“OLD WOMAN SMELL?” – Marlene Daley

  Vaginal PH is prone to be imbalanced periodically, often reoccurring over many years with different symptoms, but truly becomes a nuisance post menopause. It is really offensive, smelly and unpleasant. There is a rule of thumb that says, “People smell us before we smell ourselves.” If this is true one is inclined to run far and fast upon getting a whiff of this fishy smelling discharge. It has been suggested that there is a time, post menopause, when the brain signals period, but gently oozes the grey discharge. “Old woman smell,” is a figure of speech used in some cultures, but has less to do with age than bacterial vaginosis which occurs more frequently at that time. Bacterial Vaginosis can occur as early as during teenage years. Studies have shown that it happens more frequently in teenagers or women who have or have had more than one sex partner, but it is not unusual to happen in women who are not sexually active. Bacterial vaginosis or BV as it is known is the most common vaginal infection found in women. It is caused by an overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria (meaning: it doesn’t need oxygen to grow), and an organism called gardnerella vaginalis. Small amounts of these anaerobic bacteria and gardnerella can normally be found in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis occurs when the balance of organisms in the vagina is upset and this allows anaerobic bacteria to overgrow. The good, protective bacteria, lactobacilli are then outnumbered and not able to do their normal job of being a natural disinfectant that helps keep organisms at the normal, healthy balance in...