Improve smell of my vagina

Q. I was wondering if there was any way I can improve the way I taste and smell 'down there'. I know that for the most part, it is the way it is, but I'd like to eliminate any factors that aren't doing me any good. I guess I'd like to feel less self-conscious about it.

A. The smell of a woman's vagina is unique and, for many, intoxicatingly erotic. Historically, women have been known to add a dab of their vaginal secretions to perfume in order to attract the opposite sex. "The Story of ‘V’: a natural history of female sexuality" describes it as, "Rich, sweet, deep, creamy and aromatic vaginal incense." Why is it then that the vagina also carries the reputation of giving off a fishy odor?

A woman's odor to a large extent is dictated by the delicate balance of bacteria in the vagina. Lactobacilli, the same bacteria found in yogurt, reside in the vagina - and as long as the acid/alkaline ratio remains stable, they will exist harmoniously, also helping prevent other bacteria from building up and over-colonizing. Moreover, it improves the woman’s defense against the pathogens in sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STDs/STIs).

According to "Woman: an Intimate Geography", a normal healthy vagina should smell slightly sweet and slightly pungent, somewhat like "the lactic smell of yogurt". It should also be fairly acidic, with a pH level somewhere in between coffee and a lemon; interestingly, the right mark is that of red wine.

When the conditions for a healthy vaginal flora go awry, the good bacteria can't suppress the host of bad bacteria from running rampant and secreting foul smelling by-products. Some women are naturally prone to mild imbalances of vaginal bacteria, while others might develop conditions such as Bacterial Vaginosis or Yeast Infections - treatable by antibiotics and leave-in treatments respectively.

What causes such imbalances? For some women, it's merely a matter of genetic predisposition, while for others it's a side effect of medication. Menstruation will also alter a woman's unique odor.

A vagina's exposure to foreign bodily fluids is also to blame: semen is incredibly alkaline and can temporarily cause a bacterial imbalance, sometimes lasting for hours. Also, exposure to unfamiliar semen from Multiple Partners only magnifies the problem. Lesbians aren't out of the woods either; exchanging vaginal fluids with a same sex partner can also impact flora.

What to do about it:

    1. Practice proper hygiene. This involves bathing or showering regularly, using clean Sex Toys and vaginal Birth Control methods.

    2. Avoid using scented tampons or soap. They may make you smell nice initially, but they can actually upset vaginal flora. Douching is definitely a no-no.

    3. Wear clean, breathable, non-restrictive undergarments, particularly cotton. Avoid synthetics such as polyester or nylon panties: they may look great on but they're also efficient at trapping moisture, bacteria and sweat.

    4. Always use Condoms – especially if you have multiple partners.

    5. After using the washroom, always wipe from front to back (towards the anus, not away from it).

    6. Eat a balanced, nutritionally rich diet (include yogurt) and avoid too much sugar.

You can use flavored lubes

You can use flavored lubes as well. My personal favorites are Strawberry and Pina Colada. Cherry has too much "bite."

vaginal odors

I have found that my inherent caution of the smell of a woman's "beewee" can be minimized by having 3-5 stiff drinks prior to tasting.. It really changes the entire situation (g)