I have a vaginal discharge and odor but I’m too embarrassed to see a doctor. Please help.

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It’s normal to have a small amount of vaginal discharge and your own vaginal scent that may change, for example, after working out, during your period, and after sex, but it shouldn’t be strong or smell bad. If the odor doesn’t go away after taking a shower or bath and using just mild soap and water to clean around (not in) your vagina, you may have an overgrowth of bacteria.

Most young and adult women would probably say they would feel embarrassed or uneasy about seeking medical or gynecological care for vaginal odor but this shouldn’t stop you from getting the care you need. Keep in mind that health care providers (HCPs) see this all of the time. They would much rather check you and prescribe the right treatment than have you treat yourself, as this can make your symptoms worse. Try to focus on being clear about your symptoms; when they started, what seems to make it worse/better, the color and amount of your discharge, etc. rather than feeling self-conscious. Remember, that this is a common concern but with the right treatment, you can feel better soon.