What Does Your Period Blood Smell Say About Your Health

Starting from mood swings to food cravings, stomach aches to lethargy, the menstrual cycle is the most confusing time of the month for us women. During ‘that’ time of the month, we are not only worried about not staining but also about the odor. The odor is a by-product of menstruation. You may experience various types of period blood smells. And, they are not pleasant! Several factors are responsible for the varied types of smell that are produced during menstruation.

Our vagina smells different during periods. Each woman has a different smell depending upon the bacteria content in the vagina or the pH level. Menstruation basically refers to the release of blood, tissues of the uterus lining, and the unfertilized egg through our vagina.

Several components like semen, urine, and bacteria can affect the pH level, giving rise to various types of odors during periods. Here are some of the common types of period blood smells and what you can do about it.

Metallic: This is the most common smell that most women come across. It smells like coins, somewhat rusty. The metallic smell indicates the presence of iron in the blood. It generally goes away with the period but if it stays longer, you might want to fix an appointment with your gynecologist.

Rotten: Yes, rotten! It’s not unusual if your vagina smells rotten during periods. It is caused by the presence of a foreign body in the vagina. Check if your tampon has been there longer than prescribed. Try to change your sanitary napkins or tampons at regular intervals when you are on your cycle.

​Sweet: Don’t be surprised or worried. Your vagina can smell sweet too. The vagina’s acidic environment or the presence of bacteria may give off a sweet smell. The pH levels vary between 3.8 to 4.5

​Body odor: Does your vagina smell like your armpit during periods? Also, are you stressed or anxious? Yes, both are related. When you stress, the apocrine sweat glands present in your genitals produce a type of sweat that mixes with the bacteria in the blood or on the skin. This gives rise to a body-odor-like smell. Sit back and relax for a couple days!

​Fishy: This is when you should be concerned. Fishy smell during periods is something you should look out for. It indicates infection. Trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis may produce fishy smell during periods. Trichomoniasis is a disease transmitted through sexual activity that causes a burning or itchy sensation in the vagina. Bacterial Vaginosis happens if there is bacteria overgrowth in your vagina.

It’s not unusual for your vagina to smell during periods. It comes with the cycle. We cannot be expected to smell like the sweetest perfume when so many processes and reactions are taking place in our genitals. The most we can do is take care of our hygiene. Douching or using sprays or special products should be avoided, as they can give rise to irritation in the vagina. Rest and make peace with the fact that our period smells as it is supposed to.