A fishy vaginal odor may cause serious trouble in your sexual life. However, you should know that this is something which most women experience in their life, at some point or other. It could happen due to many reasons, such as, your poor personal hygiene, wearing tight-fitting underwear, bacterial infection or yeast infection. 'Gardenerella' bacteria cause the common bacterial infection namely bacterial vaginosis.
However, you should understand that vaginal odor is something which can be completely cured. Severity may vary in case of different women, but this could be completely cured within 3 days with the right approach.
There are two mistakes women often do when they find out that they have this odor problem. First, they wash their intimate region numerous times a day. Second, they use some other perfume or cream to cover up the smell. Both could only worsen the condition. Vagina has its own 'ecosystem' which helps maintain the balance and keep this area clean. So, washing excessively will result in loss of this protection. Also, when you use perfumes and creams to camouflage the smell, it could produce an even bad odor and destroy the natural system, as a result. So, it is advised not to try both of these.
Another simple thing that you can do is to change your sanitary protection regularly. Keeping the same tampons for hours would only worsen the odor.
The fabric you use for your panties is also important. Make sure that you don't use synthetic fabrics, which prevent the air circulation around vaginal area and creates the perfect environment for bacterial growth. Cotton is the best fabric that you can use. Also, avoid wearing tight-fitting trousers and pantyhose. We also recommend wearing a thin panty liner; this will help absorb some of the smell, and is easily changeable during the day; particularly useful if you are at work.
In some cases, the change in the sexual partner could also contribute to vaginal odor. Your partner's sperm has a different PH (acid/alkaline) balance to that of your vagina. However, your body becomes 'used' to it after some time. When you suddenly change your partner, this new change can bring in the fishy odor. In this case, you should use condoms until you are free of odor.
You could also try these home remedies. Anti-fungal property of garlic can check yeast infection. You may apply the paste of garlic in your intimate area for some time, this could be helpful. Next, add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil in a cup of water and apply that water in your intimate area. Its anti-fungal property could help in treating this. Also, you can dip a tampon in unsweetened yogurt and insert it in your vagina for some time. Last but not least, drink plenty of water, at least 8 glasses of water daily.
If the problem persists even after trying all this, then you may have bacterial vaginosis, a condition caused by bacteria. You may need to approach your doctor; he or she will be able to help you to solve this within next few days.