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How to Treat Menopause Body Odor

Cassie Hart

As you’re about to head out the door for an important meeting, you do what many people do before leaving the house, do a quick check to make sure you’re smelling your best. But this time, you notice a strong smell, and are alarmed to realize the odor seems to be coming from you. Just an hour ago you showered, used deodorant, and put on clean clothes. So, what’s going on?

A change in body odor during menopause could be to blame. About 80% of menopausal women experience vasomotor symptoms, like hot flashes and night sweats,1 both of which are believed to be caused by low estrogen levels. It’s also not uncommon for women to experience perimenopause night sweats and hot flashes, as well. When our body’s temperature rises, the hypothalamus (a gland in the brain that, among other things, regulates body temperature) signals the body to produce sweat to help cool down.2 And sweat, as we know, can be accompanied by a noticeable odor.

What Causes a Change in Body Odor During Menopause?

Sweat consists of water, salt, and fat. It’s released through pores in our skin, which is naturally covered with bacteria. When the bacteria and sweat mix, a perceptible smell may result. Since perimenopausal and menopausal women tend to sweat more due to increased body temperature from hot flashes or night sweats, they may also notice changes in their body odor. Although this isn’t discussed as often as other menopause symptoms, increased or a change in body odor in menopause is not unusual.3 An increase or change in body odor may also occur in perimenopausal women who are experiencing night sweats and other vasomotor symptoms, as hormone fluctuations along with female hormone imbalance and body odor, can be linked.

Another reason you may notice a change in body odor in menopause is because lower estrogen levels result in an altered estrogen/testosterone ratio. Testosterone is also produced by the ovaries and is typically considered “a primarily male hormone.”  Additional testosterone may lead to more bacteria in the sweat, which in turn, produces a stronger smell.4

A third type of body odor change can take place in the genitals, as some perimenopausal or menopausal women may find that their vaginal odor is different—this is typically due to changes in the vagina’s pH and glucose levels, which are impacted by the fluctuations in hormones experienced during perimenopause and menopause.5 This again denotes a potential connection between female hormone imbalance and body odor changes.

Menopause Body Odor Treatment

If you’re worried that your perimenopause body odor is stronger or more noticeable than before you started transitioning into postmenopause, there are a number of things you can try to help keep things in check.

Check out our quick video from Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, talking about some options for addressing body odor during menopause, below:

Keep Cool at Night to Manage Perimenopause Body Odor

Even if your internal thermostat is going haywire due to your shifting hormones, and you’re experiencing perimenopause night sweats, there are ways to reduce higher body temperatures. Turning down the thermostat, taking a cool shower before bed, and running a fan by your bedside can help you stay cooler. Products designed specifically for nighttime comfort are available, too, such as cooling pads for your mattress and cooling pillows. It may be worth giving these a try if perimenopause night sweats are a particularly disruptive issue. 6

Consider Your Clothes for Remedying Body Odor in Menopause

Breathable fabrics can help keep you cooler during the day and at night. Look for thinner, natural materials like cotton or linen. Bamboo is another good choice, as it draws moisture away from the skin – it’s hypoallergenic and antibacterial, too.7 Materials to avoid include wool and most synthetic fabrics. Dressing in layers if you experience perimenopause night sweats is also helpful and enables you to remove clothing when you feel warm as well as add layers if you experience chills.8

Rethink Your Diet if you Notice a Change in Body Odor in Menopause

Re-evaluating your diet may also help control body odors related to perimenopause and menopause. The first rule of thumb is to stay hydrated, because sweat can have a stronger smell when your body lacks water.9 Take stock of the foods you eat as well, and consider eating things that contain magnesium, as these may help reduce stress and anxiety as well as promote better sleep (all things that could contribute to a reduction in sweating and help manage a change in body odor in menopause).10 Zinc-rich foods can also be helpful and include things like oysters, tofu, chicken and yogurt. Magnesium-friendly foods include spinach, pumpkin seeds, tuna, brown rice, and almonds. Also, you may want to limit foods that tend to release compounds through the skin that can affect body odor, like red meats, garlic, and onions.11

What About Supplements for Menopause Body Odor? 

Some women find that taking supplements can help reduce sweat-inducing perimenopause and menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. Black cohosh is a popular herb for treating hot flashes; researchers believe it works by binding to estrogen receptors or stimulating serotonin receptors.12 Red clover and evening primrose oil are also taken by some women to control changes in body temperature, although no official studies have concluded that these remedies are effective.13  Be mindful of supplements containing black cohosh, red clover and evening primrose, however, if you’re looking to avoid potential hormonal side effects, as these herbs are known as phytoestrogens (meaning they may have estrogen like properties and may act like a hormone in the body). Also remember to always check with your healthcare provider first before trying any new type of supplement.

Other Menopause Body Odor Treatment Options

Applying an antiperspirant—which blocks sweat glands—may help reduce sweating, and some types even contain antibacterial properties to help reduce the bacteria that causes odors. Extra strength deodorants can also help. 14 Prescription strength antiperspirants and Botox injections into the sweat glands are more aggressive options you can consider.15 And if you need an on-the-go solution, a great option is to stash cleansing wipes in your car or purse for a quick, skin-centered cool down, as needed.16  

We think it’s important to note that a change in body odor during menopause or perimenopause doesn't necessarily require "fixing." In fact, your scent may not have shifted at all…hormonal changes sometimes cause your sense of smell to be more acute (this can happen also in pregnancy), so, it's possible that you actually don’t smell any different, and don’t need a menopause body odor treatment—it may just be your nose that’s in overdrive.17

When to Check with Your Healthcare Provider

While changes in body odor during menopause and perimenopause are completely normal, some specific smells may point to a more serious issue. A fruity odor may be a sign of diabetes, and a bleach-like scent could indicate liver or kidney problems.18 If at any time you have concerns or questions about new symptoms or disruptive changes in body odor in menopause, be sure to check with your healthcare provider.




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    A wealth of great information, definitely has given me food for thought, to help me be better in my health. Thank you, look forward to reading more.

    Anna on

    When I stopped eating any animal products in favor of a whole food, plant based diet, my chronic pain went away, a long with hot flashes, night sweats, brain fog, and all body odor! I don’t even wear deodorant anymore and I do not smell. Lots of body and breath odor is caused by animal products putrefying in the gut. Plants ferment but animal products rot. Makes sense we would stink if that is what is going on in our bodies. Eat more plants and improve your own health and the planet too.

    Njb on

    Thank you for this article! Regarding “Consider Your Clothes,” you say to avoid wool. Merino wool clothing is lightweight, it breathes and regulates temperature, wicks moisture, dries quickly, and is odor and wrinkle resistant. I have merino camisoles that I wear as shirts in the summer and for a little extra warmth in the winter.

    P. King on

    Great reading and information.

    Dolores Lopez on

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    * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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