Fluctuating hormones experienced during menopause can cause many symptoms, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness, but another common symptom that can occur, is a change in, or the development of, vaginal odor. Check out this quick video from Dr. Alyssa Dweck to better understand what could be causing vaginal odor during menopause and what to do about it.
Hi, I'm Dr. Alyssa Dweck a gynecologist in New York. I'm also the Chief Medical Officer at Bonafide®.
Many women are surprised to find that all vaginas actually have a natural scent. This scent may change during the menstrual cycle, due to lifestyle and personal hygiene regimens, with sex and definitely with hormone changes.
Vaginal odor, on the other hand, might suggest another issue that warrants evaluation and management.
What Causes Vaginal Odor?
Common causes of vaginal odor include infection with BV or bacterial vaginosis and STIs, along with poor hygiene and excessive perspiration. Did you know that low estrogen levels during menopause can also result in a vaginal odor?
It seems that the vaginal microbiome during menopause is prone to imbalance. Diminished lactobacillus, or good bacteria in the vagina, can lead to this imbalance and cause vaginal pH changes. So, even though there's no infection, an elevated vaginal pH, above the normal 4.5 acidic range, can result in vaginal odor, along with other really pesky symptoms like vaginal discharge, itching, irritation and painful sex.
What Can You Do to Address Vaginal Odor?
Persistent vaginal odor can impair one's quality of life. Day to day activity and self-esteem can be negatively impacted. Recurrent antibiotic treatment will only further this imbalance and a vicious cycle can ensue. Additionally, douching can surely worsen the issue [as it’s very disruptive to the delicate balance in the vaginal microbiome].
A few simple steps can be taken to address vaginal odor during menopause. Dietary modification and adequate hydration can help. Weight management and mindfulness towards the use of non-fragrant hygiene products might help as well.
A well-studied probiotic geared towards vaginal health taken as directed, may also help manage vaginal odor, discharge, and itching in those with vaginas but without a known infection.
Why not give Clairvee® try?