Healthy Living

Keto Crotch: How To Deal With Vaginal Odor While Following Ketogenic Diet

The ever growing popularity of the keto diet is unfortunately accompanied by some side effects. The most common is the keto flu while the newer and lesser-known side effect is the keto crotch. 

Keto crotch refers to nothing other than vaginal odor that occurs as a result of cutting out alkaline foods in the keto diet. Examples are leafy greens and non starchy vegetables. Acetone, a type of ketone released due to increased fat metabolism, the main characteristic of the keto diet, accumulates in the body. It's either in the mouth or vagina. 

Acetone, the ingredient common in nail polish remover, builds up in the vaginal area and causes the inexplicable keto crotch. However, there is no scientific basis for the theory behind the keto crotch condition and required solutions needed to cure it. But the author of the ''Hormone Fix'', a book outlining diet plans for women approaching menopause, speaks about the trial and error method in her article for Mind Body Green. 

Anna Cabeca, an Emory University trained gynecologist and obstetrician, explained her way of dealing with the smelly keto crotch by making herself the subject of all her experiments. 

What She Found

Firstly, Cabeca said that the healthy vaginal pH is between 3.5 to 4.5 to prevent the proliferation of harmful microorganisms. The reason being that consuming acidic foods like meat, dairy and poultry on ketosis for an extended period of time could cause fluctuations in the vagina’s pH level. Overgrowth in microorganisms can lead to an infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV) that emits a fishy odor. 

Though a counterintuitive approach, consuming alkaline food would bring down the vaginal pH level by also bringing down the body's overall pH level to an ideal alkaline reading of 7.3 to 7.45. 

Secondly, Cabeca said that balancing gut microorganisms is essential for keeping the good bacteria in the vaginal area in check.  Consuming food rich in probiotics could help. Examples are onion, garlic and fiber rich food. 

Cabeca advised not to douche because douching, better explained as vaginal swipes, could wipe out the good bacteria. Instead to stop keto crotch as a last resort before consulting doctors, she said using topical coconut oil could be helpful to counter vaginal odor. 

Vaginal health Good bacteria helps protect the vagina and bladder from infections and diseases. Photo courtesy of Pixabay