What Does a Vagina Taste Like?
The short answer? A vagina
A healthy vulva — which includes the labia and vaginal opening — tastes and smells like a healthy vulva.
That is to say, it might be sweet or sour, metallic or bitter, salty, or sharp. It might even have faint hints of what you had for dinner.
The taste can even vary throughout the month, thanks to your menstrual cycle. Blood can affect the way it tastes, as can the white discharge that’s common with ovulation.
But as long as you don’t experience any unusually strong scents — think fishy odors or whiffs of something foul — your smell and taste are fine, whatever they may be.
Read on to learn more about what it may taste like, why it might change, and what you can do if the taste or smell seems off.
This usually translates to a metallic or penny-like flavor
The vagina — that is, the internal canal — is naturally acidic. That’s a good thing. It’s how they balance the bacteria that blossom down below.
But that natural acidity can translate to some flavors that are stronger than neutral. Some people describe this as a metallic or penny-like flavor. Others have even called it a “battery” taste.
A metallic taste may actually be more common in the days after menstruation, as trace amounts of blood may still be in and around the vagina. Blood naturally has a metallic taste because of its iron content.
Sometimes, it’s salty or a bit sour
Sweat — from exercise or your natural body perspiration — can leave your vaginal area with a hint of salt.
Not cleaning yourself well after urinating may leave behind trace amounts of urine, too, which can also taste salty.
A sour taste from excess sweat isn’t unusual, either, and it’s certainly not a sign of anything bad by itself.
At the end of the day, it isn’t supposed to taste or smell like flowers or fruit
If Mother Nature had intended for your vaginal area to smell like a flower stand or freshly-cut fruit, that’s what your vulva would offer.
Instead, the natural smell and taste are as close to neutral as your body can get, if not without hints of sweat, musk, and body odor.
After all, the vulva is often locked away under layers of clothing, and anything that might be damp for a while can develop a bit of a stale smell or taste. That doesn’t mean anything is wrong. It’s just the nature of bacteria, body fluids, and vulvas.
If something tastes off, it’s most likely because of your vaginal pH
The taste can be a lot of things — salty, bitter, metallic, sour — but what it shouldn’t be is funky. If your vaginal area suddenly develops strong odors or tastes, it could be that your natural pH balance has been disturbed. The vagina does a good job of maintaining the bacterial status quo. But when that’s upended, perhaps by a new bath product or medication, the bacteria may skew.That can lead to inflammation, irritation, or even infection, which can all cause unusual smells and tastes.
It could be because of your diet
Some foods do have an impact on how your vaginal area tastes, but the list is short — and no, it doesn’t include pineapple.Asparagus, which can make urine smell strong, might also have an impact on the way you taste. Anecdotal reports describe it as “grassy” or “green.”Curry and heavily-spiced foods may also have an impact. These foods often produce sweat with a distinct smell, and sweat in your groin may interfere with your vulva’s natural aroma and taste.
It might be from alcohol intake
If your partner goes down on you after a night of drinking, things may taste a bit off. That’s because alcohol can increase perspiration. It might even affect the taste of that sweat and your body fluids.Depending on the type of drink you had, the taste may be bitter or sour. Sugary drinks, for example, might interfere with your taste, but not necessarily sweetly.
Tobacco use can affect it, too
If alcohol and food impact how your vaginal area tastes, it stands to reason anything else you put into your body, like tobacco products, would too. And they do.Tobacco use might affect how much you sweat and how potent that perspiration is. That can, in turn, affect your natural smell and flavor.For example, tobacco use might cause acidic or bitter flavors. This may even taste sour or stale.The odors from smoking tobacco can be absorbed into your skin and hair, too, so the pungent smell may impact how you taste.
In some cases, it comes down to your hygiene practices
The vagina is a self-cleaning entity. Left alone, it can and will care for itself and maintain a healthy pH balance, so long as outside forces don’t interfere.You need only wash the outside — the vulva — with mild soap and water when you bathe.If you don’t follow regular hygiene practices and you aren’t regularly washing yourself, you may develop unusual or off-putting smells and tastes.To properly wash, rinse the vulva and groin with warm water. You can use soap if you want — just be careful to not get any inside your vaginal canal.Spread the lips of your labia apart and use a washcloth or your hands to clean around the folds.You should also wash your anus and the area between your anus and your vaginal opening. This area, if it isn’t clean, can impact both odor and taste of your vagina.
Your only concern should be a fishy or otherwise foul profile
Certain conditions or infections can cause foul or offensive smells in your vaginal area.An infection called bacterial vaginosis is one such possible cause. Bacterial vaginosis often causes a yellow or gray discharge and a strong, unpleasant vaginal odor that may be described as fishy.Trichomoniasis, a type of sexually transmitted infection, can also cause odors that closely resemble dead fish. An unusual discharge may also occur.If you or your partner detects a truly unpleasant odor, it’s time to see a gynecologist. They can investigate the possible cause and provide treatment to restore your smell and your flavor.
Skip the specialty washes
Because your vagina does such a good job taking care of its own health, you really don’t need to use any specialty products to help it along or mask any odors you think are bad or offensive.(Again, if you think your smell is repellent, you should see a doctor, not spritz rose-scented body spray to cover it up.)Many soaps, gels, and washes may seem well-intentioned, but they can worsen a problem if there is one. They can also upend your natural pH level, which might invite bacterial growth.It’s best to leave the feminine washes, sprays, and deodorizers on the store shelf, and let your body and your vagina fend for itself.
If you really want to change the way it tastes, try this
There have been no valid studies or confirmed ways to suggest you can change your vulva’s taste.Temporary sprays and washes might mask or deodorize for a brief time — perhaps long enough for your partner to go down on you — but little can be done permanently.If, however, you’re determined to find a way to make your vaginal area smell or taste more flowery fresh, keep these tips in mind:
- Don’t eat strong foods. Asparagus, spicy foods or heavily flavored foods might cause scented sweat or body odor.
- Skip the booze and smokes. Tobacco and alcohol can impact body odor and sweat, too. Ultimately, these foods may make the area taste more bitter, sour, or metallic.
- Don’t eat right before it’s time to go down. If your partner wants to pop a piece of gum and spit it out just before doing the ABCs on your clitoris, by all means, let them. But keep in mind that what you eat impacts how other things taste. It’s best to skip anything 30 minutes before they plan to go downtown.
- Try not to worry. Unless you’re getting whiffs of dead fish or rotting seaweed off your crotch, how you taste, and how you smell is perfectly normal.
The bottom line
Your vulva’s natural scent and flavor aren’t like anyone else’s, and they can change in your own lifetime, even from day today. As long as you aren’t showing signs of an infection, your smell and taste are perfectly fine.But if you’re worried that your odor might be off, talk with a doctor. They can look for any underlying concerns, whether it’s an infection or hygiene issue.If a root cause for any off-flavors is figured out, you can work to treat it so that you can restore your natural taste.If you found this post helpful, then be sure to sign up for our free newsletter to get more.Just enter your email below to get started!