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Why does my period have a bad smell

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

One of the many headaches that menstruation entails is its unpleasant smell, which is justifiable since we must remember that the discharge secreted during periods is made up of blood and toxins that the body must eliminate to start a new cycle. Menstrual and a new ovulation process.

The smell of the rule is usually very characteristic and a bit unpleasant. Still, it should never be unbearable or excessively smelly because it is undoubtedly a sign that something may be wrong when this happens. Suppose you have noticed a significant change in the smell of your menstruation. In that case, we invite you to continue reading this FastlyHealarticle, where we answer the question: why does my period smell bad?

Vaginal infection

Why does the rule have a terrible smell? Many women ask this question daily without knowing that one of the leading causes of the foul smell of menstruation is the presence of a vaginal infection caused by an excessive increase in bacteria or yeast. The most common of these conditions is bacterial vaginosis, also called Gardnerella, a disease caused by the proliferation of harmful bacteria with no apparent cause. Its main symptoms include gray or white vaginal discharge, burning when urinating, itching, and a foul odor, which can alter the smell of the rule.

When diagnosing bacterial vaginosis, it is essential to properly treat the infection with the intake of oral and topical antibiotics to control the proliferation of bacteria and begin to notice an improvement in symptoms. Likewise, during treatment, it will be necessary to follow the doctor’s instructions and avoid tampons, vaginal deodorants, and panty liners or compresses with scents to prevent the infection from worsening and further altering the bacterial flora of the vagina. In the following article, you will be able to know everything about Gardnerella: causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Another type of condition that usually alters the smell of the rule are infections caused by yeasts, the most common being candidiasis, which is caused by the Candida Albicans fungus, which can begin to increase due to lack of hygiene, consumption of antibiotics, use of fragranced products, talcum powder or douches.

The treatment of vaginal yeast infection consists of applying antifungal creams or vaginal fungi to decrease the amount of yeast and stop the following symptoms: white discharge with a texture similar to cottage cheese, burning when urinating, pain when having intercourse, itching, redness in part external of the vagina.

Spotting or bleeding between rules

Bleeding between periods is usually a side effect of oral contraceptives, hormonal changes, fibroids, and ovulation. It is the secretion of very dark bloodstains that may be composed of old endometrial residues that were not wholly expelled in previous periods, hence its color and foul odor.

When spotting, bleeding between periods occurs just after starting contraceptives or changing pills. It is considered an everyday event since most of these drugs usually cause bleeding between periods as a side effect during the first three months of use. . It is also common to notice bleeding between periods when the woman has just inserted an IUD when the device is inserted, slight mistreatment of the uterus can occur, generating bleeding that will be expelled days later and that may contain discharge and traces of the endometrium.

The best way to identify if nasty-smelling menstruation results from a previous bleeding episode between periods are to see whether it is dark brown, almost black. This tone means that the blood expelled has been stored for a long time inside the uterus and, therefore, has changed its color and odor. When there are episodes of spotting and bad-smelling periods without apparent cause, it is necessary to visit the doctor to rule out the presence of uterine fibroids and hormonal alterations.

Lack of hygiene

During menstruation, intimate hygiene plays a fundamental role in keeping the vagina clean and preventing the smell of the period from being easily noticeable or even sticking to clothing. Spending many hours using the same compress can make the smell of your period concentrate and become much more foul; the same happens when the woman is not used to rinsing with water and intimate soap after each urination.

Keeping the vaginal area clean, changing pads regularly, avoiding tampons if the discharge is heavy, and preventing the use of talcum powder, sprays, and any scented fragrance is essential to avoiding the smell of your period from worsening.

However, suppose you notice that you put these habits into practice. In that case, you do not have bleeding between periods, you do not have any symptoms of infection, and even if the smell of your period is truly fetid and unbearable, you must go to your gynecologist as soon as possible so that A thorough checkup allows you to find out why your period smells terrible.

Tips to eliminate the foul smell of the rule

Tampons and pads

The sour smell of the period worsens when the expelled blood remains accumulated for a long time in the tampons and pads, allowing the proliferation of bacteria. Ideally, change these products at least every two hours on heavy flow days and every four hours on less bleeding days. Also, remember not to choose those compresses with aromas or chamomile extract since they can alter the bacterial flora of your vagina, and the mixture of fragrances will only make your period smell much worse.

Intimate soap

A shower a day is not enough; it is also essential that you rinse your vagina at least twice more on the days that you are menstruating profusely. For this, it is recommended that you use soap exclusively for private use, with a neutral pH, and without fragrance, since only a product with these characteristics will not alter the bacteria in your vagina, and it will not worsen the smell of your period.


No. Many women believe that the use of vaginal douches is an effective alternative for intimate hygiene. The truth is that these products clean the vagina to eliminate good bacteria, making it possible for unhealthy bacteria to proliferate and increase the risk of having a vaginal infection.

Medicine prevention

Antibiotics have the property of considerably altering the vaginal bacterial flora since their job is to eliminate any type of bacteria from the body, even good ones. Against this background, it is widespread for women to suffer vaginal infections while taking these drugs. For this reason, we recommend that you have intimate antifungal creams at home. If you are taking antibiotics and begin to feel symptoms of a vaginal infection, start treatment as soon as possible. Thus, preventing the proliferation of bacteria or yeast from causing a foul odor.

Extra underwear

Planning the days of your menstruation can help you prevent the foul smell of your period. For example, you can carry a small case in your bag where you store intimate soap, wet towels, compresses or tampons, and an additional personal garment so that you can change in case of an accident.


For the days of menstruation, it is recommended that you use cotton underwear, as it allows better ventilation avoids the accumulation of moisture, and helps your private parts to be always dry. Wearing loose clothing such as baggy pants or skirts also offers more air to the vagina and, unlike a tight dress, does not make abdominal pain worse.

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 if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why does my period have a terrible smell, we recommend that you enter our category of Female reproductive system.

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