ADVICE: Is it true pineapple sweetens 'down there'?

When it comes to how your vagina tastes, does what you eat matter?

Maja Begovic 4 minute read October 23, 2020

Dear Asking For a Friend,

My boyfriend is a fan of oral sex — like him on me. Most of the guys I know only prefer oral sex if it’s done on them. I actually quite enjoy it, but I sometimes worry about odour and taste. I read that if you eat a lot of pineapple, your vagina has a more pleasant taste. I have done some research — and I am too embarrassed to ask my doctor — but are there other foods that can help?

Signed, Eating Out

Dear Eating Out,

Many women are hard on their vagina. They scrutinize its shape, size, colour and symmetry, and go to great lengths to smell and taste fresh down there. For decades, women have been coaxed into using feminine cleansing washes that disrupt healthy bacteria and pH balance, making them more prone to vaginal infection, foul odour and unpleasant taste.

The truth is that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that you are what you eat, at least not when it comes to vaginal secretions. However, some people on popular online forums swear by foods that contain natural sugars and are packed with vitamins and nutrients, such as fresh or canned pineapple, blueberries, kiwi, mangos and cucumbers. On the contrary, there is anecdotal evidence that onions, garlic, asparagus, red meat, dairy and even alcohol can make your vagina taste earthy and musky. Eating a balanced diet that includes probiotics, healthy servings of fruits and vegetables, and staying hydrated is good for your body, but whether or not these healthy habits can turn your vagina into syrupy sweetness is up for debate.

So what does a healthy vagina taste like? It’s different for every woman and the taste can vary throughout your menstrual cycle. It might taste sweet or acidic when you’re ovulating, thanks to the white discharge that’s common on your fertile days, or it might taste more bitter or metallic when you’re on your period due to the blood’s iron content. Whatever the case may be for you, your vagina shouldn’t taste like artificial fragrance.

Whether or not these healthy habits can turn your vagina into syrupy sweetness is up for debate

If you practice good hygiene and you maintain its healthy bacteria and pH levels, your vagina will taste just fine. It’s a self-cleaning organ, and good vaginal hygiene involves rinsing the area with water to get rid of sweat and any discharge, rather than manipulating vaginal environment with harsh soaps and feminine cleansing washes. If you suddenly experience unusual or fishy smell and uncomfortable symptoms like burning or itching, yeast or a sexually transmitted infection might be the culprit.

There is anecdotal evidence that onions, garlic, asparagus, red meat, dairy and, even alcohol, can make your vagina taste earthy and musky

“Odour can be an infection or rarely, something like a cancer, but that is super unusual,” says Dr. Amanda Selk, obstetrician and gynecologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and host of the medical podcast The Vulva Diaries. “If you have vaginal discharge that you are worried about, it’s a good idea to see your family doctor.”

When it comes to sex, both men and women can feel a little self-conscious about their body when they are with a new partner. And while it’s common to feel a little awkward in a new sexual encounter or relationship, if you’re too focused on what your body looks like or what your vagina tastes like, you make it harder to relax and enjoy oral sex. But if you just practice good hygiene, especially before sex, you can feel confident that your vagina tastes just fine.


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