The blood that’s passed out of the vagina, every month, is a result of the egg remaining unfertilized that’s why you say in your mind that “My Period Blood Smell”. Menstrual discharge can have different odors, depending on the condition of the vagina at different times. When the pH of the vagina is altered, the usual range being between 3.5-4.8, its smell may change. However, it’s supposed to have a smell of its own, due to the presence of tissues that line the uterus, the egg, and blood. 

However, period blood smell has got nothing to do with it being ‘dirty’ or ‘impure’. In this article, we’ve focused on the reasons why period blood smells and stated some of the common odors associated with the vagina. Some of them are normal, while others need expert consultation. A change in the regular smell can be the impact of certain diseases or infections as well. 

Also, read: The ‘Fertile Window’ Period In Women

What Causes Period Blood Smell? 

Period blood during menstruation is a natural bodily process that occurs due to the shedding of the endometrium, or the inner lining of our uterus. Menstrual discharge contains several substances such as blood, endometrial fluid, tissues, vaginal and cervical mucus, and certain vaginal microbes. Blood has the highest concentration in the discharge, that is, 35%. The secretions of the vagina are usually those of water and electrolytes such as potassium and sodium. The presence of microbes or bacteria such as Lactobacillus is responsible for menstruation blood smell. 

5 Types of Period Blood Smell

Here are the main types of period blood smells: 

  • Sweet Smell 

It’s quite common for period blood smell to be sweet since it doesn’t signify abnormal conditions. Certain bacteria and the acidic nature of the vagina give rise to the sweet smell. 

  • Metallic Smell

You may notice your period blood smell to be slightly metallic in some months. This happens where there’s considerable iron content in the menstrual discharge. The color of the blood usually appears darker in such cases. This is a normal condition when it happens in a limit. If the smell persists days after you stop bleeding, consult your gynecologist. 

  • Sweaty Smell

Why does period blood smell sweaty? Due to the apocrine sweat glands, located near your vagina. The sweat produced by these glands is secreted during times of anxiety or stress. This sweat, mixed with the bacteria of our skin gives rise to the smell of our body. In the same way, Apocrine sweat, along with menstrual blood, produces a sweaty menstruation blood smell. 

  • Rotten Smell 

When period blood smells rotten, it’s mostly due to the entry of foreign particles inside the vagina. This may refer to tampons. Tampons are often left inside the vagina for long hours, accidentally. This is extremely unsafe and unhealthy and should be avoided in all circumstances. Rotten menstruation blood smell calls for a visit to the doctor. 

  • Fishy Smell

Have you ever wondered, why does my period smell fishy? It’s because of vaginal infections like trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis. Trichomoniasis is an STI, caused by protozoans. 

Period Blood Smell
Period Blood Smell

The fishy period blood smell can be accompanied by itching, irritation, and soreness in the vaginal area. On the other hand, bacterial vaginosis is a condition that results from the overgrowth of bacteria in the genital region. The basicity of the blood increases and hampers with the pH level of the vagina. Both these conditions can be cured by having antibiotics. 

Related: Vaginal Yeast Infection

Period Blood Smell: Is Your Hygiene Lacking? 

Vaginal odor is directly related to hygiene. If it’s not kept clean, the smell wouldn’t be pleasant and such a situation could also lead to infections. Cleaning the intimate parts of your body is as important as the other areas and probably more. Menstruation hygiene is one of the main factors that determine the cleanliness of your vagina. Change your pads or tampons every day, without posing a risk of infections. Eco-friendly menstrual products like a menstrual cup or a period pantie make the process hassle-free and easy to monitor. Don’t use chemical sprays or creams on your vaginal region to stay away from itching and a burning sensation. 

Ways to Lessen Period Blood Smell

Here are some of the important ways by which you can smell period blood fresh:

1. Say Yes to Hygiene

The most basic, yet the most neglected way of reducing menstruation blood smell is by maintaining proper vaginal hygiene. There’s no need to spend tones of money on products that claim to be safe but turn out otherwise. Clean water is the only requirement. After washing, use a clean, dry cotton cloth to pat it dry, as gently as you can. 

2. Appropriate Underwear

Investing in good quality innerwear is of utmost importance. More so, during menstruation. Period blood smell gets reduced by the frequent alterations of undergarments. 

Period Blood Smell
Period Blood Smell

3. Keep A Track of the pH Level 

Infections could cause a rise in the pH level of the vagina. Thus, it’s important to be aware of the same. Period blood smell can be controlled by retaining the pH of the vagina. You can try OTC or Over-The-Counter Products for maintaining the pH level. 

4. Stay Hydrated

It’s no myth that water and other healthy fluids flush out all the toxins from the body. Drinking water doesn’t just keep our body fresh and healthy, but it also puts a check on the intensity of the period blood smell. 

5. Vinegar to the Rescue

The benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for our body are known by most. It is known to kill germs and bacteria and is an excellent agent of vaginal hygiene. Add a few drops of vinegar in your bathing water and notice your period blood smell diminish, considerably. 


Ideally,  period blood smell should be reduced within a week or two of its advent. However, if the smell persists even after the duration of menstruation and is followed by signs like stomach ache or cramps, fever, etc. you should consult the doctor immediately. Vaginal odor is uncontrollable after a certain extent and there’s nothing to be ashamed about. If you make a conscious effort to stay clean and hydrated every day, the rest can be taken care of. 

Also, read: Vaginal Health