Taste of the vagina may vary all through a month due to menstrual cycle. Regardless of the time of the month, a healthy vagina tastes very much like a well-maintained and often-cleaned vagina. You may need to know what to do if it tastes differently.
The first thing to know is that a healthy vagina has an acidic slant to it. Its acidity is needed to strike the right bacterial balance. This taste hence may sometimes be termed as bitter or sour. A metallic taste of the vagina is common soon after menstruation. It is the blood (which is naturally endowed with iron) that brings a metallic taste to it.
Salty taste and the reasons behind
If you fail to wash your vagina after urinating, it may leave a salty taste. This is mainly due to the traces of urine left behind. Apart from urine, it may have a salty taste if you have worked out or exercised for a longer time. This is due to sweat deposited in it as part of the workout. Such tastes are considered as normal and hence not a matter of concern.
You need to know that vagina remains under multiple clothes most of the time. A damp organ starts emitting a stale taste and smell if kept under wraps for long. So, the stale smell coming from it is not an unusual thing. However, if your vagina develops a very strong taste and smell, then there is something there that needs your attention. Clinical studies indicate that your vagina may taste strong if its pH level gets unbalanced. How can this happen? This may occur when you have used a new medication or a bathing soap. Such new products or drugs may make the microbial balance in your vagina go unstable. The result shows in the strong odors the vagina emits.
In general, vagina is known for cleaning itself. It has the abilities to cleanse and to upkeep the proper pH value. If no additional changes occur, the vagina maintains the status quo without any issues. All you need to do is keep the outside part clean. Make sure to wash it every time you take bath as well as each time you urinate. Problems arise only when you cease to wash it. Once left unwashed, it may start developing a strange taste along with unpleasant odors.
Tobacco and the taste of your vagina
If you use tobacco based products, you may sweat more than usual. Increased sweating can change the smell and taste of the vagina. It is often observed to develop a stale taste. In a few instances, its taste has turned sour. A few studies also reveal that urine is the medium through which your body gets rid of the toxins your body may attract through smoking.
Diet can influence the taste of the vagina
The diet you consume may also play a vital role in influencing the smells and tastes of your vagina. Foods with very strong spices may make your sweat to produce strong odors. This may exert an influence on the vagina’s taste. Herbs like asparagus have the properties to render a strong aroma to your urine. Hence, an intake of asparagus is going to change the taste and smell of your vagina. On the other hand, herbs such as mint and parsley can bring out a refreshing odor. The reason is the strong aroma of oils such herbs bear in them.
Use of alcohol
Intake of alcohol can also alter things for the vagina. This is because alcohol may enhance your sweating process. With increased sweating, your vulva is sure to taste and smell differently. It has also been observed that the taste of vagina can vary based on drinks you consume. Instead of beer, you may consume wines. This is because beer has excessive yeast and tempts the growth of yeast. In general, alcohol is excreted off your body mainly through urine. So, the changes in taste and smell of your vagina are directly proportional to the quantum of beer you consume.
So, how to maintain a clean vagina?
Use warm water to clean and wash your vagina. You need not necessarily use a soap solution to clean it. But if you happen to use soap, make sure it does not get inside your vulva. Use a clean cloth to wipe the lips of your labia. Wipe the areas surrounding the lips of the labia, especially the folds near the lips. Some women may forget to wash the portion between the vagina and anus. If this area is left uncleaned and unwashed, it can soon make your vagina to produce unpleasant odors and tastes.
Infections in the vaginal opening and the area around it
Bacterial vaginosis is an infection that can trigger undesired tastes and smell from the vagina. The odor is often found to be the same as the smell of stale fish. During this medical condition, a dark or yellow discharge may secrete from the vagina. If the vagina contracts sexually transmitted disorders, it may smell the same as fish, especially fish that is dead, accompanied by a stale taste and an unpleasantly smelling discharge.
Foods that have an impact on the taste and smell of your vagina
Some foods are known to have an effect on how your vagina tastes (and also smells). These foods include bananas (has antioxidants that can keep microbes away), foods with omega 3 fatty acids (for example, salmon), yoghurt (this has the goodness of probiotic bacteria and also adds a healthy smell in your vagina), water (plenty of water will keep your body parts hydrated and help emit pleasant odors), pine apple (this is known for its properties to bring out a great smell), etc. In general, citrus fruits have good evidences to indicate that they can render a pleasant odor to your vagina.
There are also a few foods that can yield an unpleasant odor down there; these are red meat, coffee (can change your pH balance, render acidic properties and also makes your pee to stink), greasy or spicy foods, etc. In general, drinks that possess milk or sugar are found to contain anaerobic bacteria which can leave a bad taste and smell in the vagina. Instead of coffee or beverages with milk or sugar, you can opt for green tea. This is supposed to be full of antioxidants and can leave no room for bad odor down there. Instead of coffee, you may also drink ginger tea.
You are advised to consume natural foods and stay away from processed foods. Most of the processed foods contain abundant sugars, and a diet with high sugar content can make way for yeast and bacteria. In fact, in a sugar-rich diet, the scope for such harmful microbes to multiply is way too high.
It is every woman’s desire to have her vagina smell and taste naturally. It is possible with a few steps. These steps include saying no to alcohol or tobacco usage, staying away from very hot and spicy foods and also keeping away from stresses or anxieties; especially those concerning the taste and odors of your vagina. More importantly, refrain from using washes or sprays which may promise to lend a sweet or fruity odor to your vulva or labia. These are not what your vagina wants. The vagina wants it to be left on its own. This is because it known to be fully self-dependent and finds ways to take good care of itself. All you may need to do is to keep its outer hygiene well and take care of it with frequent washes. After a wash, how you wipe your body may also affect the taste of the vagina. This is because, if you wipe your body from back to front, bacteria in the anal region may enter the vulva and vagina. It is hence always recommended to wipe your body from the front side to the rear. Wiping must not be done in a hard and harsh manner. Instead use gentle pressure as you wipe your body. You are also advised to use odorless tissues or toilet papers for wiping. This is because scented toilet papers may carry chemicals which can harm the soft skin surrounding your vagina and vulva.
If these steps mentioned above do not fetch desired results – i.e., your vagina still smells odd, it is time to see your doctor. Your doctor may do a complete examination and may also prescribe a few lab tests (including smear tests) to localise the problem. Once your problem is identified and its root cause known, then a treatment plan or an apt medication plan is commenced. A comprehensive treatment plan often includes a few changes made to your lifestyle habits (such as washing, cleaning, etc) coupled with administration of medications, as needed. It is also a common practice to prescribe creams and topical drugs to treat some of the vaginal infections combined with pills.