What influences the discharge?

Learn all about vaginal discharge: What influences it, how color and odor can vary, and how you can positively impact it.


by Bell Bennett

12 minutes read

What influences the discharge?

Discharge is part of a healthy vaginal flora and is even desirable. It is composed of several components and protects you from diseases, germs and bacteria. Your vagina is an organ that cleans itself, and discharge is a major contributor to this. So, in essence, it is beneficial for you and your body.

Healthy vaginal discharge has an acidic pH, which is between 3.8 and 4.4. By being acidic, it does not provide a breeding ground for unwanted bacteria. The exact components of your discharge are different cells of the vaginal flora as well as secretions from the cervix. Some of its components come from the so-called cervical glands, which is why the discharge is also called cervical mucus. Slight changes during the cycle are perfectly normal, but others need special attention and may require a visit to the doctor. Want to know more?

Click here for the vagina types

Texture, colour and consistency of discharge

You've probably noticed that the colour, consistency and amount of your discharge varies. And as mentioned earlier, this is perfectly legitimate and usually harmless. But what exactly affects the consistency?

Depending on the phase of your cycle, the discharge is clear to milky, sometimes even slightly yellow. White discharge is also quite natural, as long as it is nice and slimy. The consistency of cervical mucus changes slightly around ovulation and during stress or excitement, as it does after exercise and sexual arousal. When the discharge becomes clear around ovulation, the amount of secretion increases at the same time - you will therefore have a lot of vaginal discharge. At this time you are particularly fertile, and the clear and fluid discharge makes it easier for sperm to penetrate. In addition, there is a lot of vaginal discharge, especially during this time, so that it flows nicely during sex. Nature has already thought of something - so always think of appropriate contraception. All in all, this slightly different fertile period discharge is quite normal.

In the days before and after your period, you may have a brownish discharge. This is due to the small amount of blood that is already mixed in. This is also completely normal and varies from woman to woman. After menstruation, sticky discharge and viscous discharge are common due to hormones. If your discharge is greenish or crumbly, it is usually a sign that something is wrong. Similarly, foamy discharge can indicate a disease. This can be caused by vaginal fungus or other diseases. If this is the case, you should see your gynaecologist.

Hormonal contraceptives can affect the consistency of your discharge, as this is also hormonal. Otherwise, the consistency of your discharge follows the rules of nature. There are no other ways to influence it.

How to get really wet

What does the vagina smell like and how can you influence its smell?

When vaginal discharge smells like fish

The situation is different with the smell - this can definitely be influenced. For most women it is interesting to know how the vagina or the discharge smells and how you can control it. After all, every woman naturally wants to smell fresh and delicious down below. But does that coincide with what men find fragrant and delicious? After all, men should not be put off or even disgusted by unpleasant smells during sex.

In general, you can say that men describe the smell of the discharge as sour and sweet at the same time. But in general, every woman has a different body odour and therefore the smell of discharge always varies a little. So your discharge smells sweet and sour at the same time, but it may also smell a little like your sweat or your hair. When it comes to women's intimate odour, the descriptions of many men vary widely. So a good-smelling vagina is in many ways a matter of taste. Just as some people love the smell of vanilla and others get a headache from it, the same applies to the smell of discharge.

In general, however, men usually describe the smell in a woman's intimate area like this:

  • Discharge smells sour and sweet at the same time
  • Discharge smells metallic
  • Discharge smells like her
  • Discharge smells like nothing

Influence intimate odour

Although not everyone can smell you, there are many things you can do to improve your intimate odour. The logical conclusion is that you probably think of personal hygiene. You're damn right you should, because good hygiene can neutralise intimate odour. Like all parts of the body, a vagina simply smells best when freshly washed. Unless, of course, your sexual partner has a corresponding fetish. When washing, make sure you only use water or special care products for the intimate area. Soaps or perfumes can be harmful to your vaginal flora and destroy the protection it offers you. You don't need flannels or similar aids, because they tend to harbour germs that you really don't want on your vagina.

Panties filled with vaginal discharge

In addition to personal hygiene, exercise has a significant negative impact on vaginal discharge. If you have a date, you should avoid sports on that day because you want your private parts to smell good. Underwear made of polyester or similar materials are also not conducive. Similarly, panty liners and sanitary towels are not recommended because of their smell. In addition, perfumes, the granules that absorb the liquid and the pads themselves can irritate the skin. So use cotton underwear as often as you can.

More information about the female genital

Influencing intimate odour with food

How food can influence the smell of discharge

While hygiene can neutralise intimate odour and exercise can make it worse, you still have options when it comes to food. Have you ever heard that you can influence intimate odour through food? No? Then watch out because some foods actually change the smell of your vagina. Maybe this information is already familiar to you because men's sperm taste can also be influenced by food. There is no single answer to the question "What does a vagina smell like?" because food and stimulants can change the smell.

In any case, intimate odour is negatively influenced by:

  • alcohol
  • cigarettes
  • garlic
  • asparagus
  • antibiotics
  • onions

Good intimate odour, on the other hand, is favoured by:

  • yoghurt
  • drinking plenty of water
  • tangerines
  • coconut oil

Intimate odour is easily changed by:

  • cinnamon
  • pineapple
  • mint
  • cardamom

Although intimate smell can be influenced by food, you should not think that your intimate area will immediately take on the pineapple taste and smell after eating a pineapple. Nevertheless, a certain note of certain things you eat often resonates in the smell. Accordingly, garlic, for example, is unpleasant because it is not only your vagina that smells unpleasant after eating it. Just like garlic, eating onions doesn't necessarily have a positive effect on your body odour in general. But that's not all: your discharge will also smell of onion or garlic if you eat either of these foods in large quantities. So it's better to avoid both if you're planning to meet a man.

However, if you do have a scent faux pas, there is help. Fortunately, yoghurt is a well-known and proven remedy for intimate odours. Not only eating yoghurt, but also using it for intimate hygiene is excellent for your vaginal environment. The same goes for tangerines and citrus fruits, because they generally contain a lot of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body stay healthy, which of course has a positive effect on your discharge.

By the way: After sex, your bodily fluids have mixed and your discharge smells like sperm. The combination of the two smells is not always pleasant, but this is normal and nothing to worry about. Going to the toilet and washing afterwards will clear everything up very quickly.

Intimate odour home remedy

There are many home remedies for intimate odour circulating on the internet. But let me tell you: Not everything you read is good and right. With a healthy diet and lifestyle, as well as good intimate hygiene, white flow odour is usually neutralised. The only intimate odour home remedy besides yoghurt that does what it promises is coconut oil. This not only ensures soft and gentle skin in the external intimate area, but also has antibacterial properties. Consuming coconut oil can therefore change the smell of your vagina and at the same time prevent vaginal fungal infections. In addition, coconut oil can be used as a natural lubricant, which also has a positive effect on the smell of the vagina for the moment. Otherwise, thanks to our tips and advice above, your intimate odour will remain normal and you don't need to do anything else.

What influences the taste and how does a vagina taste?

The question of smell is quickly followed by the question, "What does the vagina actually taste like?" Intimate taste is in fact another important criterion besides smell, because of course a vagina should smell good AND taste good. The oral sex taste can - and we women know this too - be a real turn-off. A sweet vagina with delicious vagina juice, on the other hand, is the dream of all men. That's why you surely want to improve the taste of oral sex. So it's a good thing that you can influence the taste of the discharge as well as the smell. To find out how this works, we first need to know how men perceive vagina taste.

The different hairstyles of a vagina

So we asked some men, "What does a vagina taste like?", and, "What does a woman's fluid taste like?" Unsurprisingly, men describe the discharge taste similarly to the smell. In other words: when licking the vagina, everyone perceives the cervical mucus taste a little differently. However, this sensation is not just because all women taste differently. Every person naturally perceives tastes differently. How the vagina tastes is variable, but there are nevertheless some statements that are made more frequently. As with smell, vagina taste is usually described as both sour and sweet. Sometimes a metallic taste and a salty note are also perceived. Some also say that the vagina tastes bitter. In this case, however, soap residues or other cosmetics are often to blame.

Influencing the taste - What does vaginal secretion taste like?

Everyone wants to taste delicious when they lick their vagina. But how can you positively influence the taste of your vagina? One very important point is your diet. The same recommendations apply here as already listed for smell, because influencing the taste of the vagina with food works in exactly the same way as with smell. However, the famous pineapple taste is only partly true, because it is more of a note. This is not necessarily strong even after excessive consumption of pineapple or other fruits. If you're aroused, by many accounts the vagina tastes more sweet than sour. Hormonal fluctuations can affect the taste of your vagina without you being able to do anything about it, except possibly using hormonal contraceptives.

And what does a vagina taste like when it's perfumed? That's right, perfume - and that's gross, because it doesn't taste like it smells. So avoid perfume or perfumed products, because not only are they harmful to the acidic environment of your vagina, they also give it an unpleasant taste. Nice to know: Men prefer the taste of a woman and not something artificial during oral sex. Another interesting fact: intimate hygiene with clean water and naturally clean fingers naturally changes the smell of your intimate area. Discharge, on the other hand, is a product of the body and can actually only be well controlled through nutrition. After all, vaginal secretions are produced by your body and also contain metabolic products.


So the answers to questions like "What do women taste like?", "What does a vagina smell like?" or "What does vagina taste like?" are always individual and slightly variable. Due to the sweet and sour vaginal environment, the discharge smells and tastes sweet and sour - sometimes both at once, sometimes only one of them. If the taste is bitter or the discharge smells strong, a doctor should be consulted. However, you can influence the smell and taste of your vagina by practising good personal hygiene without using harsh soaps or lotions. Vaginal odour and vaginal discharge can also be controlled by a sensible diet.

In summary, it can be said:

  • Drink enough water and avoid exercise, garlic and onions before sex.

  • Basically, watch your diet and try the sweetness of fruits.

  • Cotton underwear is much better for the smell than synthetics.

  • If the discharge smells strong or even like fish, is foamy, crumbly or greenish, you should go to the doctor quickly.

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