What Does Your Vagina Taste Like?

Vaginas do a pretty good job taking care of themselves and don’t need any special soaps or gels. A healthy vulva will taste and smell natural with hints of sweat, musk, and body odor.

Your vulva’s scent and taste changes throughout the month due to hormones and the menstrual cycle. Sweat can leave a salty, briny taste and urine can be sour.

Sweet

A common myth is that a woman’s vagina should smell like pineapple or other sweet foods, but it doesn’t actually taste that way. It does have a slightly tangy or sour flavor, though, because the organ is home to billions of bacteria and it’s naturally acidic.

The flavor can vary based on the time of the month due to hormones and menstrual cycles. It can also have a metallic or penny-like flavor, which is normal after menstruation because the blood brings in some iron. A woman’s diet can affect her vaginal fluid as well, so it could change to a more bitter or sour flavor, depending on what she eats.

If the vulva develops a strong, new taste or smell, it may be a sign of an infection, says Ton. To prevent this, stick to breathable underwear and avoid bath products that might irritate the area. It’s also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and regularly washing the vulva with non-scented soap. This will help the pH level remain balanced and keep your bacterial balance in check, which is key to avoiding infections.

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Sour

Many people describe the vulva’s taste and smell as sour. That’s because the vagina is naturally acidic, which helps keep harmful bacteria away from our rockin’ bodies. Some women also have a metallic or penny-like flavor in their vaginas, especially when they’re menstruating and have trace amounts of blood in the area.

The flavor and odor can change depending on what you eat. Foods that are heavy in garlic or spices, or that have a strong asparagus, cheese or duck sauce flavor can impact the vulva’s smell and taste. Eating a lot of meat or drinking alcohol can also affect the way your vulva smells and tastes, as those foods tend to increase sweating and body odor in the groin area.

A sudden change in the vulva’s smell or taste may indicate an infection, like bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. If this happens, you should visit a health care provider and get diagnosed so they can start you on antibiotics. Otherwise, if your vulva is smelling or tasting funky for no reason, don’t worry! It’s totally normal.

Salty

It may be surprising, but the taste of your vagina is actually quite salty. The body’s natural perspiration will leave a small amount of salt on the vulva, as well as traces of any urine. Sweat from spicy foods, certain medications and even bathing soaps can leave a salty taste and odor.

If your vulva tastes or smells very strong, it’s a sign that something is wrong. This could be an infection or an imbalance in your microbial balance. It could also be caused by a change in diet, medication or hormones.

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Vaginas are complex ecosystems that secrete a variety of fluids to clean, lubricate and move your body. Because of this, they are constantly changing. Your vulva’s flavor and smell will vary from day to day depending on your diet, the time of month (hormones and menstruation) and even what you wear. And, as much as we might want a clean and fragrant vulva, skip the perfumed washes and sprays – they can have a negative impact on your microbial health. Instead, form a bond with your vulva and learn to embrace its unique taste and smell.

Bitter

If you follow wellness trends or scroll through social media, you’ve probably seen various foods (like pineapple) and supplements touted as vaginal-health boosting. But can your vulva really taste better with these items?

Vaginal fluid and mucus are naturally acidic, which some people describe as a metallic or penny-like flavor. It can also be more copper penny-like in the days right before and after menstruation, as trace amounts of blood in the vulva cause a shift in its pH level.

If your vulva tastes off, it’s worth mentioning to a doctor. “A foul smell or strange tasting vulva may be an indication of a sexually transmitted infection like bacterial vaginosis,” Queen says. A fishy odor is a common symptom of this easily treatable condition.

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Both experts stress that it’s important to avoid using scented washes, gels, or other feminine hygiene products in the area because they can upset the delicate balance of bacteria that live there. They can also irritate the vulva and aggravate existing conditions and infections, and they can cause unpleasant flavors and odors.

Metallic

Lastly, your vagina may taste metallic or penny-like (thanks to the high iron content of blood). This can happen in the days following menstruation when trace amounts of blood are still present in and around the vulva. It’s completely normal.

It’s also normal for your vulva (which includes your labia and clitoris) to have a sour or salty flavor. The area is naturally acidic, which helps balance the bacteria that blossom down there. And of course, the vulva secretes pheromones that can turn your partner on.

All of this is normal — and actually, pretty darn sexy. However, if you notice a change in the smell or taste of your vulva, it could be a sign that something is wrong. For instance, if it starts smelling like fish or has a strong, rotten smell, it might mean your pH levels are off and your vulva isn’t in its happy place.

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