Vaginal odor is a taboo topic that most women don’t want to discuss with their closest friends, let alone their doctor. It is not only embarrassing to talk about but it is embarrassing to live with. Almost all women will experience it at some point in their life, yet, most women don’t know the biology behind its cause. Blasting News recently interviewed renowned Reproductive Physiologist and inventor of IsoFresh Balancing Vaginal Gel, Dr. Joanna Ellington, to discuss the common causes of vaginal odor, dispel myths and offer a new revolutionary treatment for dealing with this “down there” dilemma.

Blasting News: What causes unpleasant vaginal odor?

Dr. Ellington: “Unwanted feminine odor, medically called “vaginal malodor,” occurs when vaginal pH levels rise above the healthy level to a pH of 5 or above. Elevated vaginal pH exposure can occur following contact with neutral biologic fluids, with pH levels around 7 such as: semen after love-making, menstrual blood, fertile ovulation mucus, sweat in the groin area, and normal sexual arousal fluids. Additionally, anything that increases sweating in the groin area such as sitting for a long time, exercise, tight clothing or weight gains can increase vaginal pH and odors. Many women also experience increased odors with pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause."

BN: What should a healthy vagina smell like?

Dr. E: “A healthy pH balanced vagina has a musty, earthy smell. It does not smell like strong ammonia, dead fish or rotting meat. Some claim that ALL vaginal odor is natural and acceptable, however, this simply is not true. Just like we know that brushing our teeth freshens our breath and decreases bacterial decay, helping maintain a healthy vaginal pH can eliminate unwanted vaginal odor.”

BN: Can good hygiene and proper washing alone eliminate unwanted vaginal odor?

Dr. E.: “No amount of washing or personal hygiene can stop the production of offensive smells by anaerobic bacteria in the vagina when fluids of a high pH come into contact with the vaginal ecosystem. The only way to eliminate this source of vaginal malodor is to maintain the good lactic acid producing vaginal bacteria, which keeps the vaginal environment at its healthy pH of less than 5.

Small changes in the pH of the fluids in the vaginal canal, can greatly impact the vaginal pH and odor production. For example, semen can create a high pH in the vagina for several days after intercourse, resulting in unwanted odors many women have experienced.”

BN: Do you recommend douching?

Dr. E.: “No. In fact, I advise women against douching. In some communities, douching is a regular part of personal hygiene. However, douches use a high volume of liquid that unfortunately washes out much more than just odor. Douches actually wash out the vaginal mucus lining (the body’s natural “armor” against infection) and the healthy lactic acid producing bacteria leaving the vaginal cells exposed to damage and vulnerable to infections including Bacterial Vaginosis, STDs, and even HIV.”

BN: What about vaginal freshening gels?

Dr. E.: “Many of the freshening gels on the market act as deodorants to neutralize and stop odor production before it can form, however, they have salt levels 5-10 times higher than a woman’s body fluids. This high salt level has been associated with vaginal cell damage and lactobacillus death which compromises the healthy vaginal ecosystem.”

BN: How is IsoFresh Balancing Vaginal Gel different from other products on the market?

Dr. E.: “The IsoFresh formula has balanced salts and pH to biomatch the healthy vagina and it showed no irritation potential in studies compared to other leading products that showed moderate or even severe irritation potential. IsoFresh also contains no oils, no glycerin, no hormones, and no parabens. Once applied, it stays put and provides fresh balance for the long haul!”