Vaginal Odors, to Douche or not to Douche
We have these amazing vaginas! Truly amazing. They can stretch to fit babies through, they have a wildly varying number of nerve endings, they have different shapes and tilts, but they are also self cleaning. Vaginas actively clean themselves, which I wish was the case for my kitchen! In order to achieve this feat they excrete. When you're in different hormonal phases during your cycle it can look different or vary wildly in amount, but in addition to helping fertility and lubrication during certain times of the month, this discharge is removing things you don't need, ie dead cells, foreign particles, etc.
Once in your underwear and exposed to air and then incubated in the nice warm environment that exists close to any human body, these discharges, especially if they include expelled bacteria for example, can have an odor as the bacteria eat the dead cells. But this odor is an external occurrence for the most part. I will not say that if you are sexually excited and self lubricating that it's odorless, but it is not the horrific stench we have been sold. Some if not most of that odor from self lubrication can be eliminated by regular showers and maintaining cleanliness of the labial areas, as most odors are linked to topical things growing (bacterial and fungal, good and bad) not the lubrication itself. So shower before having sex if you are worried about it.
However, we have been sold, through advertisements over the years, and men then using that as an excuse to not engage in oral sex, that we smell. And we have been sold, to the tune of $90 million dollars a year, products to fix this imagined issue, mostly in the form of douches. Douching can be safe, but it also can force water and other chemicals up into places that are not designed to be washed, and can take outside dangerous viruses and bacilli with that product and put them further into the body than the vagina would normally allow. So you don't have to douche, it's better than you don't most medical experts agree. You don't even have to clean your vagina in any way in a shower or bath, labia for sure, but nothing internal. Now if only other things in my life were self cleaning, I'm looking at you child #2.