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Why Does My Period Smell?

At DAME, we recognise the significance of menstrual hygiene and its impact on your well-being.

We also understand that dealing with any unusual scent during your period can sometimes add extra stress. Rest assured, we've got you covered! In this blog post, we'll delve into why you might notice a scent, what could be causing any unusual smells, and how you can maintain freshness and cleanliness. We will also dispel some common myths. So, let's get started!

Period Smells Like “Death”

Your period can produce an odour, which may even be different month to month. Some women report that their period “smells like death,” though this isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. The strong smell is likely due to the blood and tissues exiting the vagina along with bacteria. It’s normal for the vagina to have bacteria, though the amount can fluctuate.


A "foul" odour may arise if a tampon is inadvertently left in place for an extended period or overlooked. This can occur towards the end of your menstrual cycle when the frequency of tampon replacement is less because you’re bleeding less. If you suspect that you might have forgotten to remove a tampon, it's always best to check for the tampon strings near the vaginal opening.

Should you smell any unusual odours during your period (especially along with additional unusual symptoms) seeking advice from your GP is never a bad idea. There might be an underlying issue that requires attention.

Period Smells “Fishy”

Some report a “fishy” smell during menstruation. Unlike other common odours, fishiness usually indicates a medical problem that you need to see a doctor for. This odour is most often attributed to bacterial vaginosis, a type of infection. It’s also a lot stronger than a normal period smell.

Bacterial vaginosis may come during your menstrual cycle, but it is not directly linked to menstruation itself. It arises from an overgrowth of the naturally occurring bacteria in the vaginal environment.


Treatment for bacterial vaginosis typically involves a course of antibiotics. Following successful treatment, the bacterial balance is restored, leading to a reduction in any unusual odours or other related symptoms during your period.

Other Odour Changes

Other odour changes during your period can include a “sweaty gym” smell or an odour of onions or salt. These are most likely caused by not practising good hygiene during the menstrual cycle. Proper hygiene habits can help combat the usual odours associated with menstruation. This can be as simple as making sure you change tampons, liners, or pads every few hours.

Maintaining Menstrual Hygiene and Reducing Odour

Maintaining good menstrual hygiene is essential for reducing menstrual odour and preventing infections. Here are some tips for optimal hygiene:

  • Gentle Cleansing: Wash your genital area with mild soap and water daily. Avoid using scented products, as they can disrupt the natural pH balance of your vagina, increasing the risk of infection.
  • Regular Product Changes: Change your pads or tampons every four to six hours, or more frequently if your flow is heavy. Prolonged use can lead to bacterial growth and unpleasant odours.
  • Select the Right Products: Choose menstrual products that are suitable for your flow and comfort. Avoid scented options, as they can cause irritation and heighten the risk of infection.
  • Breathable Clothing: Opt for breathable, preferably organic cotton underwear. Avoid tight-fitting clothes, as they can trap moisture and heighten the risk of infection.
  • Probiotics: Incorporate probiotics to help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your vagina. You can take them orally or use them as a vaginal suppository.
A Fresh Approach with DAME
At DAME, we're dedicated to revolutionising the way you experience your period. Our range of sustainable, reusable period products is designed with your well-being and comfort in mind.

By choosing DAME, you're not only making a choice for a more comfortable and worry-free period, but you're also contributing to a better, more sustainable future. Experience the DAME difference today!

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