How does women's underwear smell?

What causes intimate odor?

The vagina is home to innumerable bacteria, the type and number of which are constantly changing. It is these changes that can affect the intimate smell. Sometimes even very suddenly! However, the reason for this does not always have to be an existing illness. Sometimes it's just diet or stress. But let's take a closer look at the different smells and their causes.

Why is my intimate smell ...

... metallic, almost copper-like?

One reason for a metallic intimate odor: semen! If your vagina has recently come into contact with semen, the intimate flora may be out of whack, causing it to smell different than usual. A slight metallic or copper-like intimate odor is quite normal, however, and often occurs shortly before or after your period. If it doesn't go away in a timely manner, your bleeding may not be due to your period alone - especially if the odor is accompanied by itching or discharge. If so, please see your gynecologist.

... sweaty or musty?

Sweating is quite normal - even in the genital area. It's the way the body regulates its temperature. But if you run out of wet towels when camping, for example, an unusual intimate odor may actually simply be due to inadequate hygiene. After a relaxing shower, everything should be back to normal.
Apropos: When showering, make sure that you use gentle washing lotions that are suitable for the intimate area. If you sweat a lot in general, we recommend cotton underwear, which allows your skin to breathe better.

... sour?

No need to worry, just a really good sign! Some women compare this scent to yogurt or sourdough bread - and it means that your intimate flora is fine. The scent is caused by a healthy number of good bacteria (lactobacilli) that protect your vagina from infection.

... chemically?

An intimate smell like ammonia? This can be caused by a build-up of urine in your underwear. You should make sure that you wipe thoroughly after peeing to make sure the panties do not soak up urine. Urine that smells strongly of ammonia can also be a sign of dehydration. In that case: drink water! Pregnant women also frequently report an ammonia odor in the genital area. Here, too, an imbalance in the intimate flora is suspected. Or, worse, bacterial vaginosis. If you suffer from this during pregnancy, avoid antibiotics! There are special remedies that eliminate bacterial vaginosis - and are gentle on the body.

... fishy?

The most common cause of such an intimate odor: bacterial vaginosis (BV). This infection can arise from an imbalance in the intimate flora and can be recognized by the following symptoms:

  • Strong, fishy odor
  • Thin, whitish-gray discharge
  • itch
  • Burning sensation (especially when peeing)

Does that sound like your symptoms? Then you should make an appointment with the gynecologist to clarify your symptoms.

Another reason for a fishy intimate odor can be trichomoniasis. An STD. And unfortunately one of the most common. It is caused by a tiny parasite whose symptoms usually take a month to develop after being infected.

Intimate smell? Naturally!

It sounds strange ... but to get rid of intimate odor, you should not use highly perfumed products (deodorants, soaps, etc.). Perfumed tampons and sanitary towels should also be avoided. Trying to cover up the odor could make the problem even worse, as it irritates the skin and vagina.
It is natural for your vagina to smell. So don't worry. Pay more attention to changes - and to days when your genital area smells noticeably unpleasant. If this intense odor is accompanied by the following symptoms, please consult your gynecologist:

  • Itching or burning (especially when peeing)
  • Greyish-white discharge
  • Vaginal bleeding (outside of your period)

Betadine® BV vaginal gel

As part of the Betaisodona® Family - the expert in fighting infections - became Betadine® BV vaginal gel designed for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis. The vaginal gel provides natural protection for the vaginal flora and relieves odor after just 24 hours.

To the Betadine® BV vaginal gel

Further advice topics on intimate health

Betadine® BV vaginal gel is available over the counter at your pharmacy.

Betaisodona® Ointment / solution, Active ingredient: Povidone iodine. Areas of application ointment: Is used repeatedly for a limited time as an antiseptic for damaged skin, such as pressure ulcers (pressure sores), leg ulcers (lower leg ulcers), superficial wounds and burns, infected and superinfected skin diseases. Application areas solution: Is used once for disinfecting the intact outer skin or antiseptics of the mucous membrane, e.g. before operations, biopsies, injections, punctures, blood withdrawals and bladder catheterization. Is used repeatedly, for a limited time, for antiseptic wound treatment (e.g. pressure sores, lower leg ulcers) for burns, infected and superinfected skin diseases and for surgical hand disinfection. For information on risks and side effects, read the package insert and ask your doctor or pharmacist. Mundipharma GmbH, 60549 Frankfurt am Main; As of 09/2018

*The active principle of povidone-iodine, the active ingredient of Betaisodona, establishes a comprehensive effectiveness against a broad spectrum of human pathogenic microorganisms. In vitro, povidone-iodine reduces selected pathogens (including Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, Streptococcus pyogenes, Candida albicans, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) by more than 99.9% within 30 seconds. Bacterial spores and some virus species are generally only inactivated to a sufficient extent after a long exposure time. Povidone iodine can react with protein and various other organic substances, such as blood and pus components, which can impair its effectiveness.