Over the last couple of months I keep on hearing a new term called keto crotch. ‘That’s a new one’, I thought to myself and did some Google research to find out whether it’s a real thing or just some urban legend.
At first, it seamed like all of a sudden, nearly half of the women that were on keto started experiencing unpleasant vaginal odor. For some, the so called keto crotch was so severe that they couldn’t even feel comfortable in their daily activities.
However, after digging a bit more deeper, I’ve found various health experts questioning whether keto crotch is even a real thing or more of a campaign to turn people back to following commercial diets.
Before we turn to any speculations, let’s start from uncovering what is keto crotch and what causes vaginal odor.
What is Keto Crotch?
Keto Crotch is an unpleasant vaginal odor that could be caused by keto. The discussion about this potential keto side effect started quite some months ago on Reddit. More and more females started reporting unpleasant vaginal odor after starting keto.
Some of them claim that the effects of having keto crotch were so strong, they couldn’t continue they regular activities, as they had to change panties every couple of hours.
All in all, currently there are no studies made on this unpleasant possible side effect, so there is no one answer whether keto crotch is real side effect of the ketogenic diet. However, lets explore this condition in more detail.
Keto Crotch Meaning
To put it in few words, keto crotch meaning is associated with unpleasant vaginal odor. Most females that claimed to have the condition on message boards, described their vaginas as ‘smelly’, ‘stinky’ and call it a ‘stinky side effect’ or even a ‘gross outcome’ of the keto diet.
This potential side effect can be very frustrating for females. Having a smelly vagina can really make you feel self-conscious and bring your spirits down. Since keto, without the vaginal odor, already comes with quite a few side-effects.
The most common side effect of keto is the keto flu. Many people experience it during the first couple of weeks after cutting down on carbs. Also, you may have leg cramps, keto breath, headaches and other. Even though most of them are temporary, a keto crotch is a cherry on cake that no one wants to taste.
What Causes Vaginal Odor?
Even though there aren’t any scientific publications regarding this condition, it’s still worth exploring the reasons that could actually cause keto crotch and result in unpleasant vaginal odor.
The pH Change
One of the reasons behind the vagina odor or keto crotch could be the sudden changes to your body’s pH. If keto was a drastic change to your diet – this could be one of the reasons behind this side effect.
Once you stop eating a lot of carbohydrates and your main source for calories and energy changes – it affects your body’s pH. Once the pH of your body changes, it may start emitting certain odors that might not be the best smelling ones. Since, of course, your vagina is a part of your body (and a sensitive part) it can be affected by the dietary changes.
The pH changes themselves are not the only thing that can cause changes in your vaginal odor. The changes in pH or a pH imbalance can lead to your vagina becoming a friendly-environment for some not so vagina-friendly bacteria.
Such changes can lead to bacterial vaginosis. It is one of the most common vaginal infections.
How does pH work and why it matters?
pH is an abbreviation for potential of Hydrogen. It is measured on a scale from zero to 14. The numbers on the scale represent the amount of acid of a particular substance. Anything that shows a result that is above seven is considered basic. If the pH of a substance is below seven – it’s considered acidic (1).
But why should you care? Well, the answer is simple. A balanced pH is important for your vaginal health. And you diet choices can affect your vaginas pH. That includes keto. Based on several researches, eating a lot of fatty foods, especially the ones that contain saturated fat could increase the vaginal pH. As mentioned before, changes in your vagina’s pH could lead to bacterial vaginosis that you might be referring to as keto crotch.
A normal pH level for a vagina is between 3.8 to 4.5. So, as you can see, normally vagina is a moderately acidic environment. However, with age, the acidity in vagina tends to reduce. Which means that the pH result increases and starts going towards the basic side of the pH scale.
In general, during the reproductive years, statistically from 15 to 50, the pH of your vagina should be 4.5 or lower. Before you hit puberty and after you reach menopause, the pH of the vagina is more likely to be higher (2).
These numbers matter, as acidity in your vaginal pH means protection. Such environment creates a sort of barrier that prevents bacteria and yeast multiplication that could lead to an infection.
How High pH can Turn into Keto Crotch
As you’ve probably already understood, keto crotch is most likely a bacterial vaginosis that was caused due to sudden changes in your diet. The diet affected your body’s pH and naturally it lead to changes in your vaginal pH.
An increased vaginal pH, that is above 4.5 turns your vagina into unhealthy bacteria-friendly environment. Such environment can lead to certain infections. And of course, infections can cause odors. If the infections happen due to keto diet, most likely you will call it keto crotch.
In general, if it is a simple bacterial vaginosis, it will most likely go away on its own. However, you should always speak to a professional if you have any concerns. Many vaginal conditions can have similar symptoms, so you might be having a keto crotch or it could be something more serious (3).
How to Get Rid of Vaginal Odor?
Just like with any other condition, removing the cause should remove the symptoms. Since there is no one answer nor reason that leads to keto crotch, there is also no one answer on how to get rid of the vaginal odor.
Despite that, people keep on sharing various suggestions, such as bathing with apple vinegar, using alcohol to disinfect your private parts or spraying some perfume on it. I strongly advise you not to do anything like that before you talk to a specialist. The skin of your private parts is very sensitive. By doing so, you can cause more problems to yourself that get benefits.
In general, if it is indeed a keto side effect, it should pass within a couple of days. However, if there are no changes or it starts getting worse – better see a specialist. As mentioned before, the currently famous keto crotch doesn’t particularly have any scientific evidence to prove its existence or the causes of it.
So, Is Keto Crotch Even Real?
Just because there’s no proof, it doesn’t mean that keto crotch doesn’t exist. So whether it’s real or not – we’ll see once there’s scientific proof that proves whether it’s a real condition, an unfortunate coincidence or a way to turn your attention to other diets rather then keto.
However, urban legend or not, if you experience unpleasant feels in your vagina – you definitely should consult a physician. Vaginal problems cause many women a lot of problems with self esteem and can be a total mood killer.
Even if keto crotch is areal thing, it shouldn’t keep you from following keto. Especially if it’s temporary and can be easily fixed. Keto comes with many benefits that can seriously improve your life quality. Anything from weight loss to increased cognitive performance or lower blood sugar. Keto comes with many benefits that even helps people with certain cardiovascular diseases or diabetes.
Other Keto Side Effects
Since we’re still not sure whether keto crotch is real, let’s go over some of the most common keto side effects. This way, if you choose to follow this diet, you will know what to expect from your body. Here are the keto side effects you can expect:
- Keto flu – it’s one of the most common keto side effects. Usually it lasts up to 2 weeks. During it you’ll experience the symptoms of an actual flu. That’s due to lack of glucose in your body and it adjusting to changes. However, one you reach ketosis, keto flu should go away completely.
- Keto rash – this keto side effect is less common. Many people experience it due to sudden changes in their diets. Some get it due to sensitivity to specific products they didn’t eat before.
- Leg cramps – you may experience this side effect due to lowered levels of electrolytes in your body. So, in this case, be sure that your diet is nutritious and doesn’t lack any supplements.
- Fatigue – once you kick the sugar out of your diet, you may feel fatigue. However, it is a temporary side effect of keto. Once ketosis kicks in, you should experience an improvement in your cognitive performance.
- Keto diarrhea or constipation – yes, both are possible. Even though it’s the same diet, people experience completely different side effects. However, it can easily be fixed by balancing out your menu.
- Keto breath – it’s one of the most unpleasant keto side effects. Once you’re in ketosis, your body produces a ketone called acetone. This small molecule leaves your body through your lungs and breath. As you know acetone has a particular smell. On the bright side, it can be easily masked by sugar-free gum.
- Headaches – similar to fatigue, due to lower levels of glucose in your body, you may experience headaches. They should also pass after your body enters ketosis.
As you can see, keto has some known side effects, however most of them are temporary and cause low to mild discomfort. So, compared to all the health benefits you get from keto – a few side effects are not to be worried about.
Also, many people take various supplements that help fight the side effects and reach ketosis faster. Here you can find some of the best ones.
Keto crotch is vaginal condition that causes unpleasant smell. Currently there are no scientific proof whether it exists and is a keto side effect or rather just an urban legend. The topic is mostly discussed in a popular social network, called Reddit.
Most likely, keto crotch with unpleasant vaginal odor can be a result of sudden changes in the vagina’s pH. That could be a result of sudden dietary changes. If your vagina’s pH increases, it can become a welcoming environment to harmful bacteria.
Technically, the keto crotch should be a temporary side-effect and should pass within a couple of days. However, if the symptoms don’t go away, become to uncomfortable or start increasing, you should see a professional.