Fishy Smell, Emu Oil Lubricant?


Coconut oil and Vitamin E stopped working for me, so I am freezing and using emu oil as a vaginal lubricant. Do you have any information about safety? Also, since last winter, I’ve had a slightly “fishy” odor. If I don’t bathe daily, I get an increased need to urinate, and the odor gets worse. I drink lots of water, eat a very clean diet, and exercise regularly. No caffeine or alcohol. I had a long wait for a March appointment with my regular OB-GYN, but the appointment was cancelled due to COVID.


Joan answers:

I can’t diagnose your odor, but your symptoms might be bacterial vaginosis (BV), caused by an overgrowth of bacteria, the most common reason for a fishy smell. It’s imperative to get a medical diagnosis and the right treatment, which might require antibiotics. For now, stop using any kind of oil as a vaginal lubricant. Oils and oil-based lubricants can increase risk of bacterial vaginosis. Switch to water-based sexual lubricants.

I understand that getting a medical appointment during COVID is problematic, but by now, medical professionals have created safe, efficient ways to see patients when it’s warranted. Start by requesting a phone appointment to describe your symptoms to your doctor, who will decide whether it’s advisable for you to come to the office, or whether a mail-ordered prescription will work for your situation. Don’t try to treat a sexual medical problem without a diagnosis — and no douching.

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