fishy smell discharge

A strong, rotting fishy smell discharge could be caused by bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis or another sexually transmitted infection (STI), says OB/GYN Jessica Shepherd, M.D. Find out:

If the odor is accompanied by vaginal itching, burning or pain, see your health care provider to make sure the condition is not more serious. This is because it can be a symptom of an infection that needs to be treated immediately.

It may also be a sign of an infection from a foreign object, such as a tampon that has been left in too long. Your doctor can help fully remove any object and test for a potential infection, so you’ll be feeling back to normal in no time.

Diagnosing Bacterial Vaginosis: A Comprehensive Guide

Bacterial vaginosis is very common and usually develops during or after your menstrual cycle. This infection occurs when the balance of good and bad bacteria in your vagina is thrown off, causing an overgrowth of harmful bacteria that leads to vaginal odors, inflammation, itching, burning, genital discharge, or a urinary tract infection (UTI).

Trichomoniasis, another STI, can cause a fishy smell and other symptoms, including frothy yellow-green discharge, genital itching, painful urination, and intercourse, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can also lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which is an infection that spreads up into your uterus and reproductive organs.

It’s important to visit your OB-GYN regularly to receive screenings for PID, since the condition can lead to complications, including infertility. Your doctor can perform a pelvic exam and send samples to a lab for diagnosis. Typically, the condition clears up with treatment, which includes antibiotics.

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