Vagina HealthSymptoms & Diseases

Why My Vagina Is Smelling Fishy

If you notice a fishy odor from your vagina or vaginal discharge, it may be caused by sweating, a bacterial infection, or even your genetics. The most common is cause is vaginitis, an infection or inflammation of the vagina.

The odor of your vagina varies throughout your menstrual cycle. If you are concerned about your vaginal odor, or experiencing any unusual discharge, burning, itching, or redness, you should see your OB-GYN. They can perform an exam and determine if you need antibiotics or other prescription medication.

Other Symptoms You May Have

You may notice a fishy odor when you use the restroom or after you have sex. You may also notice the odor changes to a fishy smell after you sweat. If you have additional symptoms like unusual discharge or itching, burning, or redness, see your doctor.


Clear or slightly cloudy vaginal discharge is normal and healthy. But if you experience discharge that’s itchy or irritating, it may be a symptom of an infection. See your doctor if your discharge is grayish white, greenish yellow, or white and resembles cottage cheese in consistency.

Fishy Smelling Urine

Fishy odor from your urine can be caused by a urinary tract infection (UTI). The bacteria from the infection can contaminate the urine and cause a distinct fishy smell. Other symptoms may include urine that is cloudy, burning sensation when urinating, or other mild pain when you pee.

Certain foods and conditions can also change the smell of your urine. See your doctor if you are concerned.

Fishy Odor After Sex

A fishy odor you notice after having sex is usually a symptom of vaginitis. Having sex can worsen the infection. If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of vaginitis, see your doctor and avoid penile-vaginal intercourse until your symptoms improve.

Itching, Burning, or Irritation

You may notice itching, burning, or irritation in addition to the fishy odor. You may also experience mild pain or pain during sex or when you urinate. Let your doctor know if you experience any of these symptoms.

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