What You Need To Know About “Keto Crotch”

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The keto diet is gaining more and more notoriety right now. Originally developed to treat children with epilepsy who are not responding to medicine, the keto diet is now more famous as a weight loss program. The high fat, moderate protein, and low carb eating protocol is geared towards putting the body in a state of ketosis where the body burns fat instead of carbs for energy.

But the keto diet is not without side effects. Besides the usual "keto flu" and "keto breath" being experienced by individuals following this diet, there is another smelly side effect that stinks below the belt: "keto crotch."

Keto crotch refers to the strong smell from the vagina that some women have experienced following this diet. According to Lisa De Fazio, a registered dietitian nutritionist, this is likely due to drastic dietary changes that create pH imbalance in the vagina. She told Insider, "foods change the pH of the body. When this happens, the body will emit certain odors. The keto diet [may] change your vaginal pH, which alters your vaginal odor — and it may not smell like roses."

De Fazio further explains "During your reproductive years, ages 15 to 49, your vaginal pH should be below or equal to 4.5. But, before menstruation and after menopause, a healthy pH tends to be higher than 4.5. An acidic vaginal environment is protective. It creates a barrier that prevents unhealthy bacteria and yeast from multiplying too quickly and causing infection."

This means that a vaginal pH of above 4.5 is the perfect breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria which makes women more prone to bacterial vaginosis. Fortunately, though, keto crotch will often go away on its own after your body adjusts to the keto diet. If it persists, the condition can be treated and cured with medication. Consult your OB/GYN for treatment options.

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