Ok, so you’re probably wondering what a “FUPA” is, right? It stands for Fat Upper Pubic Area or Fat Upper Private Area, or if you’re really raunchy, it stands for Fat Upper P****y Area. For women, it’s that area directly above your vagina but not quite your stomach. It makes your jeans look like “mom jeans” in the front.
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Whatever you want to call it, it’s been a common problem area for women for decades. Here are 5 exercises that along with a diet of lean fats and metabolism boosting foods, can make that FUPA disappear. Here goes:
1. Plank – The plank is severely underrated. Simply go into push up position, with your but not above your shoulders, nor under your elbows. A perfect plank position, you will look like a stiff board. You can also do with with your elbows on the ground. Take the help of your forearms and toes to support your body’s weight but ensure that your body is straight at all times.
Now, remain still in this position for 60 seconds. Try to increase the duration for 15 seconds more with every passing week. Perform this exercise 2 to 3 times daily.
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THE number of babies born via C-section has nearly doubled in the past 15 years.
And, earlier this week, an expert left many people stunned by claiming that ‘fat vaginas’ are to blame for this dramatic rise.
1 An expert has faced a backlash after claiming that “fat vaginas” are to blame for the rise in C-sectionsCredit: Getty – Contributor
Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Dr Marco Gaudoin told listeners that there is a higher demand for C-sections because overweight women have “fat vaginal canals” – which leave less space for the baby to be born.
He said: “With obesity you’ve got increased fat tissue in the birth canal, which makes the birth canal that much narrower, which makes it harder for the baby to squeeze through the birth canal.
“So you are more likely to end up with what is called an ‘obstructed labour’.”
Dr Gaudoin has since faced a backlash from doctors – who have slammed his bizarre claim.
- Obstructed labour
- Better health outcomes
- How does a normal vagina age?
- Is Keto Crotch a Real Thing? We Asked an Ob-Gyn for the Facts
- Is ‘Keto Crotch’ Really A Side Effect Of The Keto Diet?
- Does Ketosis Cause Body Odor?
- Does Ketosis Really Cause Body Odor?
- Why Does Ketosis Cause Body Odor?
- How Can You Avoid Body Odor while on a Ketogenic Diet?
- The Bottomline Is….
- People Think ‘Keto Crotch’ Might Be a Not-So-Pleasant Side Effect of the High-Fat Diet
- Debunking the “Keto Crotch” Conspiracy
- Read all about the latest gym openings, healthy events, and fitness trends in our twice weekly Wellness newsletter.
- HELP LADIES! Why do I smell down there!? PCOS/Keto Crotch?
- Is keto crotch real?
- Keto Crotch vs. Vaginal Infection
- More From FIRST
- One Stinky Side Effect Of The Keto Diet Is Funky ‘Keto Crotch’ And Carbs Never Sounded And Smelled So Delicious
Consultant obstetrician Dr Virginia Beckett, spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, emphasised that having an “obstructed labour” has nothing to do with “fat vaginas”.
She told The Sun Online: “Some women may also experience obstructed labour during birth – this is absolutely not due to the size of a woman’s vagina.
“It occurs because of the position of the baby in the birth canal or a mismatch in the size of the birth canal and the size of the baby.
“Women who are overweight are more likely to have overweight babies, often because of pregnancy related diabetes.
Better health outcomes
“Larger babies may not rotate as easily in the birth canal, so that assistance is required to safely deliver the baby.
“A caesarean birth may be offered to a woman to help reduce risk of harmful complications and lead to the safe delivery of a baby.
“Induction of labour and caesareans are safe procedures and can lead to better health outcomes for both mother and baby.
“We are keen to refute any suggestion which makes women concerned about the appearance of their vagina.
Some women may also experience obstructed labour during birth – this is absolutely not due to the size of a woman’s vagina
Dr Virginia Beckett, Consultant Obstetrician and Spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
“Vaginas and vulvas vary widely in appearance but their function remains the same, regardless of a woman’s weight.”
Dr Beckett also emphasised that the rise in C-sections was a result of “rising maternal age and weight.”
She added: “Over recent decades, the number of women giving birth vaginally has gradually decreased, while the number of inductions and caesarean births have increased.
“This is due to an increasing number of complex births as a result of rising maternal age and weight.
Why doctors may prescribe a C-section
A C-section is an operation that allows babies to be delivered through a cut made in the belly and womb.
The cut is usually made across your tummy, just below your bikini line.
The NHS reveals the reasons why doctors may prescribe a C-section…
- your baby is in the breech position (feet first) and your doctor has been unable to turn them by applying gentle pressure to your tummy, or you would prefer they didn’t try this
- you have a low-lying placenta (placenta praevia)
- you have pregnancy-related high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia)
- you have certain infections, such as a first genital herpes infection occurring late in pregnancy or untreated HIV
- your baby isn’t getting enough oxygen and nutrients – sometimes this may mean the baby needs to be delivered immediately
- your labour isn’t progressing or there’s excessive vaginal bleeding
“Women who are older – over the age of 35 – and those who are overweight are more likely to develop complications, such as gestational diabetes, during pregnancy which can be harmful to her and her baby.
“Some of these women will develop high blood pressure which tends to rise towards the end of pregnancy and can lead to a condition called pre-eclampsia.
“An induction may be offered to a woman so she can give birth early and avoid harm from this potentially serious condition.”
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Around one in every four to five pregnant women in the UK gives birth via C-section.
A caesarean is a major operation that carries a number of risks, so it’s usually only done if it’s the safest option for you and your baby.
The recovery time is longer than a vaginal birth by a few more days, and you have to stay in the hospital for at least 24 hours afterwards compared to six hours after a vaginal delivery.
Incredible video shows baby climbing out of her mother’s WOMB during c-section
We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
It’s not just your face that can give your age away, your vagina is getting older too.
While you might pore over the lines and wrinkles on your forehead in the mirror every morning, it’s less likely that you are looking ‘down there’. However, just like the rest of your body, it’s going through the ageing process.
How does a normal vagina age?
Every woman and every vagina is different, and it’s completely understandable to wonder, ‘is my vagina normal?’. But a healthy vagina will continue to change as we go through life – this is totally normal. Key life transitions such as pregnancy and menopause will have an effect on your genitals, just as they do on the rest of your body. Read on to discover how a normal vagina changes with age…
In your 30s:
If you are on the pill, or have taken it previously, your vagina may become drier in your thirties – experts believe that because the pill stops ovulation, you might not produce as much natural lubrication at this time of the month.
MORE: Vaginal Mesh Implants: The biggest medical scandal of our generation
Stephanie S Fabuion, author of Mayo Clinic: The Menopause Solution says, “We think some women may get more vulvar dryness with birth control pills because the pills are blocking male sex hormones called androgens, and the vulva has androgen receptors.” However, she does add that this varies from woman to woman.
Pregnancy and childbirth can also have a massive impact on your vulva.
The uterus swells to watermelon proportions during pregnancy – some women even get varicose veins on their genitals thanks to this increase in weight.
Hormones produced when you are expecting can also change the colour of your vulva, making it darker.
During childbirth, your vagina will naturally stretch as well if you don’t end up having a C-section. Thankfully though, the vagina is an extremely resilient part of your body and, thanks to its elasticity and blood supply, a healthy vagina tends to return to normal within six weeks of childbirth.
MORE: A no nonsense guide to normal vaginas
However, doctors recommend performing pelvic floor exercises to help things since the force applied to our pelvic muscles during labour can cause damage. Doing regular Kegels when expecting will help to prevent bladder leakage and can help make sex feel more like before.
In your 40s:
Years of defuzzing may start to take their toll now – you might notice skin or pigment changes as a result of waxing or shaving down there. Just like the hair on your head, your pubic hair will also start to thin in your forties. This is thought to be down to declining oestrogen, which occurs as you approach your menopause.
Aside from pregnancy-related changes, a healthy vagina will remain largely unchanged until you reach your forties. However, during this decade, your hormone levels begin to decline as perimenopause beckons. At this point, you may start to notice reductions in elasticity, thinning vaginal walls and the beginnings of vaginal dryness, which can result in itching and redness.
In your 50s:
Most women go through the menopause between the ages of 50 and 52 – this will have an enormous impact on a normal vagina.
Depleted oestrogen levels result in thinner, less elastic and drier vulvar tissue due to loss of fat and collagen. This can cause irritation during sex – compared by some people to using sandpaper or feeling like you need to go to the toilet.
As hormone levels drop, your body stops making certain bacteria – this will changes the pH level of a normal vagina, making it more acidic. In the absence of this good bacteria, you will be more prone to infections like urinary tract infections and bacterial vaginosis, as well as STIs.
In your 60s and beyond:
Whilst other symptoms of the menopause will gradually tail off at this stage, changes to your vagina will continue on into your 60s. By the age of 60, nearly 60 per cent of women experience problems with vaginal dryness.
MORE: Perimenopause symptoms: key signs, prognosis and how it differs from the menopause
This can cause problems for your sex life. Faubion explains: “When sex hurts for women after menopause, there’s this involuntary reaction. You anticipate having painful sex, and then your pelvic floor muscles spasm to protect you. Your brain is saying, ‘This is going to hurt’.”
What can you do to help your vagina as it ages?
If you have concerns about your vagina or feel physically uncomfortable, it’s important to seek medical attention, whatever your age. However, remember that a healthy vagina will likely always undergo changes. Try these self-help tips to keep yours feeling good…
- Doing Kegels can help to stem bladder leakage, and help sex feel comfortable again. Contract your pelvic floor muscles (the ones you squeeze to stop the flow of urine when you go to the toilet) for ten seconds, relax, and repeat 20 times, three times a day.
- Ditch your office chair – instead, sit on a Swiss ball for 15 minutes a day. This forces the muscles of your pelvic floor to contract – and you won’t need to do a single squeeze.
- If your problems revolve around dryness during sex then a lubricant can make things easier – just remember not to use oil-based lubricants with condoms.
- We slather expensive creams on our face to help the ageing process, but we can do the same to our vaginas. Vaginal moisturisers such as Vagisan help to maintain a natural pH, as well as keeping the skin supple and hydrated.
- If none of these options work for you, a GP can prescribe vaginal oestrogen which comes in a cream, tablet or ring.
Is Keto Crotch a Real Thing? We Asked an Ob-Gyn for the Facts
It’s no secret the keto diet comes with some icky side effects. Keto flu, keto breath, keto diarrhea—yep, this weight-loss plan has a dark side. But some women say that they’re experiencing one especially nasty keto diet byproduct: keto crotch, or a stinky vagina.
“I’ve been on the diet for about a month and a half now and I’ve noticed that my vaginal odors have gotten MUCH stronger,” user SxarAnise wrote on Reddit. “I’m not exactly sure how vaginas are ‘supposed’ to smell like. Many say ‘musky’ but I feel like that’s too mild of a word… It’s much stronger than ‘musk’ for me.”
RELATED: This Woman Says the Keto Diet Destroyed Her 17-Year Marriage—and Now Her Story Is Going Viral
Other users chimed in to say they’ve experienced the same thing. “Oh boy, yes. During the first few months there was some extra smell stuff happening all over—crotch and otherwise. But the good news is that it settles down and goes away after you’ve been keto for awhile,” one wrote.
“I’m glad this was posted because I just changed my underwear AGAIN today because I smelled gross,” complained yet another commenter. “At least I know I’m in ketosis, I guess…”
We’re not doubting these keto followers; if they say their lady parts are stinkier since they’ve gone keto, we’ll take them at their word. But it does beg the question: Scientifically speaking, why would a diet that’s high in fat and very low in carbs change the scent of your vagina?
We posed that question to an ob-gyn, who told us that no one knows because it’s never been scientifically investigated.
RELATED: 7 Dangers of Going Keto
“Nobody knows if this is a real effect of the keto diet,” Lauren Streicher, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University, tells Health. “Anecdotally, there have been a lot of reports over the years that diet can influence vaginal odor, but it’s never been studied.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard claims that what you eat affects your down-below scent. Remember when Kim Kardashian shared an image of herself cracking open a can of pineapple juice with one leg up, implying in her caption that this tropical beverage could make your vagina smell and taste better? Sorry Kim, but no research backs this claim.
On the other hand, science does show that going keto can change the odor of your breath and urine, making them smell like nail polish remover.
RELATED: Keto Breath Is a Common Problem for Low-Carb Dieters—Here’s What You Can Do About It
That’s because when your body breaks down fat for energy instead of carbs (which is the goal of keto), it converts the fatty acids into chemicals called ketones. It then disposes of the ketones through both exhalation and urination. “One type of ketone, acetone, is an ingredient in some nail polish removers, which is why your breath may smell like this familiar scent,” Cynthia Sass, RD, Health contributing nutrition editor, said previously.
The release of ketones might also result in keto crotch, but it’s never been researched. And it’s not like smelly pee is going to stink up your vagina. “Your urine isn’t going to make your vagina smell,” Dr. Streicher confirms.
Some experts have theorized that the keto diet changes vaginal pH (the balance of bacteria in your vagina), which in turn can alter your vaginal scent. It’s true that if your vaginal pH is thrown off, you’re at a higher risk for developing bacterial vaginosis (an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina), which can have a funky odor, Dr. Streicher says. But unfortunately, no research exists showing that diet alone can alter vaginal pH.
So while plenty of women are sure the keto diet is the cause of their odorous vagina, no science yet supports this. If you follow keto and start noticing that your lady parts are smelling rank, consider checking in with your ob-gyn. “It’s never normal for your vagina to have an odor,” Dr. Streicher says.
RELATED: The Keto Diet Is Super Hard—These 3 Variations Are Much Easier to Follow
Is ‘Keto Crotch’ Really A Side Effect Of The Keto Diet?
Can the keto diet make things smelly down there? (Photo: Getty Images)
“Keto breath” is the smelly breath that you may expect to get when on the keto diet. But should you also lower your expectations? Like down to your crotch?
Apparently, there are complaints on message boards and social media about what is being dubbed “keto crotch,” an unusual odor emanating from between the legs while on the keto diet. For example, here’s an entry from Reddit:
I’ve been on the diet for about a month and a half now and I’ve noticed that my vaginal odors have gotten MUCH stronger… (It smells like a mix between urine and discharge… I’m not exactly sure how vaginas are ‘supposed’ to smell like. Many say ‘musky’ but I feel like that’s too mild of a word… It’s much stronger than ‘musk’ for me :/ ). My discharge is white in color and it doesn’t smell fishy. Sometimes when it dries on my underwear it’s a light yellow? Has this happened to anyone before? Is it because of my change in diet (if so, can anybody explain why?), or could it be something else?
Any input or advice would be helpful, thank you!
Others on this board responded with messages such as:
- “Oh boy, yes. During the first few months there was some extra smell stuff happening all over – crotch and otherwise. But, the good news is that it settles down and goes away after you’ve been keto for awhile.”
- “I’m glad this was posted because I just changed my underwear AGAIN today because I smelled gross. At least I know I’m in ketosis, I guess.”
- “It is horrible. I have to keep panty liners (hate that name!) in my bag and keep changing them every couple of hours. It’s a pain but saves on keep changing knickers all day!”
- “Keto crotch. It’s very much a thing. Just wait until you workout and smell that funk. Thankfully, my shoot from the hip husband, tells me it isn’t really that noticeable. Again, only when I’m drenched in sweat.”
As you may know, “keto diet” is short for ketogenic diet, because who has the time to say “genic.” It is a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb diet with approximately 80% of your calories from fat, 15% from protein, and only 5% from carbohydrates. The goal of the diet is to induce ketosis in your body. The theory is that typically your body may rely on burning the carbs that you eat rather than the fat stores in your body for energy. The thinking is that by severely restricting the amount of carbs in your diet your body may then be forced to burn your body fat instead. Breaking down this fat then results in ketones, which is not some acapella group, but instead organic compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. One type of ketone produced is acetone, which is in certain types of nail polish removers. This accumulation of ketones may result in “keto breath”, which is a rotten fruit or metallic smelling bad breath that can smell a bit like, surprise, surprise, nail polish remover.
The question then is whether your crotch is like your mouth. Not in general, but in the specific case of ketones. That is, when you are on the keto diet, can ketones also accumulate in your crotch area and then subsequently lead to a new smell? Moreover, if you are woman, could ketones be changing the acidity of your vagina, which then may produce an environment more favorable to certain types of microorganisms? Indeed, the smell of your vagina can depend on the composition of microorganisms there. Some odors, like a strong fishy one, can be the result of an overgrowth of certain microorganisms like bacteria, which is the case in bacterial vaginosis.
In theory, all of this is possible. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition did find an association between having more severe bacterial vaginosis and consuming diets higher in total fat and saturated fat. But the keto diet is still a relatively new rage, and not enough scientific studies have been done to determine whether “keto crotch” is really a risk of the keto diet.
Halle Berry is one celebrity that lives the “keto lifestyle.” (Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)
Not everyone is buying “keto crotch” as a real phenomenon. Some are claiming that it is a crotch or rather a crutch to criticize the diet. Here is an example of a Tweet that raises a conspiracy theory:
So Weight Watchers and Jillian Michaels are losing money because of the keto diet, and all of a sudden the magazines that they buy ads in are printing stories on Keto Crotch?
Per Dr. @BrianLenzkes follow the money trail…
— Tro (@DoctorTro) March 1, 2019
If you want to make some enemies very quickly, just jump on to social media and say “the keto diet stinks.” Because there are certainly a number of people who swear by the keto diet. Some of them will even swear at you if you say anything bad about the diet. Supporters of the diet claim that the keto diet will help lose weight relatively quickly, clear your mind, make you feel better, and even clear up your acne, because you no longer are taking in carbohydrates that “cause inflammation.” People who question the diet have raised concerns about whether maintaining such a high fat diet is effective and healthy in long run. After all, high fat diets could raise the risk of various chronic medical conditions such as heart disease and cancer. Plus, short term weight loss doesn’t necessarily mean longer term weight loss.
The bottom line is that there have not been enough scientific studies, especially longer term ones, to really determine all the potential risks and benefits of the keto diet. Many of the claims out there on the Internet, social media, or television in either direction are anecdotal, meaning that they are individuals telling stories about what has supposedly been their experiences. Take everything you hear that is not supported by scientific evidence with a grain of salt (but not too much salt because too much can be bad for you.)
Therefore, more people experiencing “keto crotch” need to visit doctors to determine what’s really happening. It could be that some of the people claiming “keto crotch” are instead detecting smells that are not related to their diets. Many different smells could emanate from your crotch, some are normal, some are not. Conversely, who knows for sure what a drastic change in your diet may do to different parts of your body? There is still a lot unknown about the links between nutrition and your various bodily functions. You are a complex system with many unknowns. The keto crotch could be a real phenomenon, but more scientific evidence and studies are needed.
Of note, it isn’t yet clear whether “keto crotch” is strictly a female phenomenon or whether men are experiencing unusual smells in their crotches as well. Either way, more sniffing around is needed, in a scientific manner that is.
Keep in mind that if your crotch begins to have a very unusual smell, whether or not you are on the keto diet, you may want to see your doctor. Don’t just tell everyone on Reddit about how much your crotch smells. Regardless of your gender, an unusual smell could be a sign of an infection or some other condition that needs proper medical attention. Even if you don’t have a medical problem, your doctor can tell you what kinds of smells are normal and not normal. In other words, he or she could lower your concerns about what’s going on in the lower part of your body.
Does Ketosis Cause Body Odor?
Before you start your keto diet, you must be having a few concerns such as does ketosis cause body odor.
While finding the basics about keto diet, you must have stumbled upon body odor as one of the common side effects of this diet.
Now, this can put you in a dilemma!
No carb, low-carb, no-fat, high-fat, pills, shakes, powders – you are ready to try out anything it takes to lose weight.
But, body odor?
That’s not acceptable!
I can understand your concern. After all, most men and women follow a ketogenic diet to lose weight primarily because they want to be socially acceptable and look attractive.
However, a body odor does just the opposite and put you on the other side of being the center of attraction for all wrong reasons.
If you are concerned about does ketosis cause body odor, read on to learn the facts about the same, why it might occur and some innovative ways to avoid them.
First of All…
Does Ketosis Really Cause Body Odor?
Well…I don’t want to disappoint you right at the beginning of this article. But, let’s accept the fact that yes, keto diet does cause body odor.
For most people, this odd symptom shows up in the first few weeks of starting your new diet.
However, the intensity of body odor can vary from one person to other depending on the state of his or her health, and how well the body handles or adapts to the process of getting into ketosis.
If your general health is poor, your chances of developing body odor are higher. Let me make it clear that by poor health I do not mean weak and malnourished, but a state that’s the result of your unhealthy lifestyle habits such as:
- Years of following a typically unhealthy diet
- Erratic routine with changing meal times and sleeping schedule
- Drinking alcohol
- Consuming recreational drugs
These lifestyle habits mean your body is going to need to remove loads of toxins you have accumulated over years.
As your body attempts to achieve this by stimulating the detoxification processes through increased sweating or expiration, you will experience body odor and even bad breath!
But did you see, your body is actually doing it for your own good! The body odor would be the sign that you have successfully entered the phase when you will begin losing all the toxins and emerge cleaner and healthier. It would also indicate you have begun losing weight.
The bad odor will also be the sign that ketosis is going to happen soon, while at the same time, there is also a process going on to cleanse your blood to restore the health of all organs.
The cleansing processes will rid your body of excess fats, dangerous chemicals, toxic metabolites, free radicals, pollutants and everything else that is not good for your body.
This will improve your body’s ability to adapt itself to the fat burning processes and allow you to enter ketosis.
If this has got you beaming with joy, why not learn something more about how do detoxification and other processes cause body odor?
Why Does Ketosis Cause Body Odor?
1. Stimulates Detoxification
This process of detoxification occurs naturally throughout your body at all times. However, it is your large intestine that plays a huge role in allowing your body to eliminate toxic substances.
If you have been following a not-so-healthy lifestyle, there is a chance that you have been consuming foods that are high in refined carbs and gluten and low in fibers.
Your consumption of fresh fruits, and wholesome foods must also be on a lower side in the past.
These unhealthy dietary choices are likely to have left your intestine with a good amount of cleansing to do.
This can be the primary source of the body odor that commonly occurs in the first phase of ketosis that begins when your body goes into detox.
The toxins eliminated from the body during this phase can cause unpleasant body odor.
Though this is a sign of your unhealthy lifestyle habits in the past, it can provide better outcomes for your weight loss results in the future when you follow the keto diet strictly and adopt healthy habits.
2. Ketones Released During Ketosis
Chemically, ketones are nothing but a form of acetone. Acetone is better known to all as the substance found in the nail polish remover and paint removers.
Ketones, just like the nail polish removers, have a fruity smell.
When your body releases ketone bodies from the keto diet, this fruity smell emanates from sweat as well as your breath causing body odor and bad breath.
How Can You Avoid Body Odor while on a Ketogenic Diet?
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water can help your body flush out toxins accumulated in different tissues and organs.
Increased water intake is also recommended during ketosis because this diet causes your body to lose water resulting in fatigue and weakness.
2. Daily Salt Baths
Daily salt baths can be a great way to avoid body odor caused during ketosis. Since the skin is one of the organs of excretion, bathing using the mineral-rich salt water can allow your skin to stay on the top of the sourness you may notice in your sweat and reduce body odor.
3. Colonic irrigation
Colonic irrigation offers a faster way to eliminate toxins from your body by stimulating the motility and excretory processes of the intestine.
4. Massage Techniques
Gentle massage of the skin using coconut oil can encourage the blood flow to your skin and enhance the drainage of toxins. This can cleanse the skin faster and reduce body odor.
The Bottomline Is….
Yes, ketosis does cause body odor. But, so what? Are you going to keep yourself from enjoying the immense benefits of this special diet?
Of course not!
Now, you know why exactly does ketosis cause body odor and how you can avoid them. I am sure this clears your concerns about being the talk of the town for being that person with an unpleasant body odor.
Instead, you can begin your keto diet with greater enthusiasm, follow the tips to avoid body odor and lose oodles of weight.
This way, you will surely be on the right side of being the center of attraction for all good reasons!
People Think ‘Keto Crotch’ Might Be a Not-So-Pleasant Side Effect of the High-Fat Diet
The keto diet is one of the most buzzed-about food fads out there, but as with almost every other diet, there are some downsides. One of the side effects people are talking about is something delightfully called “keto crotch.” What is keto crotch, you ask? Well, according to Women’s Health, some women have said their vaginas have emitted a strong smell after starting the keto diet. And while the keto crotch phenomenon isn’t officially recognized in scientific literature, women’s health expert Dr. Jennifer Wider explained to HelloGiggles that keto could definitely be causing more, um, fragrant vaginas.
Many people have been shouting the weight loss benefits of the keto diet from the rooftops. That includes celebs like Sherri Shepherd and Jenna Jameson, who have shared their keto-based weight loss stories on Instagram. But a smelly vagina is a pretty major downside. If you’re interested in trying this high-fat, low-carb diet, hearing about keto crotch may be a deterrent. And unfortunately, it could be a legitimate side effect. “It’s not in the medical books and not confirmed by science, but it’s definitely something people on the keto diet have been talking about,” Dr. Wider said.
As Dr. Wider explained, the goal of the keto diet is to have your body enter the metabolic state known as ketosis, where your energy comes from the burning of fat instead of carbohydrates. That’s why the keto diet embraces animal and nut fats and recommends that dieters consume only a very small amount of sugars and carbs. (Related: The Keto Meal Plan For Beginners)
One of the reported effects of the keto diet is “keto breath”, where your breath smells like acetone. Understandably, keto crotch isn’t as well-known or as widely discussed as keto breath, but Dr. Wider explained how these smelly-body symptoms could be related. “People may have keto diet breath, which some people describe as smelling like nail polish remover,” she said. “At the same time, your crotch may emit an odor based on diet choices and an altered vaginal pH from the diet.”
“Foods can change the odor of our bodily fluids,” Dr. Wider said. “For example, certain vegetables, like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, are known to do this. But citrus fruits have been reported to give a pleasant odor to sexual body fluid in both men and women (in addition to cinnamon and nutmeg). Other spices, like garlic and onion, tobacco, and certain types of alcohol, may have the opposite effect.” (Related: Why This Dietitian Is Completely Against the Keto Diet)
It makes sense that if your diet has drastically changed from the keto diet, your vaginal pH could be impacted.
According to the CDC, a normal pH for a vagina ranges from 3.8 to 4.2 (the lower the number, the more acidic) and a change in pH can be an indication of a vaginal infection and can result in a change in your vaginal discharge. So if you’re experiencing any other symptoms, like itching, you should go see your gynecologist to make sure the odor isn’t a symptom of a vaginal infection. But if it’s simply “keto crotch,” take a bit of solace in the fact that some women on Reddit noted the smell eventually went away once their bodies had adjusted to the keto diet. And for the love of your vag, don’t resort to doing anything bad for your vaginal health, like douching, while trying to solve your keto crotch problem.
This story originally appeared on HelloGiggles.com by Caitlin Gallagher.
- By Hello Giggles @hellogiggles
Debunking the “Keto Crotch” Conspiracy
Is a popular diet to blame for a common personal-hygiene problem—or is it something else that stinks?
By Emily Kumler· 3/25/2019, 4:42 p.m.
Image via Getty Images/ katleho Seisa
Earlier this month, my social feeds were flooded with reports about something called “keto crotch.” The ketogenic diet—a low-carb, high-fat eating plan—has been labeled a fad, but it’s something that’s actually been around for millennia. So when I read in a Health.com story that “some women say that they’re experiencing one especially nasty keto diet byproduct: keto crotch, or a stinky vagina,” I was curious why I’d never heard of it before. Then I saw the headline “Keto Crotch Might be a Surprising Side Effect of a Low-Carb Diet” from Women’s Health. Before I knew it, articles like this were splashed across Shape, Forbes, The New York Post, and Fox News; within three days, more than 35 outlets had covered the condition.
Most accounts of keto crotch mentioned in these stories originated on Reddit. So I clicked over to the website and looked them up myself. Strangely enough, I found that most of the women (and there weren’t very many of them) who asked if a fishy smell coming from their nether-regions could be related to a low-carb diet did so several years ago. Now photos of salmon fillets meant to look like labia were being published everywhere, suggesting hordes of women were experiencing this today. What was going on?
The articles themselves were far less egregious than the headlines. Most experts said that while there is no research on the topic, if women are complaining about it, perhaps there should be. The only piece that gave any clinical significance to the phenomenon appeared in Forbes. In it, Bruce Lee, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins, cited a study published in the Journal of Nutrition that found “an association between having more severe bacterial vaginosis and consuming diets higher in total fat and saturated fat.”
There was only one problem: The 2007 Journal of Nutrition study wasn’t studying women following the high-fat, low-carb keto diet. Rather, the subjects were eating a high-fat and high-carb diet. I called Lee to ask him about it. “It doesn’t seem like the women were actually on a low-carb diet,” I said. “The 25th percentile of those subjects were eating hundreds of grams of carbs a day.”
“The purpose of the study was not to evaluate low-carb versus high-carb diets,” Lee responded. “It was just a rough correlation. So you’re absolutely right.”
I was confused. Lee’s article was about whether the keto diet caused vaginal odor. Citing a study with a different “purpose” felt to me like a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts. When I pressed him, Lee said that he believed the research was relevant because it suggested food intake could have an impact on vaginal odor.
Having called into question the one clinical study cited in the articles about “keto crotch,” I moved on to OB/GYN Sherry Ross, author of the book She-ology and one of the only doctors interviewed in the articles who believed it was really a thing. When I called to ask why, she had a simple explanation: “You know, as soon as you consume asparagus, you have an odor in your urine. People who smoke or eat heavy garlic, diets of onions or too much curry—there’s a long list of fermented foods, for example, that can also cause more offensive smells.”
“But none of those are low-carb specifically,” I said, pushing back. “It sounds like you’re blaming garlic rather than say, fat, which is what the keto diet is about.” Ross then pointed to a theory I’d read about in several articles on the subject: When a person restricts carbs, it kick-starts a metabolic process called ketosis, which can temporarily lead to bad breath and sweet-smelling urine; wouldn’t it stand to reason that it could also cause a vaginal odor?
Maybe—but maybe not. Ken Berry, a family doc and keto-diet enthusiast with a popular YouTube video on the topic of “keto crotch,” told me what he found most ironic about the articles is that in his experience treating hundreds of women who follow low-carb diets, he’s seen a dramatic decrease in pelvic issues that are usually the cause of bad odor. “Scores of women who used to have a bladder infection six, seven, eight times a year, and now with low-carb, they have one a year or none,” Berry said of his patients. “And then the same goes with the bacterial vaginosis and the vaginitis both caused by yeast and by bacteria. The incidence of all these things have plummeted.”
So how do actual keto-diet followers feel about all of this? Cambridge resident Bridget Hanna, who started the Meetup.com group Greater Boston Keto, says that while the “keto crotch” headlines made her chuckle, it isn’t something anyone in her 200-plus-member group has spent much time talking about. “Generally, there are two kinds of press about keto: inflammatory pieces or endless recipes—not a lot of sensible conversation,” she says.
“Keto crotch,” then, is a great example of how a catchy mnemonic device can grab hold of the media and spin itself round and round, until it begins to look credible. The attention-grabbing headlines created the momentum, then the experts looking to plug their books weighed in.
During the course of reporting, I heard several people defend the panic-inducing articles by saying, “Any time women are talking about vaginal health, it’s a good thing.” But my reaction was a little different: Why are we body-shaming women into worrying about how their vaginas smell? Can you imagine a post with the headline: “Men on High-Carb Diet Go Limp”? Stories like these, which aren’t based on any legitimate scientific research, can greatly undermine women’s health—that is, if we let them.
Navigating the women’s health landscape can be overwhelming—and a little scary. Misinformation, disinformation, badly designed studies, and the drive for profits can all factor into the decisions you and your physician make about your health. This new column and my podcast, Empowered Health with Emily Kumler, are here to help. I am not a doctor; rather, my expertise is in looking at information, evaluating it, and deciding what’s worth sharing—and what’s not.
The keto diet was the biggest hit of 2018 for a reason: People lose incredible amounts of weight all while enjoying high-fat foods like bacon and cheese. But it also comes with some funny side effects, like bad breath and the ‘keto flu’ — and for some women, an unusually smelly crotch. On the very busy message boards over in the keto section of Reddit, women are polling each other for advice on ‘keto crotch’ after noticing a strong scent emanating from their vaginas since starting the high-fat, low-carb diet. This news didn’t come as a shock to Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, a board-certified OB/GYN at Yale University School of Medicine and member of PEOPLE’s Health Squad, though she adds that none of her patients have mentioned the issue. “Ketones do smell funny, so it doesn’t surprise me that folks have bad breath or a funny odor from their vaginas on the diet,” she says. Ketones are a byproduct of the body breaking down fatty acids, a state known to dieters as ketosis. The idea behind the keto diet is to reach ketosis, when the body is using fat stores for energy instead of carbohydrates. RELATED VIDEO: The Cost of the Keto Diet Minkin thinks the keto crotch could be a “disruption in vaginal pH.” “An acidic vagina is usually a happier vagina, and if for some reason the pH is disrupted, one can end up with a vaginitis,” a common inflammation that causes unusual discharge, she says. This is one situation in which Minkin recommends trying an over-the-counter acidifier, like RepHresh. “In general, things are self-cleaning, which is why we don’t typically want women douching and potentially washing out some of their ‘good guy bacteria’ which help keep the vagina acidic,” she says. “However, there are times, like when the vagina gets dry, occasionally after a period, or after sex — when more basic fluids are placed into the vagina! — that addition of a somewhat acidic substance will help restore the normal pH. That’s when an acidifying gel can be helpful.” But if the problem persists, women should go to their doctor. “If the vagina continues to smell funny, it’s always reasonable to get a OB-GYN check to see if you do have a significant vaginal infection,” Minkin says. (People.com Latest News) More
HELP LADIES! Why do I smell down there!? PCOS/Keto Crotch?
HELP LADIES! Why do I smell down there!? PCOS/Keto Crotch? New here and to Keto.
I have no shame as this is my first post and I’m taking about by vag. I’m about 2 weeks into keto, and I love it. I’m on it not for weight loss but for my persistent and resilient adult acne (30 years old and plagued with the cystic kind). I’ve had it for years, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen such a drastic improvement. I’m super stoked. Almost bringing me to tears!!
Also, I’m in great health: 5”4’/ 115lbs, go to hot yoga daily, eat whole foods, tons of energy, take omega-3 /vitamin D / probiotics/ multivitamin and zinc supplements. I stay hydrated, and because of the hot yoga sweat I make sure I get enough electrolytes.
SOME HISTORY: I may have or had PCOS. I’m not sure. But a gyno years ago did see cysts on my ovaries, told me not to worry about it as they may come and go. I didn’t think much off it at the time, I was 23? I switched gynos and didn’t followup with an ultrasound :(. Years followed and I had a ton of the symptoms: I gained 20lbs, was depressed and an insomniac, had terrible acne, pelvic pain, blah blah blah. Flash forward a couple of years after a total overall in diet (was gluten free and dairy free for a year) and I’m much healthier. Last gyno appointment went perfect but I am planning to go back and confirm PCOS (I just connected the dots a day ago, fell upon an article in my smelly vag research).
AND WITH THAT SAID,
I am very, SMELLY. It started on this diet and BV (bacteria vaginosis) just popped up with a vengeance. It’s driving me crazy. I just moved in with my boyfriend too, which is so helpful (hey dude I’m here, with really pungent smell). I’m pretty sure its BV, I’ve had it before, same symptoms, but this takes the cake.
I will not go on antibiotics again!!! That screwed up my insides more than any table spoon of refined sugar or an 3 story layered cake. I’m still recovering from last years’ 4 rounds. I wish I knew how terrible they are, in excess at least. I fear my gyno, or any gyno, will just throw me a pill.
I want to know why it smells so I don’t blindly stick some yogurt up there. But most importantly, I want to know that I’m not alone!
I’ve read (feverishly): could be KETO CROTCH (yeast die off/hormonal changes with the diet), like getting smelly breath? I’m only 2 weeks in. No other symptoms but smell. too much protein? I read meat could turn up the heat down there? Anyone? Could this be my body throwing a party because I definitely had PCOS and its just such a drastic change? Especially down there? Am I taking the wrong supplements? Should I add or remove some?
Anyone have symptoms like this? How long do I have to keep my legs closed? 3 months? 1 year?
Sorry for the long post I’m desperate.
By now, we guess that you’ve heard lots of good things about the keto diet — but one downside you probably haven’t heard of is “keto crotch.” Dieters are complaining that their vaginas smell weird as a result of their low-carb lifestyle.
Is keto crotch real?
Before you freak out about funky smells down there, it’s important to note that there hasn’t been any research conducted to determine whether keto crotch is a real thing; it’s simply what some people who follow the keto diet have reported. That said, it’s very possible that some unpleasant odors are emanating from downstairs.
One explanation for this phenomenon is that these off-putting scents are the result of the body producing ketones. This reasoning is also used to explain keto breath; when the body enters ketosis, meaning it’s fueling itself by burning fats instead of carbs, it releases a lot of ketone bodies. These molecules are totally natural, but they can make any bodily fluids and cavities a bit more pungent.
Another explanation and one that has been expressed by many doctors is that keto crotch is really the result of changing vaginal pH. “High-fat diets and fatty foods (fried anything, many processed foods) have, in some studies, been associated with increased risk for bacterial vaginosis,” says Sara Twogood, MD, FACOG tells Bustle. “The reason is unclear, but I suspect women who eat high fat diets are missing out on some beneficial nutrients which help regulate bacterial health.”
Keto Crotch vs. Vaginal Infection
This leads us to our next point — how to tell the difference between keto crotch and something more serious. Another gripe keto dieters have is that the eating regimen has caused a rash on their crotch. There’s no consensus in the medical community that any aspect of the keto diet would cause this, so it’s important to check with your doctor if you’re suffering from this skin condition or notice any unappealing scents coming from down there. It’s very possible that your “keto crotch” is actually a sign of a vaginal infection.
The good thing about keto crotch — if you can really call it that — is that any embarrassing odors should go away within a few days. If you notice any lingering smells, you may want to get to see your doctor.
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‘Keto Insomnia’ Is a Real Thing for Some Dieters, So Here’s How to Fix It
How to Survive ‘Keto Flu’ Without Breaking Your Diet
One Stinky Side Effect Of The Keto Diet Is Funky ‘Keto Crotch’ And Carbs Never Sounded And Smelled So Delicious
Apparently, eating bacon-wrapped filet mignon drenched in butter with a side of cheesy cloud eggs has one minor disadvantage. According to new reports, utilizing the keto diet may mean significant weight loss, but it may also come at the expense of “keto crotch,” a condition which can stink up the pubic region.
The keto diet, a seriously low-carb high-fat nutrition plan, has become the “it” diet of recent memory. However, just like anything else, there is positives and negatives. For the keto diet the negative is that a nasty odor may creep into the crotchal areas. Maybe humans were meant to eat donuts.
According to several people who are doing the keto diet, they have experienced a situation called “keto crotch.” The condition presents a funky smell in the intimate areas of women who were on the ketogenic diet.
“Foods change the pH of the body. When this happens, the body will emit certain odors,” said Lisa De Fazio, a registered dietitian and nutritionist. “The keto diet change your vaginal pH, which alters your vaginal odor — and it may not smell like roses.” A pH imbalance can be a breeding ground for bad bacteria, which causes problems like irritation and odors in the vaginal area.
RELATED: $12 Million Scientific Study Reveals If A Low-Carb Diet Like Keto Actually Equals Long-Term Weight Loss
De Fazio added that it just isn’t a dumpster groin that women need to be worried about. Other side effects of a new diet include infections such as bacterial vaginosis. De Fazio adds that the keto diet isn’t just about a stanky pink taco. Other issues blamed on the diet include kidney problems, dehydration, the keto flu, and keto breath. Time to hook up an IV of pineapple juice to your girlfriend.
Women worried about keto crotch RN.
RELATED: How To Make A Keto Margarita
“It may go away, otherwise you should see your OB/GYN for treatment,” said De Fazio. “Your doctor may advise you to go back to a balanced diet. Any extreme changes to the body or pH is not a good idea.” Being happy eating croissants and being fat > having a keto crotch and being miserable.
So if you are a dude, maybe continue on your keto diet, but maybe encourage your lady in your life to go after a paleo diet or a balanced diet. You know, for the sake of the relationship.
RELATED: ‘No One Should Be Doing The Ketogenic Diet,’ Top US Cardiologist Warns