A persistent fish odour despite medication could be a result of your body struggling with certain food proteins. Some men are also culprits.
A fish odour is typically attributed to bacterial Vaginosis. This refers to a condition of bacteria overgrowth in the vagina. It is accompanied with itching , abnormal discharge and/or odour but sometimes it doesn’t present symptoms.
Treatment involves prescription cream, medication or gel but it can come back within three months to a year after treatment.
However, if the condition is persistent over the years or there’s a link directly to eating fish, there is a more and less known sinister cause.
What causes the persistent fish smell
Trimethylaminuria (TMAU), also known as fish odour syndrome.
TMAU is not common and there is no medical cure for it currently.
It is attributed to “faulty genes that a person inherits from their parents” but not always.
It is also linked directly to eating fish, as one sufferer shares her story.
Kimberly Elizabeth Brown lives in Worcestershire, United Kingdom. When she was 21 years old, she started noticing that when she ate fish, she would have a fish odour from her genitals.
She gave up on fish. Check ups for infection always came back negative.
“I avoid fish, it makes my vaginal fluids smell of fish…” She would tell doctors who looked at her strange and proceeded to test for bacteria. The results always came out negative.
Until she could nolonger take it, 8 years later when she was pregnant with her first child.
“With lots of medical professionals sticking their heads and hands up and around my hoohah I didn’t want to smell of fish from several meters away so I declined and ate more eggs instead. But I did go home and research it,” she narrates.
“After some research I discovered I wasn’t alone. There is an entire community. Mainly women, but there are men who get it too, the smell coming from sweaty areas. Doctors also either ignored them, diagnosed bacterial vaginosis or STIs if they did listen or like me were given a look like they were insane.”
“Many people actually smell like garbage with it.”
What brings about this smell?
TMAU comes down to the body not being able to process certain proteins. As the unprocessed proteins are rejected, they are released through sweat and other bodily fluids.
What is the remedy?
Well, the victims have had to discover remedies for the smell amongst themselves through experiments.
Strong lemon drinks. Artificial lemon flavouring does not work, you have to use real lemons.
Changing diet is also advised according to National Health Service (NHS).
Reducing consumption of protein-rich foods like cows’ milk, seafood and shellfish (freshwater fish is okay), eggs, beans, peanuts, liver and kidney might help.