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Why Do Periods Smell?



5 min read

Thinx Periodical Why Do Periods Smell

by Team Thinx | 06/24/2023

Period odor is a common concern for many menstruating individuals. While some odor during menstruation is normal, sometimes it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. In this article, we'll explore the common causes of menstrual odor, how to get rid of it, and how to keep things clean down there. 

causes of menstrual odor:

You may be wondering, "why do I have a strong odor down there?" Menstrual odor can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor hygiene, hormonal changes, and menstrual blood itself. When menstrual blood comes into contact with air, it can start to break down and produce a smell. 

Hormonal changes during menstruation can also cause an increase in vaginal discharge, which can contribute to an abnormal vaginal odor. Practicing poor hygiene while on your period, such as not changing pads, tampons, or period underwear frequently enough, can allow bacteria to grow and produce an unpleasant odor or even a vaginal infection.

role of hormones in menstrual odor

Hormones play a crucial role in the menstrual cycle and can significantly impact menstrual odor. The level of estrogen and progesterone in the body fluctuates during menstruation, which can affect vaginal pH levels. A sudden increase in pH levels can create an environment in which bacteria can thrive and multiply, leading to an unpleasant odor. Hormonal changes can also cause an increase in vaginal discharge, which leads to a strong vaginal smell. 

how poor hygiene contributes to odor

Poor hygiene can contribute to menstrual odor by allowing bacteria to grow and thrive. When menstruation products are not changed frequently enough, bacteria can accumulate and produce an unpleasant smell. It's important to change products frequently and wash the vaginal area regularly to prevent bacterial growth.

how to get rid of “period smell”

Fortunately, there are several practical tips and remedies to alleviate menstrual odor. Clearly, keeping things clean down there is crucial. We recommend changing menstruation products frequently, washing the vaginal area regularly (with unscented soap!), and avoiding tight clothing. Additionally, menstruation products with odor control technology, such as Thinx, can help control odors throughout the day.

role of diet in menstrual odor

Diet can also play a role in menstrual odor. Certain foods, such as spicy or heavily processed foods, can increase vaginal odor. On the other hand, foods rich in chlorophyll, such as leafy greens, can help neutralize abnormal odors.

menstrual blood smell

Another reason why periods smell is because of the menstrual blood itself. Menstrual blood has a unique metallic smell due to the presence of iron in it. This smell can be especially noticeable when the period blood comes into contact with air. The good news is that this distinct odor is perfectly normal and nothing to be alarmed about.

It's important to note that the smell of menstrual blood can vary throughout the menstrual cycle. For example, during the beginning of the period, the period blood may have a stronger smell due to the presence of fresh blood. As the period progresses, the smell may become less noticeable as the blood begins to clot and become older.

maintaining proper hygiene

Maintaining a good hygiene routine is essential to keep yourself feeling fresh and clean during your period. Here are some tips to help you maintain good hygiene during your period:

  1. change your pads, tampons, and period underwear regularly: When you're on your period, it's essential to change your menstruation products regularly. Leaving tampons, pads, or period underwear on for an extended period can create a moist environment that is conducive to bacterial growth.

  2. wash your lower areas regularly: Keeping your down-there area clean is essential during your period. Regularly washing your external lower areas with warm water and mild, unscented soap can help remove bacteria and prevent odor. 

  3. use unscented period products: Scented period products may seem promising in theory, but they can actually irritate the sensitive skin in the lower areas and cause more harm than good.

  4. wear breathable clothing: Wearing breathable clothing can help prevent moisture buildup and odor. Cotton, for example, is a breathable material that allows air to circulate, which can help keep your lower areas dry and reduce the risk of odor.

  5. avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes: Tight-fitting clothing can trap moisture and heat, leading to bacterial growth and odor. Wearing loose-fitting clothing during your period can help prevent odor and keep you feeling fresh.

help control odor on your period with Thinx

Menstrual odor is a common issue that many people experience during their periods. With a little effort and attention to hygiene, you can help control your period odor. Thinx also offers a range of period underwear that can help control odor, giving you even more peace of mind during your period. By following good hygiene practices and caring for your body, you can manage menstrual odor and feel confident during your period.

At Thinx, we strive to provide our readers with the most up-to-date, objective, and research-based information. Our content is crafted by experienced contributors who ground their work in research and data. Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked within the text or listed at the bottom to lead readers to the original source.


Healthline. Why Does My Period Smell? 

Medical News Today. What Does Period Blood Smell Like and Why. 

Harvard Health. Why Do I Smell Certain Odors That Aren't Real? 

Women's Health Magazine. What Can I Do About Post-Period Smell?

by Team Thinx

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