There is an extensive body of literature discussing the biochemical composition and odor of vaginal fluid. This literature demonstrates clearly that there are malodorous components to vaginal fluids (26). In one study (27), investigators examined four women who collected samples of their vaginal secretions on a tampon every other day (excluding weekends) for four cycles. The researchers presented bottles containing tampons from 15 ovulatory cycles to 73 blinded volunteers (37 were men) who rated the odor of the bottles on scales of intensity and pleasantness. The majority of raters found the odors unpleasant. There was a wide variation in pleasantness and intensity of odor, both among individual women throughout the cycle and between different women at the same stages of the cycle. Several of the blinded observers remarked that the substances they smelled were "either deodorizing products, cheeses, or preservatives for food such as turkey or fish."
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