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Why Does your Genital Area Smell?

January 24th, 2018

Why Does your Genital Area Smell?

Why does your genital area smell?

While the thought of a smelly genital area is unpleasant, it’s often a reality for many men and women. The area is often hot, humid, and tucked beneath layers of clothing. Everyone’s genital area emits some kind of odor, dependent upon skin secretions, bacteria on the skin, diet, and environment. There are several reasons that your genital area may smell more than “normal.” So, what makes the genital area smell?

Pubic Hair

Sweat, skin oil, and bacteria stick to pubic hairs. Pubic hair provides a physical matrix that supports the processes that lead to body odor. People who trim or remove their pubic hair also usually have less body odor in their pubic area.


Chances are, if you’re noticing an unpleasant odor coming from your genitals, a good old-fashioned cleaning will help. Sweat and moisture create a stench and letting the water run over it in the shower isn’t enough. Use unscented soap to scrub the genital region.

Clothing and underwear

Synthetic fabric traps heat and moisture, making your genitals an optimal breeding ground for bacteria. Look for 100% cotton underwear or other breathable fabrics and limit tight clothing.
A distinctly unpleasant odor or a change in body odor arising from your pubic area might signal an infection. Yeast is common in men and women and can create an unpleasant odor and lead to a yeast infection. If you find your scent is excessive or if you notice a recent change, see your doctor, especially if you develop a rash in your pubic area, or a change in your vaginal discharge for women.
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