What is a Fishy Odor?

Fishy Odor

A fishy odor is often a sign of an infection. Depending on the type of infection, it can include vaginitis or bacterial vaginosis (BV). Learn more: https://getflowerpower.com/blogs/news/fishy-vaginal-odor

Bacterial vaginosis

If you have BV, the odor and other symptoms will be more intense and you may also notice that your discharge is white or gray with a fishy smell. It’s a common vaginal infection that can develop over time as you have multiple sex partners and engage in douching.

Bacterial Vaginosis and Sex: What You Need to Know


If a fishy odor is accompanied by itching, burning or pain when you pee or have sex, it’s possible that you have trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection that can be difficult to diagnose and treat. The odor is usually caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis that enters your body during sexual intercourse.

Pelvic inflammatory disease

If your fishy odor is accompanied by pelvic itching or tenderness, you could have pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of the vagina that affects 1 in 10 women. It can spread upwards into your pelvic lining and reproductive organs, including your uterus and fallopian tubes, increasing your risk of infertility and ectopic pregnancy.


If a foul smell arises after you use your tampon, it may be a sign that the product hasn’t absorbed properly and will need to be changed. Change your tampons and pads regularly to keep the balance of your vaginal flora.


It’s normal for your vagina to produce a fishy odor that can change with your menstrual cycle or with your exercise and hygiene habits. However, if the fishy smell is particularly strong or goes away after you’ve bathed, it might be a sign that you have an infection that needs to be treated.

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