Aunt Vadge: my vagina tastes and smells bad, but I don’t have an infection

Hi Aunt Vadge, 

My vagina tastes and smells bad. It’s not like a fishy smell, but it’s an “off” smell. I also have a weird white clumpy discharge when I have intercourse. I went to the gyno, and everything was fine, but I am wondering why my vagina is experiencing this. The problem has stayed the same throughout.

I have a bad diet.

It’s kind of embarrassing and it gives me anxiety. I would prefer not to send a picture, but if needs be I could. Please let me know.

Age: 20
Country: United States

Dear Anxious,

You sound like you could use some diet help to get your microbes back on track, which I think you’ll find clears up your problem pretty fast. You are right to blame your diet – the gut is the home of all of your bacteria, so when that is off, your vagina goes off too. It’s all connected.

Here are my top tips for a clean, delicious vag.

Rule One

Scoff down a lot of alive fermented foods – at a health-food store, find live sauerkraut, yoghurt, kombucha, kefir (milk and water), kimchi, tempeh, and have three serves per day. It must be alive, though – check. Pasteurised foods from the supermarket are dead and useless. You can make your own cheaply at home – look online for recipes. They are everywhere.

Rule Two

Cut out food that feeds bad germs – that is sugary booze, fatty foods, sugary foods and drinks, lots of starchy carbohydrates like bread, pasta, potatoes. Completely cut out soda/fizzy drink, juice, and energy drinks. Red wine is ok.

Rule Three

Introduce foods that feed good germs – lots of fibre from vegetables, especially onions and garlic – every meal should be 1/3 colourful vegetables, 1/3 lean protein, and 1/3 wholegrains. Potatoes don’t count as a vegetable in this context.

Rule Four

Drink plenty of water to keep your bowel hydrated, so you poop regularly. That is, without exercise or summer heat, about two litres per day – this can include herbal teas without caffeine.

Rule Five

Eat fibre so you poop regularly (clearing out bad germs). Add one teaspoon of plain raw psyllium husk to a very large glass of water and skull it back every day. The water is essential, since the psyllium husk absorbs water, and if you skip the water, it will turn to concrete in your guts and you won’t poop for a week.

Optional Rule Six

Add in a biofilm busting enzyme treatment (like InterFase) to kill any biofilms in your gut that could be preventing good bacteria from surviving.

The rest

You are going to have to make changes, and they are going to hurt, but you will feel way, way better very soon. I bet your bowels are pretty yuck too, but you will quickly find that they regulate, stop smelling so bad, and you just feel better with less bloating and gas and so on.

Once your insides have re-regulated themselves, your vagina will follow suit – to give it a booster, you can do a douche with lavender oil and warm water – 2 drops of lavender essential oil (100 per cent) in one cup of warm water. Use a douche or a plastic syringe cannister – ask at the pharmacy.

Additionally, if you can afford a good vaginally-oriented probiotic capsule, you can take them orally, two per day for the whole bottle. You can also try adding vaginal probiotics or even using milk kefir vaginally, with a tampon soaked, for a few hours every day for two weeks. It can really help.

Changing your diet is hard to do, but you need to sort your gut bacteria out, or your vagina will always be a bit gross, and you just can’t go through life like that. It’s not ok. Start off slow, but eventually just cut out the crap food you are eating and replace it with food that isn’t poisonous. You know what to do.

Remember your body will kick up a fuss to start with, but keep at it, and after a few weeks, it will settle down and things will readjust. Write back and let me know how you go and if you get stuck on anything.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge