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Menopause - Is the body odour change permanent?

By suzymac March 5, 2010 - 7:06am
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It is not unpleasant, but my general body odour has change. This I could live with, but for the past few days I can even 'taste' it whether or not I am eating and tea is, quite honestly, horrible. My daughter says that she can't smell anything.Has this happened to anyone else? Does it stop? Is there something I can do?

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EmpowHER Guest

I have noticed a smell from the back of my head and neck area as well since my cervical spinal epidural last week. The smell is not bad, but its not good either.... there is no sore, rash, or redness of any kind. I have been having to wash my hair twice a day, and with in an hour the smell is back. I did have a very bad reaction to the injection itself and now a week and a half later am finally starting to be able to move my head, and the blinding headache is subsiding.....But I am 31 currently and no where near menopause, so I do not believe it to be hormonal, but possibly the medication causing the odor?

October 1, 2011 - 8:12pm
EmpowHER Guest

I just noticed a change in my body smell as well. I am 53 and have only had a few "hot flashes" that are not bothersome, but I have not had my period for about 9 months. I assume I am in menopause. I am thinking that this is the body odor change connection. I have read that sometimes body smells can indicate disease, and that is my fear. I will go to the doctor next month, but I am wondering if anyone else has heard this??

June 4, 2011 - 6:42am
EmpowHER Guest

In the past 30 days I have noticed I have body odor. Under the arms. Strong and offensive. Bathe daily, eat a balanced diet. 61 yrs. old. Recently had to have cortisone epidural due to back injury. Connection? or is this typical of one who has passed through menopause?

March 17, 2010 - 10:25am
Diane Porter (reply to Anonymous)

Hi, Anon,

Welcome to EmpowHer! Thanks so much for your question. I'm so sorry you hurt your back, and I hope you're on the mend.

We get a lot of questions and complaints from women going through menopause who have noticed a definite change and increase in their body odor. However, at 61, I am assuming that you have been through menopause already, and I wouldn't think it would be the cause of something so recent.

Have you changed anything else in the last 30 days? Any other medications stopped or started, for instance?

Does the change in smell correlate with when you had the cortisone injection?

If so, I would think that yes, there could be a connection. Cortisone is a cousin to cortisol, a hormone produced by our adrenal gland that helps us deal with inflammation. And hormones can be directly related to our body odor; it's why that changes during menopause.

Will you ask your doctor about this and see what she or he says? And if you'll let me know when your cortisone shot was, I can refer this question to one of our medical experts who specializes in hormones and the endocrine system to see what he says as well.

March 18, 2010 - 10:21am
Diane Porter

Hi, SuzyMac,

You know, this is bugging a lot of us! Here's another question on EmpowHer where women are asking the same thing (including me!)


None of them, however, mention a change in their sense of taste, or that they can "taste" the smell (and I do know what you mean by that). This has been going on for just a few days?

How long ago had you noticed the change in body odor? Longer than when you noticed the taste?

Can I ask if you've recently started or stopped any medications or had a change in your diet?

Here's a great explanation about the changes in our body odor after menopause. It's basically that our hormones have changed and we are now producing a different kind of sweat, and we need to get rid of the bacteria that feed on this sweat. (Ewwww, I know.):


That page also has some possible solutions. One is a balanced diet rich in magnesium and zinc. Another is stress management, because we produce more sweat when we are stressed. Yet another is wearing natural rather than synthetic fabrics, because natural fabrics breathe more and don't allow such a buildup of sweat and bacteria.

Here's a page that focuses on vaginal odor:


This page also has some helpful information, especially about dietary changes that can affect how much we sweat:


On another site, I found a woman who recommends going to a health food store and buying a crystal deodorant. "It kills the bacteria that cause the odor," she said. "After you shower, wet down your armpits and go over them a few times with the crystal, and it will really help control the odor."

Worth a shot. I'm hoping that in your case, if you can control the bacteria that are causing the odor, the bad taste will go away as well. Worth a shot?

Does this help somewhat? Will you come back and let us know what you try and how it works?

March 5, 2010 - 8:29am
suzymac (reply to Diane Porter)

Well, it isn't a sweaty, BO smell and maybe I'm really noticing it because it is different and we don't generally notice our own smell. The taste is more recent and no, no medications of any kind.

March 9, 2010 - 7:15am
Diane Porter (reply to suzymac)


Do other things still smell right to you? Foods, scented products, flowers, and so on?

Do you take vitamins? (If so, they aren't something that you started recently, are they?)

Do you ever get sinus infections? Have you had anything like this recently?

How about dental problems? Do you have a tooth or area of your mouth that's bothering you?

I'll keep working on this with you. I'm wondering whether it's actually a change in odor or whether you're experiencing a change in your sense of smell, since you say your daughter doesn't smell what you do.

March 9, 2010 - 8:08am
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