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Do women smell different after menopause?

By Michelle King Robson Expert HERWriter December 15, 2008 - 9:41pm
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Do any of you who have gone through menopause think you smell different than you did before? By that I mean the way your body smells to you, not that your nose is working differently. I always thought it was just me that felt this way, but tonight I read an article about someone else who thinks she also smells different now that she's post-menopausal.

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EmpowHER Guest

OMG, I thought there was something wrong with me. Why don't woman discuss this issue? Started menopause at age 48. I had breast cancer at age 50. After a bi-lateral Mastectomy & 8 rounds of chemo I was slammed into menopause. Severe Mood swings, hot flashes but most importantly my vagina shrunk. Now at a young age of 62 I find intercourse to be very painful and to be brutally honest I smell like dead fish down there!! Talked to my friend about this and she told me it was a lack of estrogen, so I immediately refilled my prescription for the Estring ring. Voila, within 3 days the nasty odor dissipated & intercourse isn't as painful. I purchased it online at Planet Dugs Direct for $98.00 (lasts 3 months) here in the good old USA they wanted $400.00. I also have tried every lubricant out there, astroglide, etc and found the only thing that works for me is raw, organic coconut oil. So I will continue with the ring even though my Breast Cancer was Estrogen positive, my oncologist stated this WAS THE SAFEST method out there. Hubby is happy & the cat doesn't steal my panties anymore, lol! Good luck ladies and PLEASE whatever you do DON'T let your Dr. talk you into HRT!!

February 23, 2016 - 5:52pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)


"Hubby is happy & the cat doesn't steal my panties anymore, lol! "

That is so brutally honest, but gross, but funny, I laughed out loud! You're hilarious!

Thanks for your Share, I hope it helps other women going through this.


April 13, 2016 - 2:00pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Thank you so much for your honesty. I'm just a little weirded out at the change in smells in so many places. I had that vaginal fishy smell for a while. Don't know exactly why it went away but that was such a drag while it lasted. I determined it had something to do with my husband not completely clearing out the sperm after ejaculation. That last little bit left inside would go fishy after a few hours. Then there was a transfer of whatever that bacteria was that multiplied in his body. I have him make sure he washes first and no more fishy smelly in my silk purse anymore! Now I have a thick, kind of medicinal smell to my urine that kinda reminds me of, back when I had babies, how a disposable diaper smelled first thing in the morning. I'll post that question separately, too. By the way, You Made Me Laugh, funny lady. I lived in the tropics for a few months and the little ants literally ate holes, overnight, in my dirty underwear. I never left them out again.

April 7, 2016 - 4:54pm
EmpowHER Guest

I believe it's hormones. This makes sense. When we are of childbearing years, we must be as attractive to the opposite sex as possible. After menopause, not necessary. I received many compliments while wearing perfume (one in particular) about 15 years ago, both no more. I am 59. I believe my body chemistry has changed, along with a lot of other details! I don't know if it's pheromones , something else, or a combination thereof. All I DO know is, it isn't the same, even to me.

There's not a lot I wouldn't spend to get that "certain something" BACK, if ever the brainiacs could figure out what the hell it was!

January 31, 2016 - 7:59pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

This is EXACTLY my problem! This is the first time I have ever heard anyone who explains it this way. I too had a favorite perfume which I still wear but receive no compliments anymore!

April 6, 2016 - 11:02am
EmpowHER Guest

To the women who are posting various remedies for washing your lady parts, you are causing more harm than good. The vagina is NOT to be washed with anything but water. Yes, it smells, but you upset the natural ph when you introduce anything but water into the area. See your GYNO. There are products made to restore and balance the ph which can be purchased OTC without a prescription, however be careful to avoid products with glycerin as they may cause a yeast infection.

January 25, 2016 - 8:07pm

After struggling for a long time with post-menopausal underarm odor, I found this site and have tried many of the suggestions without much luck. But, finally, I found what works for me and can go all day without the offensive smell! After showering with Dial, and the most important--splash hydrogen peroxide on an unscented baby wipe or facial wipe and rub the armpits with it. It dries quickly then I use my deodorant & I like Secret Clinical Strength or Arrid XX Dry. Wow. It's been a miracle. I can go all day without smelling myself! Thanks, ladies, for all your suggestions.

December 27, 2015 - 2:51pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Lucie)

Underarm odor I can deal with. Its the fishy lady stink I can't.

March 21, 2016 - 4:49pm
EmpowHER Guest

yes this is something that has definitely happened and i used to smell like perfume so i am told lol. its really annoying i took canestan and it went but back to floral again but in a week it is definitely a menopausal thing and really annoying.

November 14, 2015 - 6:22am
EmpowHER Guest

I underwent a complete surgical menopause at age 40 for which I take estradiol. I am now 51. Approximately 4 years after onset of menopause I began to notice that I had a strange and unpleasant odor. I tried everything and nothing worked, and in fact some products seemed to make it worse. I finally made an appointment with a GYN who specializes in post-menopausal issues and she was awesome! She explained that these symptoms are not at all uncommon and immediately prescribed Premarin cream for my vagina. This helped immediately! She also explained the PH differences of a post-menopausal vagina and recommended Aveeno oatmeal soap or other completely fragrance free produce containing moisture as to not further dry the vagina and balance the PH. Any traces of odor that were not resolved from the Premarin cream immediately went away. In combination, the cream and soap work great for me so I thought I'd share! If I run out of the Premarin and haven't made it to the pharmacy yet it comes back in about two days. If I run out of the soap it comes back within about four days so it really is a balancing act of keeping estrogen in the vagina and balancing the PH, but as long as I have both I have virtually no odor whatsoever.
Just a note: I have tried other oatmeal soap brands and they didn't work nearly as well. I don't know why Aveeno works so well but it does. Hope this helps anyone experiencing these symptoms.

October 11, 2015 - 2:56am
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