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Is Keto Crotch Something I Should Be Worried About?
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Is Keto Crotch Something I Should Be Worried About?

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 11
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3 min

Getting into ketosis produces many changes in the body, including your body odor. Now that’s unexpected, isn’t it?

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Vaginal pH levels can be modified by different factors such as yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, topical treatments, and cervical mucus. The keto diet has become an additional factor, but only under certain conditions, which we will explore.

A low-carb diet gives you great health benefits, and as long as you follow the tips to get it right, you will avoid unwanted side effects, including unpleasant vaginal odor.

Keto Crotch: What Is It?

Keto crotch is known as a change in the odor of lady parts that can become somewhat annoying.

This new odor can be noticed during the first few weeks as a result of ketosis on a low-carb, high-fat diet.

However, the information the Health Reporter team has gathered so far indicates that it is a common issue not because it is an expected consequence of the keto diet but because of the concern this symptom generates.

No one wants to walk around with odd body odors, so this issue sets off alarm bells among practitioners of the ketogenic diet.

It’s important to identify the causes of the new smell down there because it could just be a coincidence. For instance, you could have a vaginal infection at the same time you started the diet. Therefore, it is wise to have your doctor investigate the cause before labeling it as keto crotch.

What Does Keto Crotch Smell Like?

If your intimate area releases a rotten fruit odor, you are probably suffering from keto crotch. It has a sweet and vinegary smell. This smell comes from the formation of ketone bodies that results when you get into ketosis.

When the main macronutrient in the diet is fat, the body begins to use it as energy by breaking it down into ketone bodies or ketones. This is the expected metabolic effect during the keto diet. Thanks to ketone bodies, the heart and brain receive energy to function properly in the absence of carbohydrates.

The smell of rotten fruit, specifically rotten apples, comes from acetone (a very familiar smell to you if you usually do your nails and use nail polish remover).

The odor you can notice in your vagina is a little milder than in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a truly serious and life-threatening disorder. In DKA, due to the absence of insulin, glucose cannot be used, and the body starts burning fat too fast.

Does Your Pee Smell on Keto? 

Yes, due to the acetone present in the ketone bodies, your pee may have that characteristic odor of nail polish removers. 

The odor you are smelling may not be directly from your vagina but from the urine.

Even when there are infections in the urinary bladder, you can perceive an odor and vaginal discharge characteristic of that disease.

Be alert and rule out all possible causes before blaming the ketogenic diet, which has shown great benefits due to its low carbohydrate intake. In fact, yeast infections are worsened by typical diets high in sugar and processed products.

Do Keto Body Odors Go Away?

These odors generally disappear after a few weeks, although some users claim that they have had keto body odors for as long as they have been on the diet.

Acetone breath is a common symptom that indicates that you are following the diet correctly and have started to make the metabolic changes necessary to lose weight.

When it comes to the keto crotch, there are a few tips you can follow to avoid it:

#1 Don’t take extreme measures such as douching and perfumes to try to fight the odor

By taking these actions, you can sweep away your beneficial bacterial flora and give way to infections.

#2 Consume alkaline foods to counteract the acid load (protein) during the keto diet

Some alkaline options you can add to your dishes are avocado, broccoli, parsley, paprika, tomato, and olive oil.

#3 Include fermented foods

Add to your diet options such as Greek yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut. These foods contain probiotics that are beneficial for intestinal and vaginal health.

#4 Don’t give up on the keto diet

As annoying as this side effect may sound, very few users have reported it. In most cases, a visit to the gynecologist has been enough to discover the true diagnosis: yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.

A Word From Nutritionist

It has been shown that changes in eating patterns can affect the body in different ways. Therefore, each diet must be individualized as the side effects vary for each person.

Eating with a low glycemic load (as in the keto diet) fights many pathogens in the body, including those that cause bacterial vaginosis.

It is no coincidence that patients suffering from diabetes have fungal infections constantly, specifically candidiasis. The presence of large amounts of glucose in the body can lead to these types of infections.

In the long term, keto dieters have experienced a decrease in vaginal infections due to the consumption of low glycemic index foods.

Conclusion

Keto crotch is not something to worry about as it is a very rare side effect of the keto diet.

Users who have experienced unusual vaginal odors have been able to rule out the keto diet as the culprit in most cases.

Keto breath is more common and is actually a good indicator of nutritional ketosis. These new odors are transitory and, within a few weeks, disappear once the body has adapted to the change.

While the keto crotch is perceived as a fruity and rancid smell, the infections have a particular fishy and dairy smell. Our main recommendation is that when in doubt, always go to your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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