Cross Your Legs, Not Your Fingers


If something smells fishy, a half bottle of perfume only makes it worse.

Don’t Hold Your Breath for a Solution

⚠️ Use Discretion: Mature subject matter.

As a concerned person, can we speak privately about a problem affecting ladies for a moment? Bacterial vaginosis is not deadly nor contagious but, unfor­tunate­ly, not pleasant—for the sufferer nor those nearby with functioning olfaction.

In fact, crossing one’s fingers while attempting to mask malodor with perfume can literally take the breath away from neighboring asthma sufferers. It can make migraine sufferers think they are experiencing a gustatory aura.

“When you cross your legs, you’re trying to improve the mechanics of the lower back and take the strain off,” says posture expert Dr. Steven Weiniger, author of Stand Taller Live Longer: An Anti-Aging Strategy. Women are taught from an early age to keep their legs crossed regardless of back strain.

Leg crossing keeps curious pre-pubescent boys from discovering the remarkable anatomical differences in their female counterparts. Leg crossing when sitting also trains young women to prevent inappropriate exposure to what’s percolating inside during certain times of the month.

Discharging Responsibility

What is bacterial vaginosis? The human body is actually full of bacteria (flora)—some good and some bad. Bacterial vaginosis results from overgrowth of normal bacteria in the vagina. Most common among women ages 15 to 44, it can occur in women of any age, even if they have never had sex.

A foul smelling discharge, affecting 29 percent of U.S. women (2001–2004), is the most recognized symptom. Some women experience a fishy smelling thin, grayish white or yellowish vaginal discharge that is more noticeable following copulation.

The scent is somewhat different from another common infection. With a nonspecific “yeasty odor,” a vaginal yeast infection can produce a substantial white discharge with bits of solid white cotton-like material. This may be accompanied by intense itching.

A vaginal yeast infection often results from contaminating the vagina with fecal matter during intercourse or reverse directional wiping when visiting the toilet. (Always wipe from front to back.)

Diarrhetic splashing has also been known to cause contamination. A slimy yellowish-green vaginal discharge could be a sexually transmitted disease called trichomonas vaginalis. These three conditions along with others are illustrated and described on the poster, Common Gynecological Disorders.

Though not a sexually transmitted infection, having bacterial vaginosis can increase a woman’s susceptibility to HIV infection if she is exposed to the HIV virus. It can also increase a woman’s susceptibility to other STIs, such as herpes simplex virus (HSV), chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

Keep It Pleasant

Bacterial vaginosis is the most common gynecological disorder but researchers are uncertain about exactly what causes it. The condition, which is not transferred to males, is often present among women with multiple sex partners, those with intrauterine devices, woman recently taking antibiotics, those who smoke, or those that douche regularly. Hence, contrary behavior would seem to minimize the odds.

Two powerful aromas net an overwhelmingly odoriferous concoction.

Women like to smell nice—like flowers even. Cologne and perfume manufacturers bank on it. But combining two powerful aromas nets an overwhelmingly odoriferous concoction. Therefore, masking is, at best, a temporary solution.

Don’t wait for someone else to bring the embarrassing miasma to your attention. This is not exactly what writer Giovanni Arpino nor actor Al Pacino had in mind with Scent of a Woman.

Crossing Over To Solutions

Cross Your Legs, Not Your Fingers #vaginosis

Quickly getting to the source of the problem is the best solution. A doctor may perform a “whiff test” with potassium hydroxide (KOH) liquid. When a drop of KOH testing liquid used in the whiff test contacts a drop of the discharge from a woman with bacterial vaginosis, a certain fishy odor can result.

Home remedies to neutralize malodorous bacteria include: eating yogurt, consuming probiotics, swallowing whole garlic cloves, weekly hydrogen peroxide (1 ounce) vaginal irrigation, or boric acid capsules.

Though there are over-the-counter preparations for yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis is generally controlled with a prescribed antibiotic. (Probiotics are advised following completion of any antibiotic regimen.)

This is prescribed after lab results, so don’t cross your fingers and hope your fetor will dissipate unaided or that no one else notices. Visit your gynecologist regularly and report any unusual symptoms for treatment.

Fish Odor Syndrome

The next possible cause might make you wish bacterial vaginosis is the cause of your odors. This ailment is not limited to females. According to findings in the American Journal of Medicine, “fish odor syndrome,” is a genetic condition called trimethylaminuria (TMAU) that may affect one third of the people who report a fish odor emitting from several bodily locations.

TMAU results from a defect in the normal production of an enzyme named flavin-containing monooxygenase 3 (FMO3). TMAU hinders the body’s ability to break down trimethylamine (TMA), which is mainly in choline-rich foods such as:

  • Brassicas (brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower)*
  • Eggs
  • Certain legumes (peas, beans, peanuts, soya products)
  • Saltwater fish
  • Organ meats such as livers, brains, hearts
  • Wheat germ

* Some people dislike cabbage or broccoli because these plants contain a compound similar to phenylthiocarbamide (PTC), which is either bitter or tasteless, depending on their taste buds.

Cross Your Legs, Not Your Fingers

To put it bluntly, when excess TMA builds up in your body, you stink. It is released via sweat, urine and breath of either men or women. TMAU sufferers shower 12 to 15 times a day and typically visit many doctors. Avoidance of specified food triggers helps somewhat. Trips to an allergist and nutritionist with strict diets may bring the condition under control.

Make certain residual odor is not lingering in undergarments by using washable panty liners. Try using a natural deodorant. When an unpleasant aroma follows you throughout your day, don’t point fingers. Take action to refresh yourself and remain healthy.

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Updated: Dec 8, 2022

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