First off, your vagina is an organ (not a flower) and odor is in no way a sign of being “dirty.” Vaginal odor is complicated and probably different for every person because it’s a combination of odors produced by the byproducts of different vaginal microbes and the odor created when the bacteria from the vagina mix with other fluids or bacteria nearby. Even if you're staying away from feminine hygiene products and cleansers, having protected sex, and have plenty of protective microbes in your vaginal microbiome, there are lots of other factors that may lead to odor down there besides a vaginal infection.

For example, a mixture of genital sweat, discharge and urine can cause an odor that might resemble general body odorSex, lubricants, condoms, the digestive system, and your urogenital tract can also influence your vagina’s odor. Determining what’s behind a particular smell can be a bit like playing Whac-A-Mole, but sharing your concerns with your doctor (along with any context around your health and daily routine) is a good place to start.

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