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wierd smell
An_249234 posted:
I have the scent of blood coming from the vagina area. I had a hysterectomy nine years ago. Can any one help me. I am in remission from cervical and ovarian cancer.
Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear An: You mention a scent of blood. Are you having any spotting--even minimal amounts? If so, there are a number of POSSIBLE explanations:

1. If you had a supracervical hysterectomy (cervix left in place), there is still enough glandular tissue (same as uterine lining) lining the cervix to respond to estrogen from HRT, or ovaries left in place. I doubt this applies to you as the cervix would have been removed in your specific case, and ovaries are gone.

2. If you have known endometriosis, there are case reports in the literature of endo growing into the scar at the back of the vagina where the cervix was removed.

3. If your ovaries are gone and you are using no estrogen, the vaginal tissues can become so thin and fragile that they can bleed. In this same scenario, a prolapsed urethra can cause spotting when the delicate tissues are rubbed by under wear. Absence of estrogen can alter vaginal pH and the balance of normal vaginal bacterias, too.

4. If your surgery was for cancer there is a VERY remote chance that the bleeding is from a return of the cancer

5. Nine years post-surgery is probably too long a time for there to be granulation tissue at the site of the scar in the back of the vagina. This is a more common problem sooner after surgery.

6. A recto-vaginal fistula is a distant possibility as a source of a bad smell, but spotting is not usually present.

An_249234, the malodor might also be a result of a change in the balance of vaginal bacteria. It is important that you see your GYN or clinic so they can check for discharge. They can also do a careful exam of the back vaginal wall ("vaginal cuff") for any changes in the tissues.

In Support,

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