Why does my period blood smell?

+76 votes
asked Jul 11, 2019 in Health & Wellness by Nicholle (1,190 points)
edited Jul 25, 2019
When it’s that time of the month, my period blood occasionally has a strange smell and sometimes it’s a really bad odor. It makes me self conscious that other people can smell it too, so I try to stay as clean as possible. Why does menstrual blood have a smell? Is there anything wrong if there’s a strong, bad smell?

3 Answers

+15 votes
answered Jul 24, 2019 by Donella (920 points)
edited Aug 1, 2019
Make sure that you’re frequently changing your pads or tampons regularly because sometimes old period blood will smell if it’s collecting bacteria. Changing regularly and cleaning up will keep this from happening and stop unpleasant smells, but it’s also healthier and better for you. If you don’t like the smell, just imagine how gross it is for your body to have that excess bacteria building up!
+2 votes
answered Aug 12, 2019 by Janelle (950 points)
edited Aug 12, 2019
If the odor of your menstruation is stronger than usual and continues for several days versus maybe having one unusual day, you might need to make a checkup appointment with your doctor. Any pain or unusual irritation is another important sign that you might need some medical attention. These can be symptoms of an STI or vaginitis, which isn’t something you need to worry about but it can be easily fixed.
+1 vote
answered Jul 30, 2019 by Virginia (470 points)
edited Aug 2, 2019
Why does my period blood smell, as a gynecologist, I have been answering similar questions like this every day, especially young female patients. Menstrual blood itself actually has no smell, but when it mixes with other bacteria in our body then period blood can start to smell quite noticeably. This doesn’t always mean there are bad bacteria present or it’s anything to worry about, but sometimes it can be a sign of something bigger. It does just naturally happen from time to time though, and everyone is likely to notice this on occasion. It’s important to just stay clean and pay attention to your body. Most likely you’re the only person that can even smell it because you’re thinking about it and worried someone else might notice.
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