Top 10 Reasons for Foul Smelling Vaginal Discharge

By on October 10, 2013

Vaginal secretions are common in women. But sometimes they come across with bad smelling vaginal discharges. The most common reason for foul odor vaginal secretion is infection.

The fishy smelling is perceptible right after sexual intercourse. This may accompany with irritation or itching of vagina. The foul odor of vaginal discharge is caused by numerous reasons such as:

Bacterial Vaginosis:

Foul Smelling Vaginal DischargeOver growth of bacteria or other organisms in the vaginal area leads to bacterial vaginosis. Generally, vagina contains some bacteria at the genital area but handles only certain amount in order to maintain healthy condition and chemical balance.

If that bacterium reproduces vastly then pain, irritation and bad odor secretions will occur. Bacterial vaginosis should be treated by the gynecologists or doctors.

Untreated bacterial vaginosis leads to so many complications like having pre-mature babies and sexually transmitted diseases. Diagnosis can be done by urinalysis and pelvic exam.

Candida Infection:

Candida is the type of yeast, which is another common cause for foul smelling vaginal discharge. In most cases, because of poor hygiene the genital area is proneto the growth of candida which leads to infection.

Foul Smelling Vaginal Discharge - Candida Infection

If infected, then any fabric or cloth rubbing against genital area worsens the condition even more. This may also occur due to allergic reactions of skin to particular chemicals in your detergent or soap.


Gonorrhea is the bacterial infection caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhea infects the cervix of women. This is most general and common kind of sexually transmitted disease. It is transmitted from person to person by sexual contact.

Gonorrhea infection is treated easily and quick. If untreated, it leads to many severe health complications like infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, epididymitis, ectopic pregnancy etc.


Chlamydia is also a bacterial infection and sexually transmitted disease by bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. It transmits from person to person and even from mother to her child through vaginal delivery resulting in blindness, eye infection, etc. If untreated leads to several diseases along with foul smelling vaginal discharge.

Oral contraceptives:

Foul Smelling Vaginal Discharge - Oral contraceptives

Having oral contraceptives during pregnancy will lead to teratogenic effect on fetus. Teratogen is a substance which causes birth defects. The severity of birth defects is based on level of exposure and stage of pregnancy.

Harsh feminine hygiene products:

Cleaning products for vaginal odor reduction also can irritate the cervix and vagina causing fishy smell vaginal secretions.

The products which cause foul odor include strong-scented soaps, feminine cloth wipes, douches, feminine sprays, bath salts, bath oils etc. some of the women are more sensitive to soaps and cleaning products.


Herpes is the most common sexually transmitted disease which causes bad smelling vaginal discharge. It is caused by viruses’ herpes simplextype-1 and herpes simplex type-2. Herpes of one type results in genital herpes and the other with cold sores.

Foul Smelling Vaginal Discharge - Herpes

In the beginning stage of this disease herpes may have vague symptoms like headache; fever etc. there will be sensitivity, pain, irritation on the pelvis or cervix.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease:

Pelvic inflammatory disease could refer to different types of infections of female genital organs due to miscarriage, abortion, child birth, an intrauterine disease, etc. It affects the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes and nearby tissues. This disease is most common in sexually active and young women.

Trichomonas infection:

Foul Smelling Vaginal Discharge - Trichomonas infection

This infection is caused by a tiny parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. It is a sexually transmitted disease. In Trichomoniasis, trichomonas vaginitis affects the genital part of women results in bad odor vaginal discharge.


Cervicitis is the condition of inflammation of cervix or vagina which causes foul odor vaginal discharge.

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