Changes in Body Odour

Body Odour Changes In Menopause

As our female sex hormones alter and decline it may directly lead to changes in body odour. This can be one of the surprising and sometimes uncomfortable side effects of peri/menopause.

Changes in Body Odour

Why does our body odour change?

There can be a myriad of reasons. For example, altered pH levels in your vagina can be the cause of odour changes ‘down below’. In addition, sweating through hot flushes and night sweats might make us more pungent.

Stress-related sweating is produced by the apocrine glands and it differs from the perspiration of, say, exercise in that it smells stronger and can feed bacteria.

Digestive issues might also contribute to altered body odour as less regular pooping could lead to a build-up of toxins in the body. That said, you may have a hormonally-heightened sense of smell at this time (you may have experienced this if you’ve been pregnant also) so even though you feel ‘smelly’ nobody else notices.

Why Does My Pee Smell Sweet?

Yes, We’re Going To Talk About It

This question came from one of our meno ladies so we’re addressing it right here, right now because one of the (several) things that no one likes to talk about during the meno years is the change to our body odour down there.

Every Woman Is Different

Every woman’s perimenopause and menopause is individual to them, so just as not every single one will experience hot flushes or low libido, not every woman is going to experience a change in body odour, but for those who do it can be at best unusual and at worst distressing.

So, why does Suzi’s pee smell sweet?

(We changed her name to respect her privacy.)

1.Vaginal pH

One reason could be that perimenopause and menopause alters our vaginal pH. This is due to the decrease in estrogen which leads to less of the vaginal secretion (technically known as mucosa) that lines our va-jay-jay’s.

This can affect smell, sensation, lubrication and the types of bacteria that are naturally present in our vagina.

2. Our Filtration System

Our kidneys filter water soluble waste such as protein, sugar, bacteria, and yeast out of our body through our urine so it is very much affected by what we eat and drink.

3. Sugar, Sugar, Sugar

One of the reasons for sweet-smelling urine may be ingesting an excess of sugar. The body typically converts sugar to glucose for energy use, and if there’s too much it will be converted to fat. However, in some instances, if it gets too high, say in the case of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, the kidneys will remove it through the urine.

Interesting factoid: the average person produces 800-2000 millilitres of urine per day which is about three to eight cups.


Four Other Reasons Your Pee Could Smell Sweet:

  1. Vitamins or medications you’re taking.
  2. If you’ve been eating high protein foods like meat and eggs, they can promote a strong odour.
  3. Asparagus famously promotes a strong smell in the urine but it’s typically less than sweet.
  4. Dehydration; lack of water causes urine to be more concentrated and to have a stronger odour often described as ammonia-like. However, for some people, it can be sweet.

Our pH Loves:

  1. A diet rich in  zinc and magnesium
  2. Vitamin C supplementation is said to be good for it.
  3. Chlorophyll-rich foods are nature’s natural deodorant so lots of green leafy vegetables, fresh herbs, wheatgrass and sea vegetables.
  4. Low levels of red meat, white flour, sugars, caffeine, and toxins such as alcohol et al.

Disclaimer: This article mustn’t take the place of medical advice. A sweet smell, or indeed an unpleasant odour, is something to speak with your GP about as it could be a sign of a genetic condition or a medical issue.

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This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.


Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.