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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.

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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.