Why Does My Vagina Taste Sour?

A healthy vagina is usually slightly acidic, with a tart or tangy flavor. Some women find that their vulva tastes metallic or penny-like after menstruation (thanks to iron).

Sweaty, spicy foods like garlic and curry may also affect your body’s natural smell and taste. A yeast infection, aka bacterial vaginosis, can produce a fermented odor and add to the odd taste down there.

Natural Acidity

A slightly tangy or sour taste to your vagina is normal. It’s a result of the bacteria that flourish down there, called the vaginal microbiome or flora. Over 300 different species of bacteria reside in the vulva, and the exact mix is unique to each woman. The bacteria, such as the lactobacilli found in yogurt, help to keep your vulva healthy.

Some people have also noted a metallic or penny-like flavor in their vulva. This is likely due to the presence of trace amounts of menstrual blood. It’s also common in the days after childbirth or an abortion, when blood is still lingering in your vulva.

The smell of your vulva can vary based on the time of the month, your hormones, your diet, and more. Some women will have a fresh, flowery scent, while others will have an unpleasant one like rotten fish or matzah.

If you notice a change in your vulva’s aroma or taste, it’s a good idea to talk to your gyno or midwife. A shift could indicate an infection, especially if it’s accompanied by other symptoms, such as a sudden increase in discharge or itching. A gynecologist can prescribe you a vaginal wash or suppositories to treat the infection and return your flora to normal. You can also eat more probiotics and prebiotics to support the growth of healthy flora.

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Blood

A vagina’s acidity creates a tangy, fermented taste that some describe as tasting like yogurt or sour bread. This is normal and healthy and a sign that your vagina is functioning properly. Some people also experience a metallic or coppery taste in their vulva, especially after menstruation when trace amounts of blood may have accumulated.

The taste of your bits can change depending on the time of day, your activity level and the weather. Sweat often leaves a salty taste in your bits, as does urinating and defecating. Some people even find that their vulva has a taste of cheese, due to the bacteria lactobacilli that can be found there.

If you’re experiencing a weird taste in your vulva, you’ll want to make sure everything is okay, particularly if you’re getting a lot of strange smells with it too. A change in the taste or smell of your vulva could indicate that you’re suffering from an infection, such as bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted disease. Yeast infections can also alter your vulva’s natural pH and cause a strange taste. A change in the smell and taste of your vulva can also be a sign of menopause, as estrogen levels drop when women reach this stage of life. A doctor can help you figure out what’s going on.

Sweat

It’s no secret that sweat from the vulva can leave a sour taste behind. This is caused by the natural acidity in your vagina, as well as the bacteria that produce lactic acid in your body (think yoghurt). When the lactic acid mixes with the salt and other things in sweat, it produces this sour taste.

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Another thing that can affect the taste and smell of your vulva is the foods you eat. Certain foods can make your pee smell bad because they contain strong-smelling substances, like garlic and asparagus. Some herbs can also make your vulva pee smell strange, because of the oils they have.

Your diet can also affect the taste and odor of your vulva by changing the pH balance. This can result in an unpleasant odor or taste, especially after you eat foods that are high in fat, sugar, or acid.

However, a sour or funky-smelling vagina isn’t necessarily something to worry about. It’s normal for every woman’s vulva to have a slightly different flavor and smell, depending on the time of the month and hormone levels. Your vulva may even smell or taste different after having sex, as this can change the microflora in your vulva. This is a good thing, as it protects your vulva from unwanted bacteria. But if your vulva is smelling or tasting unusually, it’s important to see a doctor. This could be a sign of infection or other health issues.

Diet

While there’s no official research on this (and it might be difficult to conduct), some experts believe certain foods can change the way your vagina smells and tastes. Anything that messes with your vagina’s natural acidity can make it taste bad or even like something else, including the infamous “my pee smells like asparagus” joke. This could be a sign of an infection, such as bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis, and you should see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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Foods that are high in dietary acidity, such as pineapple and citrus fruits, can help level out your vagina’s pH balance and add a bit of sweetness to semen and other fluids. The same goes for foods that contain probiotics or healthy bacteria, like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso and other fermented foods.

Also, try to eat lots of low-oxalate green veggies such as kale and spinach to keep the blood flowing, which is good for your lady bits. You can add them to salads, vegetable juice or smoothies. Just be sure to drink plenty of water, as dehydration can make your vagina smell and taste worse. And remember, every woman’s vagina is different and can change at various times during the menstrual cycle or as a result of pregnancy or menopause. Your vagina may also taste different if you’re aroused or sweating a lot.

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