Read below about vulvovaginal odor, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your vulvovaginal odor from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

This symptom can also be referred to as:
Bad smell from vagina

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Vulvovaginal Odor

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced vulvovaginal odor. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Bacterial Vaginosis

    Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an infection caused when too much of certain bacteria change the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina. BV is not a sexually transmitted infection and is not caused by poor hygiene (in fact, excessive washing of the vagina may increase the risk). Its symptoms are usually mild, consisting primarily of a white-gray vaginal discharge that has a fishy smell.

    5-7 days antibiotic treatment. May resolve on its own.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal itch or burning, vulvovaginal odor, bloody vaginal discharge, white/gray vaginal discharge, thick vaginal discharge
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Yeast Infection

    Yeast infections are caused by a fungus called "Candida." Candida is the scientific name for yeast that lives almost everywhere, including in the human body. Typically, our immune system keeps it under control, but if you take antibiotics or gets sick, the fungus can multiply and cause an infection. In this case, it is happening in the vagina.

    50% of women have relapses within 2 months, and 9% have more than 4 episodes per year. For those, maintenance therapy is possible.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal itch or burning, white/gray vaginal discharge, thick vaginal discharge, vaginal pain, vulvovaginal redness
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

    Vulvovaginal Odor Checker

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  3. 3.Normal Case of Vaginal Discharge

    Vaginal discharge is a common issue many women experience and is likely nothing to worry about. Your vaginal discharge can change depending on your menstrual cycle. Recent initiation or a change in contraceptives can also cause a temporary change in discharge.

    A few days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal discharge, mild vaginal discharge, white/gray vaginal discharge, clear vaginal discharge, severe vaginal discharge
    Symptoms that always occur with normal case of vaginal discharge:
    vaginal discharge
    Symptoms that never occur with normal case of vaginal discharge:
    vaginal itch or burning, painful urination, severe vaginal discharge, vaginal pain, abdominal pain (stomach ache), bleeding after sex, missed period, vulvovaginal odor
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  4. 4.Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

    Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female genital structures like the uterus, fallopian tube, ovary, and the surrounding abdominal wall. It is typically caused by N. Gonorrhoeae or C. Trachomatis.

    Prognosis after treatment within 3 days of symptom onset is great (88%-100%). Those that are hospitalized, older, or have had gynecological surgery have a worse time with this infection.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, abdominal pain or unusual vaginal discharge, vaginal discharge, nausea or vomiting, vaginal bleeding, pelvis pain
    Symptoms that always occur with pelvic inflammatory disease:
    fever, abdominal pain or unusual vaginal discharge
    Urgency:
    In-person visit

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Vulvovaginal Odor

  • Q.When was your last menstrual period?
  • Q.Are you sexually active?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Do you feel pain when you urinate?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our vulvovaginal odor symptom checker to find out more.

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Vulvovaginal Odor Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced vulvovaginal odor have also experienced:

    • 26% Vaginal Discharge
    • 15% Foul - Smelling Vaginal Odor
    • 8% Yellow Pus Vaginal Discharge
  • People who have experienced vulvovaginal odor were most often matched with:

    • 75% Bacterial Vaginosis
    • 25% Yeast Infection
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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