Home Women's Health Fish-smelling discharge: causes and treatment

Fish-smelling discharge: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on
Fish-smelling discharge

The smell of the vagina is one of the aspects that most concern women when it comes to their health. The truth is that the vagina is a kind of metronome to evaluate the woman’s physical state, and any change in her appearance, some pain, or simply the smell that she gives off is a symptom to take into account.

Fishy discharge – usually rotten – is a condition that can affect any woman regardless of age. How it manifests is also essential and can give us clues about its origin. While some women notice it continuously, there are others to whom it appears intermittently.

In the following ONsalus article, we will talk to you specifically about this condition, giving you all the keys to the discharge with the smell of fish: causes and treatment.

You may also be interested in Bacterial Vaginosis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment.

How Strong Odor Affects Discharge

Fishy discharge is often thought to have something to do with poor hygiene. To correct it, affected women resort to different products such as soaps, lotions, sprays, or vaginal douches, intending to camouflage and end the smell. However, women who use them end up realizing that none of them work and, in addition, they tend to aggravate the problem.

Keep in mind that this condition generates enormous insecurity, shame, and anxiety. This ends up causing the woman to close herself to having sexual relations due to the discomfort that it entails and, in more severe cases, affects her social relationships and life in public. Consequently, it is common for these women to carry personal towels to clean themselves, often spare underwear, but whatever they do, the smell remains.

If this is your case and you feel identified, we invite you to continue reading the following ONsalus article, in which we will explain what the causes of a discharge with a fishy smell are and how to treat it.


Smelly discharge: causes

The smell of a woman’s discharge is usually quite particular. Yes, we cannot speak of a typical smell since, depending on the diet and the characteristics of each woman, each one has a characteristic odor. What is clear is that it should never smell bad. The fishy, unpleasant, and fetid smell is due to an imbalance in the body and must be treated correctly.

To understand the cause of this smell, you have to know how the vagina works. In women’s intimate areas, we can find different microorganisms and bacteria, among which we find those known as lactobacilli. These lactobacilli are responsible for keeping it protected from infection, giving it the characteristic acidic environment of the vagina. We measure this acidity by the pH level, which must be kept high. Still, when these are altered, they can change the balance of microorganisms in the vagina, causing some bacteria to proliferate and end up causing infections.

When there is an imbalance of the pH and a bacterial infection, a condition known as bacterial vaginosis appears, among whose symptoms we find the discharge with the smell of fish.

Causes of bacterial vaginosis

As we have already explained, bacterial vaginosis is an infection that occurs in the vagina when there is an excessive proliferation of bacteria that, optimally, should be in balance. There is no single cause that explains this infection. What does exist is a series of factors that can alter the bacterial balance of the vagina, making it easier for it to become infected. These factors that can cause a foul vaginal odor are:

  • Change sexual partners or have different sexual partners.
  • Take douching.
  • Take you according to what antibiotics.
  • Use the intrauterine device ( IUD ).

Bacterial vaginosis is a more common condition among women who are sexually active than among those who do not have intercourse. However, this infection may occur even in girls who have never had intercourse. Another aspect to consider is that although this is not an STD, the truth is that suffering from it can increase the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

Other symptoms of vaginosis

In addition to the fishy discharge, some symptoms can help you know if you have an infection. Any sudden change like your flow signifies that something is not quite usually working. That is why it is essential to observe how your secretions are and, even more necessary, to know the signs of a vaginal infection. Here we explain some of these symptoms :

  • Vaginal bleeding outside the menstrual period.
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain.
  • Itching and burning in the vagina.
  • Change in flow consistency.
  • Gray or white flow.

Strong-smelling discharge: what causes it

As we have already mentioned, it is pretty standard for those women who suffer from vaginal odor to begin to excessively clean their genitals, using a lot of soap, douching, and using products that only end up altering the pH of the skin even more, causing the smell becomes more and more intense.

Excessive washing causes bacteria to increase and constantly maintains high moisture levels that greatly facilitate germs can be played. That is why keeping the intimate area dry as much as possible is recommended.

Other aspects that you should consider if you want to avoid the vaginal smell of fish are not to wear underwear that is too tight or any type of protector to camouflage the stinky smell. Both promote the moistening of the vagina, which, as we have mentioned, increases the chances of infection and, consequently, sour odor.

The same happens with underwear made with synthetic materials, which hinder air circulation and sweat absorption, and any vaginal discharge, turning the area into an environment conducive to bacterial proliferation. The best fabric for this condition is cotton, preferably light-colored.

In the following ONsalus article, we will talk about foods to improve the taste of the flow.

This article is merely informative. At ONsalus.com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Fish-smelling discharge: causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter our Female Reproductive System category.

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