Feminine hygiene commercials have made us all question our vaginal “cleanliness.” They would like us to believe we are supposed to have a flower garden in there. While we are not supposed to be flowers, an imbalance in the normal flora can definitely cause an unpleasant odor. So, how do we know what is normal?

The vagina has a normal musky smell. The normal discharge is the body’s way of cleaning itself, and will vary throughout the month depending on what hormone is dominant.

Many things affect body odor. What you eat is excreted in any body fluid including the vaginal discharge. Fruits and some herbs, like parsley, are generally associated with a pleasant smell. Garlic, onions, and some other herbs and supplements, are considered to be unpleasant.

Bacterial Vaginosis is a condition where the balance of the normal bacteria and pH is upset and produces an unpleasant or fishy odor. This is usually more pronounced after sex, because semen is alkaline and releases amines from the vaginal fluid. It can be treated, but frequently recurs.

The search continues for newer and better treatment options for this very frustrating condition. Join us in our endeavor to find these new and improved treatment alternatives.

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For more general information, I suggest the following links:

http://www.uptodate.com/contents/search?search=bacterial+vaginosis&sp=3&searchType=PLAIN_TEXT&source=USER_INPUT&searchControl=TOP_PULLDOWN&searchOffset=&autoComplete=true

http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/tc/bacterial-vaginosis-topic-overview#1