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Women's Health

Vaginal ammonia smell

10/30/2006

Question:

Off and on I have a vaginal amonia smell it is very strong, it reminds me of cat urine. The doctor tells me he thinks it is hormonal changes just to wash with a vineger and water solution when I have the smell. Could you tell me anything else to do?

Answer:

I would suspect that your physician did a swab to make sure that you didn’t have bacterial vaginosis (an overgrowth of bacteria normally found in the vagina) - this discharge sometimes has a “fishy-like” odor (some say it smells like ammonia); it is usually treatable with an antibiotic.

An occasional vinegar and water douche (less than once a week) is not harmful; more frequent douching may be harmful. If it doesn’t work, I would recommend you see your doctor again to rule out the bacterial vaginosis.

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Response by:

W. Fred Miser, MD W. Fred Miser, MD
Professor of Family Medicine
Director of Ohio State Medicine Residency Program
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University