emanating from the body, especially the sexual areas.

In Japan, there is a booming market/subculture for used women underwear for those with the musky fetish!


2. Fishy

bacterial vaginosis causes fishy vaginal odor

Now this is one of the more annoying vaginal odors that can be present during or after sex.

Many report the fishy odor worsening after sex, and attributes it to be a big turn off.

The fishy odor can be due Bacterial vaginosis (BV).

BV is the overgrowth of bacteria within the vaginal environment, often resulting in discharge that can be yellow/green.

BV is one of the most common vaginal infections that women can experience. It is reported by CDC that almost every 1 in 3 of the woman population age 14-49 is affected by it.

Antibiotics in the forms of cream, suppositories and pills are the main types of medical intervention for BV.

Apple cider vinegar is also reported as a effective and more natural way of getting rid of bacterial vaginosis. Find out more here.

Fishy odors can also possibly be due to certain sexually transmitted diseases(STDs) such as gonorrhea, chlamydia or trichomoniasis.

For the former two, discharge is usually fishy smelling, cloudy and yellowish green, while discharge due to trichomoniasis takes on a chalky consistency with equally fishy smells.

Medical intervention are available but recurrence rates are high.

Sexual abstinence during treatment and at least a week after treatment,  as well as getting your partner relevant treatment are keys to improving the condition.


3. Stale, Salty

Sweat (sex) causes salty vaginal odor

A Dailymail report in 2014 suggested that sex burns as much calories as a 30 minute jog.

Now how’s that for a good calorie burning sex-sion?

During sex, our sweat glands can go into overdraft to cool our heated bodies, while that works pretty well for our physiology regulation, it may not score well on the smell front, especially if one party has preexisting BO condition.

One way to mitigate the smell is to hop into the shower right after sex (too bad for the post coital cuddles), and to ensure good ventilation in the bedroom.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT EVER, spray perfume on your lady bits before sex, or for anything else!

No. 1, the alcohol in perfumes will irritate the delicate skins around your vagina, causing unnecessary irritation and disrupting the delicate pH of the vaginal environment.

No. 2, the chemicals in the perfume will interact with your own body scents and that does not necessarily mean that the result would come out pleasant.

Douching is also an activity I strongly suggest to ditch because it upsets the delicate pH balance of the internal vagina. I am not alone, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommended against it also.

When I was young and naive, I bought into the TV commercials and tried douching a couple of times.

I have regretted ever since because it took me years before I could regain some semblance of normal pH balance for my vagina.


4. Chlorine

Water Lubricant

Chlorine like smells are often reported during and after sex; and the odor usually dissipates within 24 hours.

This could be due to the type of lubricants used, choice of condoms (flavored and what not) and materials of sex toys.

Oil based lubricants and condoms made from latex have been known to irritate skins of people who are allergic or sensitive to the components. 

You may want to avoid using these components if you have more sensitive skins. 

According to Natural News, “harmful bacteria can be transferred from other forms of sexual activity from bacteria found on fingers or in the mouth and other sources. Using an oil lubricant can make it harder to clean off the bacteria and can actually hold it there, making the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) higher”

In addition, they also noted that oil lubricant may cause disintegration of the condoms and certain sex toys depending on the type of material that they are made up of. Further increasing the risk of unwanted pregnancy, STD or chemical reaction in your body. 

Use a water lubricant instead, if you really need to.



5. Funky, Ammonia, Toilet Like

Feminine hygiene - Wipe from front to back

Well, on the topic of sex and vaginal odor, it does depends on what you guys were doing.

If you are into various sexual practices that includes anal to vaginal contact, or any other combinations,  things do leak or stain, if you get what I mean. 😉

On the other hand, urine generally do not leak during sex – urine and semen come out from the same place for men, while urine comes from the urethra and not from the vagina for women.

However, women can leak urine, or feel the urge to urine before and after orgasm.

Research has found that the squirt that women squirt during sex mainly comprises of urine.

So if the post coital cuddling takes a bit of time and the process was a bit messy, the smell can be surprising to some.

But hey, if there are no complaints and it was enjoyable, why should it matter?

Some people with poor general hygiene (not thoroughly clean their bits due to certain habits like not wiping from front to back; and medical conditions like constipation or piles) also report having funky toilet like odors.

Practicing good thorough personal hygiene (wiping from front to back), as well considering cleaning with water can be good steps in reducing the odors.


6. Beer, Bread

Yeast infection can cause bread-like smelling vaginal odor

The presence of a bread/beer like smell could be an indication of a yeast infection.

Yeast infection, like BV, is the overgrowth of the yeast that naturally exist within our vaginas.

Having a highly processed diet (high in sugar) can contribute to yeast infection.

We can also modify our diets and choose more breathable underwear materials (like pure cotton) to help improve the condition.

I know, what about all the sexy lacy lingerie for seduction?!

If you think all cotton underwear is BORRing, you gotta rethink again, sister! 

There are many sexy cotton numbers out there that are good for your crotch and for your man!

Better still, ditch the underwear and get into that boyfriend shirt for some sexy times 😉

Now for those who come in for sexy times after a night of booze and inebriation, the alcohol consumed prior to sex can produce yeasty like smells during and after sex as the alcohol metabolizes.

If you had copious amounts of bread, or things made with yeast, it can also potentially make you smell yeasty too.

So you may want to considering limiting the portions or avoiding it all together before sex!


7. Unpleasant, Bitter

Certain food can cause bitter smelling vaginal odor

Talking about foods, strong smelling foods like garlic, onion, broccoli, asparagus (no matter the phallic connotation) consumed before sex can alter the scent of our vaginal fluids and hence the vaginal environment.

Some people report unpleasant smells during sex, smelling like the garlic, onion they have eaten prior to fun times. The smell usually dissipates after sex.

There are no scientific evidence on why such food cause such peculiar smell and their only intelligent guess was the sulfur content in these vegetables.

Personally, I eat them on regular basis and my hubby didn’t find my fanny compulsive.

Considering that they are super pack in nutrients (especially broccoli), I will recommend eating them as usual.  

If you are worried about the smell, just reduce and stop eating them 1 or 2 days before your happy hours. 🙂


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