Sex Transm Infect 88:238 doi:10.1136/sextrans-2011-050440
  • Editorial

Genital malodour in women: an unmet therapeutic challenge

  1. Jack D Sobel
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jack D Sobel, Division of Infectious Diseases, Harper University Hospital, 3990 John R, Detroit, MI 48201, USA; jsobel{at}
  • Accepted 6 February 2012
  • Published Online First 1 March 2012


Unpleasant odour originating in or localised to the genital area is a not an uncommon symptom that brings a woman to her practitioner's office. In reality, women are frequently too embarrassed to discuss this symptom and only a fraction with this distressing complaint seek treatment. Not all malodour is persistent and when seeking medical help, frequently, the complaint of malodour only emerges well into a discussion of her other complaints of discharge, irritation, etc. Women reporting long-standing genital malodour are usually mortified, especially if another individual(s) has mentioned the odour to the patient. This may be a sexual partner, family member or most horrifically an associate or co-worker. When the complaint eventually emerges, the clinician faces anything but an easy task in tracking down causation. The practitioner cannot …

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