Why Does My Vaginal Discharge Smell Like A Potato? 4 Causes

In this piece, I share all the possible reasons, solutions, treatments, and the right way to care for your secret garden.

Let’s dig into the main content now.

Why Does My Vaginal Discharge Smell Like A Potato? 

Why Does My Vaginal Discharge Smell Like A Potato

Infection, yeast infection, cervical cancer, STI, or imbalance in the body are the possible reasons cause the smell of potato happens in your garden.

Talking to a doctor to understand what might happen and get the right help and advice is important.

Here I share details of each reason.

Yeast Infection

Why does discharge smell starchy?

A yeast infection can sometimes cause a change in the smell of vaginal discharge.

This happens when too much yeast or fungus is in that area, leading to some common symptoms, such as vaginal itching, redness, and an unusual odor.

The yeast infection smell is more like a yeasty or bread-like smell.

Bacterial Infection 

Sometimes, when there is an infection in your private area, it can cause your vaginal discharge to smell different.

Infections can happen when harmful germs enter your body. These germs can make your discharge smell bad.

The infection that can cause a potato-like smell in vaginal discharge is called bacterial vaginosis (BV).

Bacterial vaginosis occurs when your “down there” has an imbalance of the natural bacteria. This imbalance allows certain bacteria to grow too much, creating an unpleasant odor.


A disease called a sexually transmitted infection (STI) can cause their vaginal discharge to have a potato smell.

This happens because the germs from the STI can make the discharge smell different.

In a detailed manner, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are STIs that can cause changes in vaginal discharge and may have distinct smells.

The bacterium named Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the trigger of Gonorrhea.

When a person has Gonorrhea, there will be an increase in vaginal discharge, which may have a strong, unpleasant stink.

This odor can be described as fishy or foul beside potato. Sometimes, I even see yellowish or greenish discharges.

Chlamydia, on the other hand, originates from the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. It can lead to changes in vaginal discharge.

The discharge may become thicker or more abundant and may have a different smell than usual.

While it doesn’t have a specific odor associated with it, like Gonorrhea, it can still have an unpleasant smell.

However, a distinct smell alone cannot determine if someone has an STI. Proper testing is necessary to diagnose Gonorrhea, chlamydia, or any other STI accurately.

If you’re in doubt that you may have an STI, my advice is to make a schedule to visit a healthcare provider for testing and appropriate treatment.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a very serious disease when abnormal cells are in a woman’s cervix.

As cancerous cells grow and multiply, they can disrupt the normal functioning of the cervix and surrounding tissues. 

The abnormal cells and the cancerous growth can take a toll on the production and composition of vaginal discharge.

This can be followed by increased discharge or consistency, texture, color changes, and unusual smells.

If a woman has cervical cancer, it can sometimes make it smell different, like a potato.

Still, the odor alone is not a definitive sign of cervical cancer.

Regular screenings, such as Pap smears or HPV tests, or further pelvic exams will need to be performed for the early detection of cervical cancer.

Treatment Options For Vaginal Odor 

my discharge smells bad but not fishy


Regarding treating the odor caused by infections like bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis, or certain sexually transmitted infections, doctors may prescribe antibiotics.

Antibiotics are medicines that help fight against harmful bacteria in your body. They can help clear up the infection causing the odor and restore the natural balance in your vagina.

Follow your doctor’s instructions and finish the course of antibiotics to ensure effective treatment.

Some of the well-known antibiotics doctors will recommend in these situations include:

  • metronidazole (Flagyl)
  • clindamycin (Cleocin Hcl)
  • tinidazole (Tindamax) 

Antifungal Medications

Doctors may recommend antifungal medications if your vaginal odor is due to a yeast infection.

These medications work to kill the fungus that is the culprit behind the infection. They can come in different forms, like creams, suppositories, or oral tablets.

Antifungal medications help restore the natural balance in your vagina and reduce the odor associated with yeast infections.


In some cases, if there are underlying conditions causing persistent vaginal odor that doesn’t respond to other treatments, surgery may be considered.

However, surgery is typically a last resort and is not commonly used to treat vaginal odor.

As any surgery carries risks, if it is not serious, doctors will just recommend you use medicine instead.

Tips To Care For Your Vaginal

Wash Your Vag Regularly

A regular, simple cleaning schedule will make you feel great every day, and washing your private area will ensure your vaginal health.

Ensure to wash your vagina regularly with gentle soap and warm water. It is recommended to use specified genital products.

The right hygiene schedule helps keep your secret garden clean and healthy. 

Please remember that you wash the outside only and never put soap inside.

Also, trimming/waxing your bikini area helps hinder the bacterial growth, but tread with caution when waxing after c-section.

Don’t Douche

Again, avoid using douches or strong soaps inside your vagina. As my doctor shared, our body has an automatic cleansing mechanism, which is why it can work for itself inside.

So douching is not necessary and can disrupt its natural balance. You just need to stick to gentle washing on the outside.

Choose Breathable Underwear

Wear underwear made of breathable materials like cotton. This material allows air to circulate and helps prevent moisture buildup, which can trigger odor or infections.

Don’t wear synthetic materials that trap heat and moisture.

Lastly, change your underwear at least once per day.

Stay Away From Tight Pants

Avoid wearing tight pants or clothes that don’t allow enough airflow. Tight clothing can create a warm, moist environment that promotes bacterial growth.

Choose loose-fitting clothes that let your vagina breathe and stay comfortable.

Sometimes tight jeans can make your lower body more pronounced. However, don’t wear it for a long time. You don’t want some moments of glory to steal away your healthy beauty.

Other Smells That You Need To Pay Attention 

What does unhealthy discharge smell like

So, what does unhealthy discharge smell like? It has a metallic smell, fishy odor, etc.

Now, let me break it down so that whatever abnormal odor you discover, you know exactly the reason behind it.


So, why does my discharge smell like vinegar? People often ask me this question, especially when caring for a child.

In fact, the pregnant discharge smells like vinegar because of the pH Imbalance in your private area.

Your vagina has its own natural pH level that helps keep it healthy.

However, certain things like soaps, bubble baths, or tight clothes can disrupt this balance and make your discharge smell different.

Therefore, a gentle and safe product to wash your “down there” is a must. I recommend you avoid using harsh chemicals.

Wearing loose, breathable clothes made of cotton can also help maintain a healthy pH balance.

Garbage Or Metallic Odor

If discharge smells like garbage after period, or the metallic smell, the reason could be menstrual blood and bacterial growth.

During your menstrual cycle, blood is released from your uterus and mixed with vaginal fluids.

When blood comes into contact with the bacteria in your vagina, it can create a garbage smell. When this blood is exposed to air, it can develop a metallic smell.

This type of strong odor is usually temporary and should go away as your body naturally cleans itself.

Maintaining good hygiene during and after your period is important by changing your pads or tampons regularly and washing your vag gently with mild soap and water.


Why does my discharge smell like vegetables? Your diet and hygiene is to blame.

The food you eat can sometimes affect how your body smells, including your vaginal discharge.

Eating certain vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, or onions can bring a vegetable-like odor to your discharge. However, it is usually temporary and not a matter of concern in this case.

In addition to diet, maintaining good hygiene is essential.

Fishy Odor

Why does my discharge smell like a fishy odor?

In my experience, if your discharge has so-called the fish smell, it could be a sign of bacterial vaginosis.

Bacterial vaginosis happens when there is an imbalance in the natural bacteria in the vagina. This imbalance allows certain types of bacteria to grow too much, leading to a fishy smell.

Bacterial vaginosis can occur for various reasons, such as using harsh soaps, douching, or having unprotected sexual activity.


Why does my vaginal discharge smell like a potato? It’s due to infection, most of the time. Some smell in the genital area is normal, but some are signs that you should never ignore.

If the abnormal smell happens regularly, always seek the doctor’s advice. The sooner you know what is behind it, the sooner the problem is solved.

Share your problem with me; you will never be alone. I hope my website is where you always find peace, whatever your problem is.

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