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What Causes Body Odor in the Pubic Area?

author image Lillian Downey
A Jill-of-all-trades, Lillian Downey is a certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, certified clinical phlebotomist and a certified non-profit administrator. She's also written extensively on gardening and cooking. She also authors blogs on nail art blog and women's self esteem.
What Causes Body Odor in the Pubic Area?
Wet bathing suits can lead to yeast and bacteria-caused odor. Photo Credit couple in bathing suits image by Pix by Marti from <a href="http://www.fotolia.com">Fotolia.com</a>

Body odor can occur in the pubic area for the same reasons it occurs on other parts of your body. Moisture allows bacteria and yeast to get comfortable and multiply, which contributes to odor. Certain infections and poor hygiene also lead to increases in odor-causing agents. For some, the odor will be in response to an infection or medical condition and the odor won't clear up until the infection does. For others, a few small habit changes can often solve the problem.


Sweat increases the moisture in your pubic area. If you have excess moisture for a long period of time, a common result is odor. This moisture could come from normal activities like wearing a wet bathing suit for too long or getting sweaty after a long workout. The same kind of sweaty odor you get in your underarms can occur here, especially in the folds between your legs. This can be caused by bacteria, but according to Kid's Health, your sweat itself can have a strong odor. Consider wearing breathable cotton fibers and showering soon after working out. Let the area dry completely before dressing again. Maintain proper hygiene to regularly rinse away sweat and bacteria.

Bacterial Infections

Your vagina is a warm, moist place, which makes it the ideal habitat for all kinds of bacteria. When you have too many or the wrong kind of bacteria, it can lead to a vaginal infection. Bacterial vaginosis is one of the more common vaginal infections. It's not a sexually transmitted infection, but you can get it from having a new sex partner. Bacterial vaginosis gives your vagina a fishy body odor, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your odor will fade quickly once you start a course of antibiotics. If you don't treat this infection, it could spread through your reproductive tract and cause infertility and organ damage, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Some bacterial sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, can increase discharge and lead to odor. Have you doctor evaluate the source of your odor to determine what type of bacteria is causing it.

Yeast Infections

Men and women alike can get yeast infections, which cause pubic body odor. This odor is usually bread-like. In men, it comes with itching and irritation. The same is true for women, plus a cottage-cheese discharge. Yeast infections occur for several reasons. The main cause is an overabundance of yeast. It can be caused by antibiotics, which kill helpful yeast-fighting bacteria, according to Medline Plus. It can also be caused by excess moisture in the pubic area. It isn't a sexually transmitted disease, but it can be passed between sex partners. Anti-fungal creams and systemic anti-fungal medications eradicate the infection and remove the odor problem.

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