Why Does My Vagina Taste Salty?

Your vagina naturally secretes lubricating fluid to keep it comfy. Sometimes, it can taste a little salty or tangy.

Certain foods, like garlic, asparagus, and spicy or heavily flavored meals can impact the vulva’s natural aroma and taste. Alcohol also impacts how your body smells and tastes.

Smoking and drinking too much can cause your sweat and urine to have a less-than-pleasant taste.

Sweating

A vulva that’s kept under multiple layers of clothing for most of the day can start to smell a bit funky after a while. It may also have a slightly salty or sweaty taste or odor — but this is totally normal and should not be cause for alarm.

Sweat could contribute to a slight salty flavor to your vaginal fluids, especially if you’re sweating a lot during a workout. Urine also has a salty or metallic taste, as can the lubricant that’s produced during sexual activity. This lubricant is called arousal fluid, and it’s clear and slippery so that your bits can move freely during sexual intercourse.

However, if your vagina’s smell or taste changes dramatically and isn’t due to things like changing food choices, getting your period, or sex, you should see your doctor for a checkup. This could be a sign of an infection such as bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections. Yeast infections can also cause itching in the vagina and a thick, cheese-curd-like discharge. The best thing to do is clean your vulva with soap and water after every time you use the bathroom, and avoid smoking or drinking anything besides water and semen.

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Blood

Your vulva naturally secretes fluids to clean itself and maintain its healthy pH balance, as well as to prepare for sexual activity. These fluids can taste salty, bitter, metallic, or sour, depending on the time of day or what you’ve been eating. They can also smell like sweat, musk, or body odour.

Blood is one of those things that can make your vulva taste a little salty, as it contains high levels of iron. This is why your vagina sometimes tastes a bit penny-like right after menstruation.

If your vagina suddenly starts tasting or smelling weird, it’s a sign that something is out of whack. For instance, if you’ve been using a scented vaginal wash, those chemicals can cause an imbalance in the natural bacteria that keeps your hoo-hah clean. If you’re noticing a stronger odor or fishy taste, see your doctor ASAP—it could be a sign of an infection, such as bacterial vaginosis. Also, try to avoid wearing tight or synthetic underwear that can irritate your bits and ward off moisture. Plus, always use sex toys made of nonporous materials, and be sure to clean them super well after every use.

Food

The taste of your vulva can change based on the foods you eat. Foods high in salt can make your vaginal fluid taste more musky, and the same goes for foods that are acidic or have strong flavors like asparagus (which explains all those “my pee smells like asparagus” jokes).

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It’s also important to stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially during your menstrual cycle. A healthy vagina has a slightly acidic tinge, which is needed to strike the right bacterial balance down there.

Avoid any processed or preservative-laden junk foods, which can disrupt your pH balance and cause an unpleasant odor. Stick with fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, grilled lean meats, eggs, unsweetened yogurt, and green tea for your daily dose of probiotics.

Alcohol

Alcohol is an organic compound with a hydroxyl group (–OH) attached to a carbon atom in an alkyl chain. Alcohols are typically colorless liquids that taste strong and sweet. The most common alcohols are ethanol or ethyl alcohol and methyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol.

Drinking a lot of booze can increase sweating, which in turn affects the taste of your body fluids—including your vagina. You may also notice that you and your partner smell differently after a night of drinking, especially if you are wearing tight clothing and underwear.

If you drink a lot, your vulva might taste salty and smell like sweat, or it might feel sticky and have a musky aroma. This is because the bacteria that line your vulva and labia absorb all the chemicals from the foods you eat. To prevent this, try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins and minerals, and avoid processed or fast foods. You should also avoid sex toys made of porous materials, as these can introduce unwanted infection-causing bacteria.

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Tobacco

There aren’t many foods that have a direct impact on what your vulva tastes like (although pineapples, as Kim and Kourtney Kardashian proved on their show, do make everything taste sweeter down there). But certain foods do produce strong smells and affect the way sweat tastes. Curry, for example, makes the groin produce sweat with a distinctive aroma, which changes the way fluids down there taste.

Tobacco, on the other hand, is a very bad idea for the entire body—and that includes the vulva. Smoking cigarettes can negatively impact the way your groin smells and tastes, and it also causes other health problems.

The best thing you can do to keep your vulva feeling fresh and tasting great is to wear breathable underwear, stay well-hydrated and avoid harsh soaps or bathing products, which may upend the natural pH balance of your bits. Also, be sure to use a non-toxic lube that doesn’t contain sugar, which can promote yeast infections. And if you’re ever worried about the way your vulva smells or tastes, talk to your gynecologist.

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Aurelia

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