What Causes Menstrual Blood To Smell Different?

6 Answers

Samantha Mitchell Profile
A lot of women worry about the smell of menstrual blood for a number of reasons. Up until very recently, it was always taboo to talk about menstruation and so for many people there were only ever negative connotations associated with it. This meant that the subject was always kept hidden and women tended to make sure that nobody ever knew that they were having their period. Naturally, this led to certain manufacturers jumping onto the band wagon and producing artificial products that are designed to hide the smell of menstruation, further reinforcing the idea that it is a negative thing.

Luckily, the world seems to have woken up to the fact that half of the population actually exist and what they experience is valid, but the worry and embarrassment that people may be able to smell you when you are menstruating has carried over, even though it could simply be your imagination.

Sometimes, of course, the smell may be stronger than at other times, and this could be an indication that you have an infection. Bacterial vaginosis is a common infection and can result from there being an imbalance in vaginal pH levels. Menstrual blood has a different pH to what you normally experience so if your bacterial levels are on the edge, menstruating could tip the balance and trigger an infection.

The irony is that many of the products that are sold to make women confident that they don’t smell can upset vaginal pH and so can be responsible for creating this bacterial imbalance and will, therefore, create a problem that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. 

Even soaps can cause these problems, so the only thing that you really need to keep clean, healthy and smell free is water.

If you believe that you already have an infection, then a visit to your doctor will be able to sort it out quickly and easily.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The site Tkendall gave you a year ago gets very technical in spots and wanders off on a lot of tangents -- some of them very interesting, but not directly related to your question.

The short answer is, menstrual blood may smell differently from one woman than from another, and it may smell differently from the same woman during different months.

The coppery smell is because the blood being shed contains iron, which smells coppery to us.  This is why menstruating women often take vitamins with iron, or iron supplements.  The blood is not dirty, despite Mel173's answer.  It is entirely clean while in the uterus (unless there is a serious pre-existing infection such as PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), and only picks up germs when exposed to the outside world via the various bacteria which naturally belong in the vagina, and other germs or fungi which occur naturally on human skin.

Other scents which may add to the smell of menstrual blood may be due to your endocrine system -- in other words, the fluctuations of your hormones.  If you have a vaginal infection such as yeast or e. Coli, that also may change the scent of your menstrual blood.

But mostly, it's due to what Jodie-Rose told you:  It's just the smell of blood.  Tampons prevent the blood from reaching the air, and therefore should not let any of the scent of blood escape.  Don't bother using "deodorizing" tampons -- the chemical is not necessary, and it's never good to leave any chemical in long contact with the delicate tissues of the human vagina.  

Vaginal deodorants of any kind expose you to chemicals in a sensitive area.  You're best off with a gentle soap and water on the exterior of your genitals only!  If you think your vagina is "dirty" inside, perhaps you have a vaginal infection.  Don't try to douche it away -- go see your doctor.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Smell in menstrual blood is very agonizing. It can be due to old blood and bacterial or yeast infections. Bacteria like E.oli can be transmitted from anus to vagina because both parts are very close to each other. Ladies who wash their anus first after passing stool and then vagina are more prone to develop bacterial infection.
One thing which is more important to mention is that blood has its own odor and some ladies are very sensitive to this odor and assume that other will also feel. So, improve  your hygienic conditions, take balance diet and drink pineapple juice or visit to doctor for diagnosis of any infection.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I've noticed that ovulation (for me anyway) has a sweet smell and menstruation/blood smells a little coppery and becomes stronger towards the end of the period. I wouldn't say it's an "odour".
Eating dark greens like collards, kale (boil for 9 minutes, then toss with fresh lemon and toasted fennel seeds- my fave) and such & dried herbs like sage that contain Vitamin K have helped me with excessive blood loss.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Your menstrual cycle shouldnt have an odor I believe I havent had mine but I know a lot about it I would consult it with your doctor
Mel Amdur Profile
Mel Amdur answered
I think that the Odor is the smell of the dirty blood coming out of your system, you need to make sure that you wash there very often.

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