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Why does my discharge smell like onion

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on
discharge smell like onion

Have you noticed that your discharge smells of onion or a similar strong odor? You are expected to wonder why this change in vaginal odor is due. Conveniently, you know the possible causes, when to worry and go to the doctor and when it is unnecessary, and some solutions.

Do you feel that your discharge gives off a smell similar to the onion? Any alteration in vaginal health can cause alarm in women. In addition, if not treated correctly, any minor alteration can develop into a more severe problem. Do you want to know why my discharge smells like an onion? In the following FastlyHealarticle, we will explain it to you.

Why does my discharge smell like an onion: medication

Taking certain medications can cause a change in the smell of the vaginal discharge, causing it to smell like onion. As for drugs, antibiotics are the main culprits for these odors, something that is because they can weaken the vaginal flora. This is why many women suffer from candidiasis after taking antibiotics for a particular time. By altering the vaginal flora, other fungi or bacteria can proliferate. If you are in the middle of a treatment with antibiotics and you begin to notice any of these symptoms, you should not suspend it on your own, discuss it with your doctor, and he will decide which is the best option.

In addition to antibiotics, other drugs and food supplements can also cause these symptoms. In this group, we must especially highlight the garlic and onion capsules, which have recently become popular, and that many people who do not like their taste take to obtain their benefits.

garlic and onion capsules

I smell the onion flux: diseases.

Certain diseases can cause different symptoms, including the onion smell in the discharge. Here we explain two of the main ones:


Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginal. Both men and women can suffer this disease, and however, in the latter, the symptoms can be much more straightforward and more uncomfortable. One of the first to appear are alterations in menstrual flow, such as the smell of onion, but it can also change the appearance, feel burning or itching when urinating, and pain when having intercourse.

Medical treatment is essential to treat trichomoniasis, usually done through antibiotics. However, it should always be the doctor who prescribes it, and, in addition, proper hygiene guidelines must be established to eliminate some of its symptoms, such as vaginal odor.

Vaginosis bacteria

Another reason your discharge can smell like an onion is suffering from bacterial vaginosis. This infection is usually characterized by a rotten or fishy smell in the release. However, it is normal to feel the smell of onion in the discharge when the condition begins, which can increase over time.

Bacterial vaginosis is due to an overgrowth of bacteria found in the vagina. When bacteria levels get out of balance, it can lead to that smell, among other symptoms. Some of the leading causes that can lead to bacterial vaginosis are:

  • Take douching.
  • Certain types of antibiotics.
  • The IUD.
  • Change or have different sexual partners.

As we have explained, bacterial vaginosis is more common among sexually active women than those who are not. However, this does not mean that it cannot occur in virgin women.

Vaginosis bacteria

I smell the onion flux: food.

We are what we eat, and no wonder since food is a fundamental aspect of maintaining good health. Another thing to keep in mind is that our body odor will also change depending on what we eat. One of the clearest examples is the smell of urine when we eat asparagus.

But did you know that eating garlic or onion can change the smell of vaginal discharge? Eating garlic or onion is one of the leading causes of your release’s aroma. In addition to garlic, onion, and the asparagus mentioned above, other products that can alter its smell are spices such as curry.

But not only does it affect the flow, but it also affects urine and body odor in general. There is nothing to do in these cases, not only because there is no “treatment” but because it is neither worrying nor alarming. It is entirely normal, depending on what we eat.

If you want to have more information, in the following FastlyHealarticle we will talk about foods to improve the taste of the flow.

Smelling onion odor in the sweat discharge

Related to what we just mentioned, our sweat can also change its smell depending on what we eat. Therefore, eating foods such as garlic or onion may take on their smell. On the other hand, if we do not use hygiene correctly, sweat and bacteria can make a woman’s intimate area smell bad, like onion, depending on the case.

If this is the case, to remove the smell of onion in the discharge, it will be enough to wash the vagina well and follow adequate hygienic guidelines, for example:

  • Wear cotton underwear.
  • Do not wear tight pants.
  • Use neutral soaps.
  • Cleaning and changing underwear when exercising.

If we do not do it correctly, the woman may end up developing an infection in the long run.

Smelling onion odor in the sweat discharge

Onion-smelling discharge in pregnancy

Pregnancy is when it is common for the discharge to smell like onion. This is because this is a time when there are very abrupt hormonal changes, which affect the flow: both in texture and quantity, and smell.

However, pregnancy is not the only thing that can cause hormonal alterations that end up causing the smell of onion in the discharge. Other situations that cause these hormonal changes in women are:

  • Menstruation.
  • Use of birth control pills.
  • Menopause.
  • Hormone therapy.
  • Use of vaginal creams with hormones.

But why is it? Because when there is such a tremendous hormonal alteration, this can also alter the pH of the vagina, generating the perfect climate for bacteria or fungi to proliferate. If this is your case, especially during pregnancy, it is essential to consult with your doctor.

Why does my discharge smell like an onion: tampon misuse

A tampon should never be in the vagina for more than 6 hours. After that time, it is very easy for menstruation, the tampon tissue itself and sweat to enter, bacteria begin to increase and end up causing a vaginal infection. As in the case of bacterial vaginosis, an onion odor may appear in the discharge at first, which may later lead to a fishy or rotten smell.

If an infection develops, it is normal for other symptoms to appear, such as fever, vaginal burning, or burning when urinating. If you have forgotten to remove the tampon, you must remove it immediately and wash the area properly. Later, if the symptoms do not disappear, you should visit the gynecologist directly to make a diagnosis and prescribe an appropriate treatment for your case.

Tampon misuse

Why does my discharge smell like an onion: causes

As we have already explained throughout the article, several causes can cause the smell of onion in the flow. In summary, we could say that the leading causes of discharge with the scent of onion are:

  • Intake of certain medications.
  • Trichomoniasis.
  • Vaginosis bacteria.
  • Sweat and hygiene.
  • Feeding.
  • Improper use of tampons.
  • Hormonal alterations

But once this question is answered, you should know that the flow may have other odors that may indicate some alteration in your body. For example, in the following FastlyHealarticles, we explain the causes of different smells in vaginal discharge:

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .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 Why does my discharge smell like onion, we recommend that you enter our category of Female reproductive system.

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