Rotten odor from the vagina: causes, treatment and recommendations

Normally, female genital organs should not have a smell. If it appears, then the case may be in insufficient hygiene, as well as in infectious or gynecological diseases. Why is there a rotten smell from the vagina? The causes, treatment and prevention of this problem will be considered in the article.

Causes of occurrence

Thrush disease

The appearance of a rotten smell from the vagina can not only significantly worsen the quality of life, causing a woman constant discomfort, but also be a consequence of some diseases. Most of them are of an infectious nature. What can be the causes of rotten odor from the vagina?

  1. Dysbacteriosis, which occurs due to an imbalance between the bacteria that normally live in the vagina. Also, dysbiosis can develop against the background of pathogens entering the humid environment.
  2. Thrush is familiar to most women. It manifests itself with an unpleasant sour smell and cheesy discharge from the vagina and develops due to fungi of the genus Candida, which begin to multiply in large numbers.
  3. Gardnerellosis is a disease caused by bacteria gardnerella. Most often, they enter the vagina during unprotected intercourse, but they can also penetrate the household way, for example, using someone else's towel or intimate toys. Most often, the smell of rotten fish from the vagina is felt precisely with a lesion of gardnerellosis.
  4. Colpitis is a disease that is caused by cocci bacteria that enter the vagina during unprotected intercourse.
  5. Inflammatory processes in the uterus and appendages, which may be accompanied by the release of a certain amount of pus.
  6. Trichomoniasis is a disease that is accompanied by a strong fishy smell from an intimate place and abundant greenish discharge.

In addition, such factors can provoke the appearance of secretions with an unpleasant odor:

  • lack of compliance with the rules of intimate hygiene;
  • lack of a permanent sexual partner;
  • sexually transmitted diseases;
  • refusal to use contraceptives;
  • change in the microflora of the vagina;
  • obesity;
  • dystrophy of the vaginal mucosa;
  • hormonal imbalance that may appear before the onset of the first menstruation, as a rule, after it passes on its own;
  • with a spiral, a rotten smell from the vagina can be, if you do not change the contraceptive every 5 years;
Intrauterine device
  • frequent stressful situations.

Regardless of the cause, if an unpleasant odor is found, you should seek help from a qualified gynecologist.


In order to determine the disease, first of all, you need to pay attention to the nature of the unpleasant odor. It can be like this:

  1. A rotten odor from the vagina often occurs in inflammatory processes, while grayish discharge also appears.
  2. Fish smell is noted in the presence of infectious diseases that are sexually transmitted. In addition, severe itching and burning in the perineum are noted.
  3. Onion odor is noted in the presence of fungal diseases that affect the vaginal mucosa. The aroma may intensify during intercourse or in hot weather.
  4. The smell of urine occurs with insufficient hygiene, as well as with overweight.
  5. An acidic aroma is noted with thrush, it is also accompanied by white secretions of friable consistency.
  6. The smell of acetone is often noted in the presence of a history of diabetes.
Bad smell

Most often, the smell and discharge are the only symptoms that a woman experiences, so it is very important not to ignore them. With some diseases, pain during sexual intercourse, burning sensation during urination, itching, discomfort in the lower abdomen are noted.


In order to determine the nature of the appearance of rotten odor from the vagina, it is necessary to conduct some research:

  • collection of anamnesis, in which the periods of limitation of the onset of the disease, the nature of the discharge and unpleasant odor are clarified;
  • examination on a gynecological chair, which involves a visual assessment of the condition of the mucous membrane of the labia and vagina;
  • swab collection of vaginal discharge for further research;
  • tests to determine or exclude sexually transmitted infections;
  • ultrasound examination of the pelvic organs to determine neoplasms and inflammatory processes.

In addition, general blood and urine tests are prescribed.

Gynecological instruments

Treatment of dysbiosis

If an unpleasant rotten odor from the vagina is associated with dysbiosis, then the treatment is carried out according to the following scheme:

  1. Removing a colony of pathogenic bacteria.
  2. Vaginal population with beneficial microorganisms.

Destruction of pathogenic bacteria is carried out using antibiotics, such as Amoxiclav or Tetracycline.

And microflora is restored using vaginal suppositories with lactobacilli, such as Bifidumbacterin, Bifidin, Apilak, Lactobacterin.

Thrush treatment

Vaginal discharge with a rotten smell of sour milk can be associated with thrush. For its treatment, such means are used:

  1. Local therapy with ointments "Pimafucin", "Candide", "Clotrimazole". They are injected directly into the vagina from 1 to 4 times a day.
  2. Suppositories "Ketoconazole", "Fluconazole" or "Nystatin" are also injected into the vagina 2-3 times a day.
  3. Solutions "Sodium tetraborate", "Miramistin" and "Chlorhexidine" are used to treat external genital organs, as well as for douching.
  4. For recurrent thrush, oral medications are used, such as Mikosist, Diflazon, Diflucan.

Experienced doctors know that relapses of the disease most often occur with reduced immunity, so taking a course of drugs to increase immunity is necessary. For this, such medicines as Cycloferon, Viferon are recommended.

Gardnerellosis treatment

The cause of vaginal discharge with a rotten smell of herring may be due to the presence of gardnerella. Treatment of the disease is carried out in several stages:

  1. Antibacterial therapy, which can be carried out by such oral preparations as Metronidazole, Ornidazole, Clindamycin, and vaginal creams and suppositories - Flagil, Neo-Penotran, Terzhinan. The dosage is prescribed individually, taking into account the characteristics of the patient's body, as well as the course of the disease. It is possible to treat as one antibiotic of your choice, or a combination of several.
  2. Probiotic therapy is necessary to restore normal vaginal microflora. For these purposes, drugs such as Vagilac (capsules), Lactobacterin (tampons), Acylact (candles) are used.

After each course of treatment, a control vaginal smear is prescribed, which checks for the effect of the therapy. Normally, gardnerella should not be detected.

Colpitis Therapy

How to treat rotten odor from the vagina? If it was provoked by colpitis, then therapy should include such moments:

  1. Treatment of the causative agent of the disease. If colpitis is bacterial in nature, then antibiotics are used - Doxycycline, Cephalexin, Azithromycin. If the disease is caused by fungi, then drugs such as Fluconazole, Nystatin are prescribed. With viral pathogens, the drugs Acyclovir and Interferon are used.
  2. To restore the acidic microflora of the vagina and alleviate the condition, vaginal suppositories - "Hexicon", "Iodoxide", "Macmirror" are used.
Vaginal suppositories

With colpitis, women often suffer from a lack of vitamins, so a special diet is recommended that aims to maintain the immune system, as well as taking vitamin complexes in the form of tablets.

Treatment of inflammatory processes

Therapy for diseases of an inflammatory nature is carried out comprehensively - it is necessary to suppress the source of the disease, as well as restore the normal microflora of the vagina. For the treatment of inflammation, broad-spectrum antibiotics are used - Amoxiclav, Klacid, Terzhinan. They can be either in tablet form or in the form of vaginal suppositories. To normalize microflora, local drugs with anti-inflammatory effects are used - suppositories "Geksikon", "Vaginorm", "Vagilak".

After the course of treatment, repeated examinations are prescribed, the purpose of which is to determine the presence or absence of inflammation.

Trichomoniasis Treatment

Therapy for this disease should concern both sexual partners, since it is more likely to be present in both. In this case, any sexual intercourse is prohibited until the completion of treatment.

From the vagina the smell is rotten, what should I do? If it was caused by trichomoniasis, then such drugs are prescribed:

  • "Trichopolum" 1 tablet 4 times a day for 7 days.
  • "Metronidazole" 500 mg 3 times a day for a week.
  • "Klion-D" in the form of vaginal suppositories, 1 each at night for 10 days.

The treatment regimen and dosage are chosen by the attending physician taking into account the clinical picture of the disease. Self-medication is unacceptable.

A disease is considered cured if its pathogen is not detected by repeated examination of the blood and vaginal smear.

Smell and Pregnancy

When carrying a child, the hormonal background of the woman’s body changes, therefore, changing the body aroma and its secretions is considered quite natural. The smell of rotten fish from the vagina, of course, is not the norm in this case, but its flavor changes somewhat:

  1. Hormonal changes in the body make the natural smell somewhat harsh. If it is not accompanied by itching, redness and pain, then this is a variant of the norm.
  2. During pregnancy, a woman's sense of smell worsens, so she can smell an unpleasant odor even where it is not. It is for this reason that the smell of your own genitals may seem unpleasant.
  3. During the gestation, all the forces of the body are aimed at maintaining pregnancy, so the immune system weakens a little. Against this background, various dysbacterioses and vaginosis may occur, a symptom of which may be an unpleasant odor.
  4. Perhaps exacerbation of chronic infections that require timely treatment.

In any case, if you detect an unpleasant odor from the genitals, you must consult a gynecologist conducting a pregnancy to find out a possible diagnosis and subsequent treatment, if necessary.

Possible complications

If timely treatment is not carried out with the smell of rotten fish from the vagina, then in the future such unpleasant consequences may appear:

  • infertility, which can occur with the formation of a large number of adhesions on the uterus, fallopian tubes;
  • cervical erosion;
  • chronic inflammation;
  • endometriosis;
  • diseases of the urinary tract, including kidneys;
  • menstrual irregularities.

These diseases can be manifested by pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen, which can significantly impair the quality of life.

Treatment with folk remedies

Tea tree oil

Diseases that provoke the appearance of vaginal discharge with the smell of rotten fish cannot be cured by resorting only to alternative medicine, but with their help it is possible to significantly alleviate the condition. The most commonly used recipes are:

  1. 20 g of dried wormwood must be infused in 250 ml of boiling water for 3 hours, take the infusion 2 times a day in the amount of 1 tbsp. spoons.
  2. A decoction of 100 g of dried chamomile must be poured with 3 liters of pure water and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. The finished medicine is used to rinse the genitals in the morning and evening.
  3. 40 g of pine buds pour 3 liters of water, cook over low heat for half an hour, and then insist 1 hour. The resulting tool is used for the manufacture of sessile baths.
  4. 20 g of dried crushed root lovage pour 250 ml of boiling water and insist under the lid until completely cooled. After which the finished product must be taken 50 g daily.

In addition, experts recommend using tea tree oil for washing, which must be added to warm water. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects.

Also, washing the external genital organs can be carried out using a weak solution of potassium permanganate or baking soda.

Despite the obvious positive effect of such procedures, before starting, it is necessary to get advice from the attending gynecologist in order not to aggravate the situation. Alternative medicine can only be an addition to the main treatment.

Preventive measures

Intimate hygiene

In order to avoid the appearance of a rotten smell from the vagina, it is recommended to adhere to such simple rules:

  1. Use condoms for sexual intercourse.
  2. Have one permanent sexual partner.
  3. Wash genitals at least 1 time per day using intimate hygiene products.
  4. Give preference to underwear made from natural fabrics, and also refuse to constantly wear strings.
  5. Limit the use of deodorants and other indelible cosmetics in the intimate area.
  6. Stop using daily as well as scented pads.
  7. Strengthen genital care during menstruation.
  8. At least 1 time in 6 months to undergo a routine examination by a gynecologist.

In addition, it is important to monitor weight and prevent obesity.


It is important to understand that self-medication with such a problem as an unpleasant odor from the vagina can only do harm, since it is impossible to make the correct diagnosis on your own. The treatment of any gynecological problems should be handled only by a qualified gynecologist after conducting laboratory tests and making the correct diagnosis.


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