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I’ve been having an odor down there for for a while now. I’ve tried every soap and I’ve never had sex. Why is there a smell, and what can I do?

An odor "down there," or from your vagina or genital region, can be caused by many different things! Odors are common and could simply be normal sweat and bacteria. However, if it is an ongoing, bad smell, this may be a sign of infection. Even if you have never had sex, you may have other types of infections! For example, yeast infections, which may cause a sort of sweet smell, or bacterial vaginitis, which may have a fishy odor, are both common. These can be caused by douching ("washing" inside your vagina with fluids), or even antibiotics and other life stressors. Often, you will also experience abnormal discharge (such as thick, clumpy, white or green substances coming from your vagina) alongside these smells.

In terms of washing your genitals, always use a mild, non-scented soap. Also, do not insert anything into your vagina to clean it, not even soap or water, as this can actually upset your body's natural systems and create these bad smells.

If you have a strong, persistent bad smell in your genital region, you should see your doctor so that they can figure out what is causing the smell and treat it!

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