3:57 pm - 08/20/2012

Sour, sweaty vaginal odor, but no other symptoms?

Hi everyone!

I'm writing to you all in the hopes that you can help me out with a problem I have, and have had for quite sometime now.  I have a very strong vaginal odor that I would best describe as sour and sweaty.  I'm 26 and went to the gynecologist for my annual pap smear/exam less than a month ago.  Nothing turned up weird -- I have no STDs (and am not currently sexually active) or abnormal paps or anything like that, and she didn't say anything about odor when I was there, but I also didn't bring it up at the time.  I shower daily, wear cotton panties, and try to do all the right things.  I do have a lot of discharge, but I have had that since starting my period at age 12.  I have no other symptoms, just this insanely strong smell.  It is not and never has been fishy, but I am trying to figure out why I have this.  I will probably wind up going to the gyno about this, but am just wondering if anyone else has ever had anything similar?  If so, what in the world is it?!

Thanks so much in advance and feel free to ask questions -- I'm happy to clarify. :)

roseofaurora 20th-Aug-2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
Hmm, the only time I get a similar excessive scent is when I neglect to drink enough water. I have poor hydration habits and sometimes will go several days on just a few sips. It's bad. I notice then that my urine smells much stronger. And my vaginal odor is much more noticeable and my sweat is...sweatier. And this also occurs during times when I definitely have no other issue like a yeast infection, STI or other health problem that may be causing it. Just lack of water. I'm not sure how helpful this has been but I sure hope you figure it out :) best of luck!
mcg5222 20th-Aug-2012 10:52 pm (UTC)
I've had this exact same problem since I was 14. I'm now 23 and was just at the gynecologist recently and spoke to him about it. I told him about the strong smell and constant discharge but he didn't seem concerned at all and said that since I have no stds and pap came back fine that it's just how my body is and that the amount of discharge that I have is probably contributing the the odor. Though I was disappointed that it really couldn't be remedied, I was glad that there was no underlying issue. I just make sure that I change my underwear more often and also carry baby wipes as they seem to cut down on the smell.
Hope this helps:)

Edited at 2012-08-20 11:00 pm (UTC)
misheymo 21st-Aug-2012 04:59 am (UTC)
coffee does it to me. even the taste is more bitter and a little sour. so now i drink more water (..and pop...) but it smells better. more vaginal : ]
00goddess 21st-Aug-2012 06:14 am (UTC)
Have you been tested for BV? I used to get BV a lot (when I was using the Nuvaring) and it did not smell fishy; it smelled like ammonia. That might be the kind of "sour smell" you're talking about.
Sarah Moran 17th-Dec-2015 02:11 am (UTC)
What is BV? I'm on the nuva ring now and am having this issue.
00goddess 19th-Dec-2015 01:03 am (UTC)
BV is bacterial vaginosis, it's when the gardnerella bacteria in your vaginal area run amok and become an infection.

BV is considered an infection on its own, but there is new evidence that high levels of gardnerella also make women more vulnerable to HIV infection.
blueberrypanda 21st-Aug-2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
Seconding the post above about hydration. If you don't have enough water, your body will draw it away from your body fluids and make everything smell/behave unusually.

Watch what you eat/drink. I tend to eat a lot of pickled things and vinegar, and I have the same issue with my vaginal fluid. If I take a break from the sushi rice and pickled mackerel, I tend to smell better after half a day or so. :P Try avoiding vinegary/acidic foods for a little bit and see if that helps.
brigittefires 21st-Aug-2012 11:07 pm (UTC)
I will get severe vinegar cravings and definitely get to tasting a little pickled if I eat a lot of those foods over a few days. An ex once asked me if I'd been sitting on a pickle earlier when he was going down on me. Thankfully he likes pickles and was cool about it... So it was just kinda funny instead of mortifying.
brigittefires 21st-Aug-2012 11:13 pm (UTC)
I get this sometimes outside of the pickled foods issue (as in, a different kind of sour). After a few doctors appointments with no results, I asked if it would hurt anything to just shove an acidophilus caplet up there even if there's no infection present. I've had a couple doctors now tell me that it's totally safe, and that it will definitely help to bring any pH discrepancies in balance if that's the issue. I'm prone to BV and yeastie beasties, and I have noticed that doing the acidophilus insertion when it starts to get a little not-normal-for-me down there has reduced how often I've had to go in for suspected infections. (Switching away from cotton panties actually reduced how often it gets funky down there, as well. I just have so much fluid already and the IUD creates constant watery and egg-white discharge, that I'd have to change my panties every hour to keep them from getting too wet to let my skin breathe. I switched to wicking materials for athletics on the advice I got here at VP and it helped soooo much.)
sassenach93 Thank you for making this subject less embarrassing!26th-Feb-2015 09:44 pm (UTC)
So I've been noticing a smell too (sour), and have been smelling it through my pants which freaked me out because I think others can smell it. I went to my doctor a month ago for a slight itch down there because I was afraid it was BV again. It was just a high level of bacteria, not quite BV. Then, the itch went away but days later I smelled sour. Tried the Acidiphillis thing (by mouth) and it stopped so about 10 days after, I quite taking it. Now, after my period ended, it's back. I don't think it's yeast or BV but I do believe it's an abnormal amount of bacteria. (For what reason I don't know). I haven't had sex in over a month. So it can't be that. I'm hoping that taking the L. Acidiphillis daily as a prevention and slacking off on the coffee (despite needing caffeine for my job). Or maybe just drinking a Nalgene bottle of water daily will help. Also airing out. I do want to thank y'all for making this less embarrassing. I've been so worried about this. It's not even funny. But reading the comments on here, make me realize it happens to more people than I knew and you can joke about it. So thanks y'all. Being a girl is annoying sometimes. Do guys have as many possible funky things happen to them with their junk as we do?
glitterberrys 22nd-Aug-2012 08:52 am (UTC)
Is it constant? I ask because I've noticed that a few days before my period I get this weird sour vinegar-y smell. And I know I'm not the only person who experiences this.
michelle goggins 2nd-Apr-2014 11:32 pm (UTC)
I am having the same problem. No STds, pap smears normal, I also suffer with yeast and BV.. The odor comes in waves sometimes strong, sometimes not. Gyno can't find anything wrong, I do have the Essure. Have had it for 9 1/2 years. I asked if that was the cause, they said no. I am at wits end with this stuff... I see no relief in site. Any additional help would be appreciated. P.S., what is an acidophyllis insert(of some sort). I have never heard of this, other than a chewable or pill form....
Amanda Carmen ESSURE23rd-Mar-2017 05:23 am (UTC)
I have the same problem and I have essure!!! Dr never blames that but I never had this smell pre essure! I want this devil device out!
28amc1993 I have something similar and really want help but my doc says its nothing18th-Oct-2014 12:13 pm (UTC)
Ok so im 21 and I have a similar thing I feel like I smell sour down there and I get worried that other people can smell it to but they cant and I used to have discharge really bad and now I get maybe a drop maybe once a month which is really confusing and I dont really get my periods I have the implanon nxt rod in my arm and I get maybe 3 periods a year ive had the rod for about 4 years and was just wondering if anyone is having a similar thing or if someone could help if they know anythi n g but the smell really grosses me out oh and ive had all the tests done and nothing came up ......... im sorry of this makes no sense im tired and have 2% battery on my phone :/

Edited at 2014-10-18 12:14 pm (UTC)
Codi White Flower smells23rd-Jan-2016 02:38 am (UTC)
Everyone has a smell to their vag..... The sour smell can be from diet and lack of water. Eat lots of fruits and healthy meals instead of lots of sugary or acidity things.... Stay hydrated! It can also be from wearing tight jeans, or leggings. Take a break from that it will clear up. Also you should take a probiotic daily my ob recommends ultimate flora (cvs, Walmart, ect.) as well as using replens refreshing cream inserts once a week at night. Our bodies change as we age, our hormones have a large part in our discharge and smells too. Also semen can throw off our ph balance too.Always shower in dove soap too, using the soap made for our vags are harmful to our ph balance even tho commercials tell us differently. Try these things first you can purchase at any local drug store, give it a week or two to get better.
Roswitha Barton sour odor problem solved20th-Sep-2016 09:39 pm (UTC)
I had the same problem. It stinks and I did not know what to do. But I found a solution for me. I bought Activia Probiotic yogurt for my digestive issue.But it helped me to get rid of that odor instead.I am only at my second yogurt so far and the odor is gone.I am very happy about this. Maybe we are cleaning too much and kill all bacteria. Now they are back where they belong. Good luck!

Edited at 2016-09-21 09:21 pm (UTC)
Amanda Carmen Essure 23rd-Mar-2017 05:30 am (UTC)
I have the same problem and I have essure!!! Dr never blames that but I never had this smell pre essure! I want this devil device out!
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