What is Your Vagina Meant to Taste Like?

For some people, their vulva can smell like sweat and musk. This is normal and nothing to be ashamed of.

There is a lot of variation in healthy vaginal taste and odor, and it can change depending on where you are in your cycle or whether you’re experiencing menstrual blood or spotting.

Sweet

The vagina is naturally acidic. This helps it balance the bacteria that blossom down there, and it also explains why the pH level can taste a bit metallic or penny-like (because blood has a metallic flavor due to iron content). Pineapple has long been anecdotally associated with making your vulva taste sweeter. Other citrus fruits and some dark berries, such as cranberries and bing cherries, can also make your vulva taste a little more delicious.

In addition to a pleasant taste, the vulva also secretes pheromones that have been shown to turn on sexual partners. If you’re worried about a change in your vaginal taste or smell, it could be caused by the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, an infection, a diet change, a new soap or laundry detergent, or other factors.

Regardless of the reason, you can try to prevent or decrease a change in your vaginal taste and odor by maintaining proper hygiene and staying healthy. This means sticking with breathable underwear, eating plenty of foods that make your vulva smell good and tasting great, like pineapple, and drinking lots of water to stay hydrated.

Sour

In some cases, the vulva may taste slightly sour, as bacteria in the vagina create an acidic environment that makes it hostile to bad bacteria. Some women describe this sour taste as being similar to cheese or duck sauce, while others say their vaginas taste metallic or penny-like. This is normal, and can occur right before or after menstruation as well as when you sweat a lot.

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If the sourness is accompanied by pain, irritation or itching down there, that can be a sign of an infection like thrush, which can be treated with antifungal medication like pessaries, tablets and external vaginal creams. This treatment will help restore the balance of bacteria in your vulva.

In addition to oral medications, it’s also helpful to stick to breathable underwear and avoid over-sweating, as both of these can cause the pH in your vulva to change and lead to an unusual taste down there. Some women also find that eating more foods like pineapple (known for its smell-enhancing properties) and other fruits, vegetables, yoghurt and probiotics can help to improve their vaginal flavour.

Salty

A healthy vagina can taste salty, bitter or metallic. It may also have a funky or fruity smell. Vaginas can change their flavor throughout the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy, as well as depending on if you’re aroused or sweating.

There are a few foods that can affect how your vulva tastes, including pineapple and asparagus (and we’re not talking about a romantic evening). Curry and other heavily-spiced foods can cause your groin to produce more sweat, which can have an impact on the way it smells and tastes. Alcohol can also increase perspiration, which can give your vulva a strong alcohol taste and scent.

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If your vulva has a strong, unpleasant taste or odor, this could be a sign of an infection. Infections like bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis or yeast infections can all lead to an unpleasant funk in your bits. If this happens, it’s important to speak to your doctor about the issue as soon as possible. They can provide treatment to help restore your vulva’s normal pH balance and clear any unusual odors or tastes.

Bitter

As anyone who’s ever had a vagina knows, it doesn’t smell like roses or taste like rainbows. But that’s okay! It’s natural for a vulva to taste a little bit salty, sour, bitter, metallic or even funky. What’s important is that the odor and taste aren’t offensive or off-putting to you or your partner.

The taste and odor may change throughout the course of a woman’s cycle, and it might also vary depending on what she’s eating or drinking. Some foods have been shown to affect the flavor of one’s vulva, including pineapple (which is known to improve the sweet and fruity odor of secretions), kiwi, blueberries and cucumbers. Other foods, such as curry, can produce a distinctive, strong odor and also influence the flavor of the sweat produced by a vulva when it’s hot.

If your vulva starts to taste or smell strangely, it could be an indication that there’s something wrong with the bacteria balance. A visit to the gynecologist or taking a probiotic can help get things back on track. This is particularly important if you’ve recently used a new bathing soap or medication that upends the pH balance.

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Metallic

Some women report a metallic smell or taste in their vagina. This is normal and typically occurs during or right after menstruation (due to the iron content in their blood) or when they have light bleeding from sex. This odor can also be caused by a tampon that has been left in too long or by a yeast infection.

Vaginas can also have a slight battery or copper penny-like flavor due to their acidic pH levels. This is a good thing as it helps to protect the vagina from harmful bacteria. It can also change during different parts of the month as hormones and the menstrual cycle cause the pH to change. Sweat can also leave a slight salty taste in the vagina.

While jokes comparing your vagina to batteries or pennies are a little off, there’s nothing wrong with the way your vulva tastes or smells. Don’t let the Vagina Hygiene Industrial Complex convince you that there is something wrong with your lady bits!

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