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Smelly Vagina: The Result of Urinary Tract Infection?

Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated May 18, 2023

Smelly Vagina: The Result of Urinary Tract Infection?

Vaginal health and talking about women’s sex and reproductive organs is considered a taboo. It is a very important matter, which should be talked about often, given there are so many misconceptions around it. Did you know that vaginal odor differs from one woman to another? Also, vaginal odor depends a lot on our diet. Also, do you know what Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is, why it occurs, and whether or not is it responsible for making your vagina smell? Learn the factors that affect vaginal odor and whether vaginal odor caused by UTI here.

What is Vaginal Odor?

A healthy vagina will have a certain smell. However, like popular culture would like you to believe, it is not all roses and sunshine. Your vaginal smell is  prone to change, depending on your lifestyle, hygiene habits, and of course, what you eat. However, given your vagina is home to various bacteria (yes, and that’s why vaginal hygiene is extremely important), various combinations of that, or even an infection, can lead to different vaginal smells, some of which are not pleasant.

Typically, the vaginal smell is prone to be coppery or metallic which is considered normal. The reason for the metallic smell is the iron content in the blood. You can experience it even more strongly during your menstruation. However, it disappears soon after. If it doesn’t and lingers on for a long time, it’s best to consult a doctor.

What is UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)?

Now that we have established the concept of vaginal odor, let’s move on to UTI is.

UTI is a common condition that happens when bacteria enters your urinary system. It refers to a burning sensation you will experience while you pee. It can also lead to urinating more than usual. However, you will not experience any itching, which is what makes it different from vaginal yeast infection.

Here are the symptoms of UTI that you need to know:

  • Urine smells more foul than usual
  • Frequent trips to the bathrom, especially in the middle of the night
  • Discolored urine which will have remnants of blood, causing it to be slightly pink or red
  • Pressure and/or pain in the lower back and abdomen
  • Fever, nausea, and chills
  • Pelvis pain
  • Here are the symptoms that DO NOT show when you have a UTI and are the signs of a fungal infection instead:

    • Pain during sex or urination
    • Odorless vaginal discharge
    • Itchiness, especially in and around the vulva
    • Swelling in the area that’s affected

    UTI is extremely common and nothing to be embarrassed about. Taking the right medication over a few days will help address the issue.

    Is vaginal odor caused by UTI?

    UTI is caused by bacteria, which is also a reason for vaginal odor. Thus, a UTI can very well be the reason why your vagina may have a certain odor.

    One way to recognize whether or not your vaginal odor is caused by UTI is to identify the smell itself. If your vagina smells like fish, also due to your urine smelling the same, it’s because of the UTI. Other indications include symptoms of UTI, such as a burning sensation while peeing, mild pain, etc.

    How to get rid of the vaginal odor caused by UTI?

    Let’s begin with what you should not do at all. Do not spray deodorants down there. Avoid using vaginal sprays too. Your pubic area is already very sensitive, and the sensitivity increases when you have UTI. Deodorants and sprays will only aggravate the issue and make it even worse. Also, avoid using scented feminine products.

    However, what you can do to get rid of the UTI and resultant vaginal odour is listed below:

    • Wash your vagina regularly
    • Drink lots of fluids
    • Make sure to pee before and after having sex
    • Make frequent trips to the bathroom
    • Cranberry juice, the sugar-free version, is known to prevent UTIs
    • In case you are diabetic, keep your sugar levels in control
    • Avoid using hot baths or hot tubs

    Learn more about Other Women’s Health Issues here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated May 18, 2023

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