Vaginal Discharge Accompanied By Odor

What Causes Vaginal Odor?

Vaginal odor can have various causes, just like most other symptoms.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose vaginal odor, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "vaginal odor" as a symptom.  For example, vaginitis/vaginal infection.

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
painful deep penetration during sex
grayish vaginal discharge
vulvar pain
painful shallow penetration with sex
vaginal burning
history of bacterial vaginosis
chronic vaginal yeast infection
bacterial vaginosis
... and so on

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of vaginal odor.

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate slight abnormal vaginal discharge, abnormal vaginal discharge or constant abnormal vaginal discharge, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Is the discharge accompanied by an odor?
Possible responses:
→ There is no discharge / don't know
→ No
→ Yes - 'fishy'
→ Yes - other (please add a note)
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either 'fishy' vaginal discharge odor or non-fishy vaginal discharge odor, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as Vaginitis/Vaginal Infection.  Bacterial vaginosis results from an overgrowth of normal bacteria in the vagina.  It produces no symptoms in about 85% of cases, but some women may experience an unpleasant fishy odor with vaginal discharge.
Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
Symptom Entry
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