Dear Dr. Kate,
My girlfriend’s vaginal fluids sometimes smell and taste funny (not a good funny). I read online somewhere that there are drops you can place on a woman’ vagina to make it taste and smell good. Are these real and are they safe? I know my girlfriend would allow me to use these on her as long as they’re safe.
I don’t know what drops you’re specifically referring to; my quick search for remedies turned up tea tree oil, neem bark extract and garlic. To the best of my knowledge there’s been no published studies of these products, taken either orally or topically, to gauge their effectiveness. But I do know that the application of any product to the vulva or vagina that wasn’t meant to be there increases the risk of irritation, discharge and yes, infection. So I would proceed with caution before using any of these remedies.
The smell and taste of a woman’s body normally varies throughout her cycle, but they can also be affected by common vaginal infections (like bacterial vaginosis). If your girlfriend notices an odor, her best bet is to see her gyno to be checked for vaginal and cervical infections. You can also check out the recent column by Em & Lo, How Can I Smell & Taste Better Down There?
— Dr. Kate
Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City. She also lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health. Check out more of her advice and ask her a question at Gynotalk.com.