What are the STDs that Cause Odor?

The human body smells. Though we spend a great deal of time and energy masking unpleasant bodily odors, the truth of the matter is that a degree of genital odor is normal –– particularly from the vagina. And there’s no reason to be ashamed of a normal, natural genital smell. However, fishy or unpleasant odors emanating from either the penis or vagina could be an indicator of a sexually transmitted infection. Here then is a quick rundown of the STDs that cause odor, plus a few other common reasons why you may experience unpleasant smells “down there”:

STDs and “Fishy Odors”

Several common STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause discharge from the genitals. Occasionally, this discharge may have a pungent smell associated with it, but more often than not, this isn’t the case. Rather, trichomoniasis is the STD that most often produces foul-smelling discharge. Men rarely experience outward symptoms of trich (since the infection exists within the male urethra). Women with trich, however, are at risk for developing a rank-smelling vaginal discharge that may also include blood.

Common Causes of Genital Odor

Though STDs may cause some forms of genital odor, there are a wide variety of other reasons why someone’s nether-regions might not smell great. Forgoing regular hygiene for a few days, for instance, will naturally lead to an increased genital odor. What’s more, one of the most common causes of vaginal odor, bacterial vaginosis, is caused by a simple imbalance of natural bacteria found within the vagina –– similar to a yeast infection. Though bacterial vaginosis is not an STD, leaving it untreated could leave you at greater risk for contracting one in the future.  

Identifying STDs by Smell

In one enthralling study, researchers presented women with sweat and saliva samples taken from a group of men with gonorrhea and a separate group that was STD-free. In an intriguing turn of events, the women in the experiment consistently characterized the samples taken from men with gonorrhea to smell unpleasant –– even “putrid” –– when compared to the samples from uninfected men. As amazing as this experiment is, we wouldn’t recommend trying to determine your (or your partner’s) sexual well-being based solely on smell. The reality is genital smells may or may not be the product of an STD. If you’re concerned about your health you should seek out professional medical advice.

A Word from Same Day STD Testing

STDs carry a great and unfortunate stigma in our society. In fact, many individuals who have an STD are afraid to get tested out of a sense of shame. It’s important to remember that contracting an STD doesn’t make someone “dirty”. Rather, STDs are extremely common, but they can pose some major health threats if left untreated. As such, all sexually active individuals should get tested regularly. Our facilities are designed to ensure your privacy and boast some of the best testing technology on the market. Find one near you here. Or, if you have a few questions, don’t hesitate to call one of our dedicated staff members. We’ll walk you through our testing process and address any concerns you may have. Don’t wait another minute –– call today at 844-394-8520 and protect your health!

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