Why Does Period Blood Smell?


Period blood is first experienced between the ages of 8 and 15. For most girls, they’ll get their first period when they’re 12 years old. It’s a very scary time in a female’s life, and there are often many questions that go unanswered even as she ages.

One of the biggest concerns is the dreaded period smell – fishy smell, such as.

[Watch this video about Period Smell]

Why Does Period Blood Smell?

Menstrual blood naturally has an odor. Vaginal odor is known to change all the time. Throughout your cycle, it can become more pungent and apparent. During one cycle, a woman may experience strong smells, and during another, virtually no smell will be detected.

There are several reasons for period blood smells, including:

pH Levels

The body is filled with both good and bad bacteria. This bacterium is in your vagina, but the “bad” bacteria is kept at bay thanks to the body’s natural acidity levels. The pH level, when it is higher, will destroy the bad bacteria in your body.

Menstrual flow causes less acidity in the body, which will result in more bacteria growth.

If you notice that your period blood smells rotten, it maybe a result of bacterial growth in the body. This should resolve itself once your menstrual cycle is over.

Menstrual Products

Tampon on white background.
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The biggest fear of every woman is bleeding through her clothing. Menstrual products ensure that this does not occur, but there’s also a side effect: blocked air flow. Pads will block the air flow to the genitals, causing odors to build up as a result.

If you use a tampon, this will mask the smell, but will allow bacteria to persist in the body.

Tampons that are taken out will normally have a strong odor with them due to the bacteria growth. When the tampon is inserted, this is a perfect environment for bacteria to grow, and pH levels can plummet.

When you have your period, you want to ensure the following:

  • You change your pads or tampons often.
  • You wash daily.

If you cannot control the smell, try changing products, or try switching from a pad to a tampon (or vice versa). This is the best way to try and eliminate the smell.

Medical Concerns

There’s a chance that your menstrual blood is not causing the smell at all. Several medical conditions can cause a foul smell or odor to occur in the vaginal area. A few of the medical reasons include:

White underwear on pink background.
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  • Yeast Infection: A pH level imbalance in the body can cause thick discharge and a foul odor. Many women will experience a yeast infection throughout their lifetime, and this will need to be fixed with a proper antibiotic. If you’re currently taking contraceptive pills, you’re at a much higher risk of getting a yeast infection.
  • Cervix Infections: A cervix infection is serious. Normally, these infections cause strong odors, but abnormal discharge and inflammation can also occur.
  • Trichomonas Infection: This sexually-transmitted disease is normally associated with abnormal discharge. You may experience itching and burning when urinating, and you will be happy to know that this is a curable STD. You will need to contact a doctor and get a prescription to rid yourself of the infection.

[Read more about Cervix]

A woman’s body undergoes immense changes during her menstrual cycle. If you notice that your smell is stronger than normal, it’s not a cause for concern unless the smell doesn’t go away. Thankfully, most of the medical reasons behind a foul smell are not serious.

All of the infections listed above are able to be treated appropriately and with antibiotics or other prescription medications. Don’t worry, this is something that everyone experiences at one time or another in their life, and is not a cause for embarrassment.

Vagina Smells Like Fish?

Fishy smell is another common issue which is usually occurred after period, click here to read more about this foul smelling period.


  1. Higher pH levels are basic, lower is acidic.
    Antibiotics are for bacterial infections, antifungals are for yeast.


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