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What are common causes of vaginal odor?

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Quick Answer

Bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, poor hygiene and forgotten tampons can all cause abnormal vaginal odor, according to Mayo Clinic. Less common causes include vaginal cancer, cervical cancer and rectovaginal fistulas.

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Full Answer

Bacterial vaginosis occurs when there is an overgrowth of certain types of bacteria in the vagina, causing vaginal inflammation, as confirmed by Mayo Clinic. The condition most commonly affects women in their reproductive years, and the exact cause is unknown, as of 2015. Trichomaniasis is a common sexually transmitted infection that only causes symptoms in approximately 30 percent of infected individuals, but additional symptoms may include itching, redness, soreness or burning of the genital area, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The infection may also cause a thin, white, clear, yellow-tinted or green-tinted vaginal discharge as well as pain during urination.

Normal vaginal odor may be stronger immediately after sexual intercourse or during the menstrual cycle, as confirmed by Mayo Clinic. Sweating throughout the day may also lead to vaginal order, but women should avoid the use of vaginal deodorants and douches, as these may irritate the vaginal area. Although a vaginal odor occurring with no other symptoms is likely normal, women should contact their doctors for testing and diagnosis if they are concerned about this symptom.

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