Yeast infections often may have absolutely no smell at all. If you have a more severe infection, you may also have a cottage cheese like discharge from the vagina. This whitish ooze is simply yeast and it can smell like fermenting yeast--as you would also smell in fermenting beer or bread. Yeast, if it has a smell, will smell like the yeast you buy from the store to leaven bread; or, it could smell like beer to some extent. But, if you are noticing a vaginal fishy smell, this is highly indicative of bacterial vaginosis. Yeast infections will not cause a fishy vaginal odor.
Bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections can occur at the same time. So, if you seem to have all the classic signs of a yeast infections, and you also have a foul or fishy vaginal odor, this can mean you’ve got two forms of vaginitis. Also, trichomoniasis, a common sexually transmitted disease (STD), can also cause a foul vaginal odor. So, if you have had some risky sexual activity lately, your bad vaginal odor could be due to this STD.
To help better understand what your symptoms mean, the following research will discuss the various symptoms of common forms of vaginitis. But, if you have a cottage cheese like vaginal discharge, and you have no vaginal odor--or a slight “yeast” smell from the vagina--you may just have a yeast infection.
Vaginal Odor Research
One study discussed the various symptoms of common causes of vaginitis; one of which was Candida. The study was published in the journal American Family Physician [83.7 (2011): 807-815]. As far as the symptoms of vaginal yeast infections go, the study cited thick, white vaginal discharge; burning, pain during urination, pain during sexual intercourse, frequent itchiness, and a lack of vaginal odor as indicators of a yeast infection. Vaginitis that carries an odor was caused by trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis. Both trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis would cause a “fishy” smelling vagina. Also,bacterial vaginosis will often present with a homogenous, thin vaginal discharge. Thus we see most yeast infections will have no smell. The following chart was taken from the study and relates the primary symptoms of common vaginal infections.
Another study that discussed the most prevalent vaginal infections and the odor they cause was published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada [37.3 (2015): 266-274]. The study said that women with just vaginal Candidiasis would have a negative “whiff test,” which is checking for a classic “fishy” smell. The study stated bacterial vaginosis will cause there to be a fish smell from the vaginal fluid. As far as trichomoniasis goes, common symptoms include an increase in vaginal discharge that can be yellow, green, and frothy in appearance; and, there can also be a foul odor. Thus, women with vaginal yeast infections usually do not have any smell associated with them; and, a fishy smell means you probably have bacterial vaginosis.
Another study also related that vaginal Candidiasis often has no odor associated with it. The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine [355.12 (2006): 1244-1252]. The study stated that vaginal yeast infections are associated with a cottage cheese like discharge and are without the presence of a smell. Bacterial vaginosis is associated with a white or grey, thin, fishy smelling discharge. And, trichomoniasis is associated with a heavy, yellow discharge that can have a foul smell.
A final study that talked about yeast infection smell was published in the journal American Family Physician [70.11 (2004): 2125-32]. The study stated that a negative “whiff test,” that checks for the presence of a fishy smell, is one way to help diagnose Candida infections. Again, the two other vaginal infections the study stated can cause an odor included bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis. The symptoms of trichomoniasis included a foul smelling, frothy vaginal discharge and irritation of the vagina. For bacterial vaginosis, the study listed the symptoms as a homogeneous, milky discharge that sticks to the vaginal wall, and a foul fishy smell from the discharge.
Bacterial Vaginosis: A Common Female Problem
If you smell a “fishy” odor and you do not see any white discharge or white patches of yeast in the vaginal canal, you probably have the most common type of vaginal infection: bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is a condition that occurs when undesirable bacteria proliferate and dominate the vaginal microbiota. The most noticeable symptom of bacterial vaginosis is an unpleasant odor; this odor will smell very “fishy” and be much stronger than normal odor associated with the vagina.
You can have both a yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis at the same time. If you have all the symptoms of a yeast infection and you also smell a foul fishy odor emanating from the vagina or from vaginal discharge, you could have both types of infection. The yeast infection is due to a species of yeast in the genus Candida. The bacterial vaginosis smell is coming probably from the most common bacterial culprit: Gardnerella vaginallis.
Gardnerella vaginallis gets its genus name from the researcher, Gardner, who originally discovered this bacteria in 1955, published an interesting study on the subject. Gardner’s paper was published in The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (May 1955, Volume 69, Issue 5, Pages 962–976). The study found that about 92% of 138 cases of bacterial vaginosis were due to a specific strain of bacteria Gardner called “Haemophilus vaginalis.” Haemophilus vaginalis later came to be known as Gardnerella vaginalis. Thus, if you have a bad fishy smell coming from your vagina, you probably have this bacteria Gardner discovered overgrowing down there.
Candida Hub has a whole article dedicated to helping women determine if they have bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection. If you’d like to learn a bit more about these two female ailments you can check out this article: Yeast Infection or Bacterial Vaginosis
Trichomoniasis Infections Versus Candida Infections
Candida and BV aside, you may actually have a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) known as Trichomoniasis that can produce a malodorous smell. This diseases is caused by the protozoa Trichomonas vaginalis. Often, Trichomoniasis is asymptomatic; meaning many women and men who are infected show no symptoms. But in those cases where symptoms are present, about half of the women who report symptoms have a foul vaginal odor. Also about half of women who are symptomatic will also see a vaginal discharge of varying color. In a few cases, about 10%, this vaginal discharge will appear frothy. To learn more about this STD and how it compares to yeast infections, check out: Trichomoniasis or Yeast Infection.
At Home Self Diagnosis Help
It is not unusual for a woman who is not familiar with yeast infections to misdiagnose her condition as a yeast infection. But if you came to this site because there is a strong “fishy” odor down there and you are wondering if you have a yeast infection, the answer is “probably not.” However, there is a great way to tell if you have Candida affecting your body; maybe you don’t have a vaginal yeast infection but you always seem to be sick and “tired all over.” If this is the case you may have yeast overgrowing in your digestive system.
If you’d like to get a excellent evaluation of your potential for having a vaginal or systemic yeast problem, Candida Hub provides two different tests all based closely on the tests developed by the medical pioneer, the late Dr. William Crook. Dr. Crook had extensive experience treating both men and women who suffered from some form of Candidiasis. Often, there problem went far beyond just a simple vaginal or penile yeast infection; their whole health and life was being negatively influenced by yeast. You can check out the quick or comprehensive tests and get a better understanding of your condition here: two yeast infection tests.
Naturally Cure Bacterial Vaginosis
One woman, Kristina J. Tomlin, also suffered from recurrent bacterial vaginosis (BV). She also had an unpleasant vaginal odor and this began to ruin many facets of her life. She tried several over the counter creams without any success. Even going to the doctor to get prescription antibiotics only seemed to solve her problem for a short period of time. It is known that about 77% of all women who treat BV with such drugs will develop the condition again in a short amount of time.
Tomlin did however find an all natural solution to recurrent BV, and ended her problem for good. Her book explains everything you need to know to do the same thing she did. Her book also comes with an 8 week, 100% money back guarantee as well. If you feel like this book was unsatisfactory, you can quickly get your money back. You can check out Kristina Tomlin’s website to purchase her book and also you can learn about her own personal struggle with BV. The book is available via a downloadable PDF so you can get on track to optimal vaginal health almost immediately if the book seems like a good investment to you!
Also taking antibiotics, as the yeast infection test questions suggest, greatly raise your risk of developing a yeast infection. If you have tried prescription antibiotic drugs to treat BV, and you now have a yeast infection, these antibiotics likely helped trigger your current yeast infection. It is a well known scientific fact that antibiotics are a primary culprit of instigating a problem with Candida yeast.
12 Hour Natural Cure for Yeast Infections
If you are looking for a powerful, all-natural, and safe treatment for even the most severe Candida problems, you may want to know about Sarah Summer. Summer herself suffered from a severe vaginal yeast infection that her doctor said was simply untreatable. The yeast had formed a thick biofilm in her vagina and also sent tendrils into the vaginal tissue to establish itself. The yeast actually formed a mold in her vagina.
Summer found that regular treatments for Candidiasis only dealt with the symptoms of her problem; never really getting to the root causes that predisposed her to infection. Once she dealt with the root causes of her vaginal yeast infection, she found that she was able to finally get rid of it and keep it gone for good. Her natural solution for vaginal Candidiasis worked so well, the people who tried it got rid of their infection in about 12 hours. And, as many of you may know, the important part was the yeast infection stayed gone--no evil recurrence ever again!
Sarah Summer published her book via a branch of the U.S. based company Keynetics Incorporated. She also wants to assure those who may feel unsure about the investment and offers an 8 week, 100% money back guarantee. If for any reason you feel that the book is not worth your investment, she will refund all your money. And, it is a digital downloadable book in PDF format and you can keep it even after you get your refund.
If this sounds like something you’d like to know more about, you can visit Sarah Summer’s website and learn about her story and read testimonies from others who have successfully applied her revolutionary techniques. She also can be contacted via email at the bottom of her website; she always is a great resource for my questions!
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21524046 -- Hainer, Barry L., and Maria V. Gibson. "Vaginitis: diagnosis and treatment." Am Fam Physician 83.7 (2011): 807-815. Full Text Available Here
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1701-2163(15)30316-9 -- van Schalkwyk, Julie, et al. "Vulvovaginitis: Screening for and Management of Trichomoniasis, Vulvovaginal Candidiasis, and Bacterial Vaginosis." Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada 37.3 (2015): 266-274. PDF Available Here, PubMed
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMcp053720 -- Eckert, Linda O. "Acute vulvovaginitis." New England Journal of Medicine 355.12 (2006): 1244-1252. PubMed
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15606061 -- Owen, Marion K., and TIMOTHY L. Clenney. "Management of vaginitis." Am Fam Physician 70.11 (2004): 2125-32. Full Text Available Here
- http://www.ajog.org/article/0002-9378(55)90095-8/abstract -- Gardner, Herman L., and Charles D. Dukes. "Haemophilus vaginalis vaginitis." American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 69.5 (1955): 962-976.
- http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v6i1.54 -- Diagnosis of vaginal infection in pregnancy. Health SA Gesondheid; Vol 6, No 1 (2001), 12-20
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CMR.17.4.794-803.2004 -- Trichomoniasis. Clinical Microbiology Reviews (2004 Oct; 17(4): 794–803).
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