Whenever I stand or move around I feel like I give off a scent similar to a fart, but I am not passing gas. Any ideas what it might be? Help! I am embarrassed to ask my doctor.

confused tweenThe mysterious smell could be caused by many different things, but for starters it may have to do with your body odor. Body odor can be a difficult challenge for teens who are going through puberty (growing from a child into an adult). During puberty, teens begin to sweat more than before. One way to help manage the smell is to pay close attention to personal hygiene. Showering at least once a day with soap and water and using deodorant and or antiperspirants products is a great place to start!

Another reason for the odor can be an infection in your vagina called bacterial vaginosis, or “BV.” BV typically occurs in women (both lesbian and straight) who are sexually active but it can also occur in women who are not sexually-active. The infection is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria, producing white/yellowish discharge from your vagina. BV causes a fishy odor. It is also possible that you left a tampon in your vagina after a previous menstrual period.

Since we don’t know exactly where your mysterious smell is coming from, it may be helpful to ask a trusted friend or parent if they notice it. You may realize that you don’t actually smell at all! If a friend or family member agrees that you have a smell or you are sure that there is an unusual smell, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. The harmless mysterious smell may actually be a warning sign for an infection, so it’s important to speak with your PCP.