Sexual Health
Young woman eating grapefruit to show whether certain foods can change how your vagina tastes.

Here’s The Truth About Whether Certain Foods Can Change How You Taste Down There

In case you feel like experimenting.

Updated: 
Originally Published: 

Your vagina is great. Whatever your vagina tastes like and smells like? Also great. Think of your taste down there like a fingerprint or a little piece of your DNA: It's something totally unique to you, which is pretty awesome in and of itself. But it's interesting to think about the fact that there are certain types of foods and beverages that could potentially alter the chemistry of your nether regions. That brings us to some age-old questions: Do fruits like pineapples and grapefruits make your vagina taste better? Do any other foods make you taste sweeter down there?

It’s worth noting that your eating, drinking, and even smoking habits can affect how all your bodily fluids taste and smell. When your body digests foods, it breaks them down into chemical compounds that affect how your bodily secretions smell — and some of those compounds are quite pungent. One example is the organosulfur compound asparagusic acid, which is what you smell after you eat a bunch of asparagus and go to the bathroom. So, following that logic, it’d make sense that your diet could alter how your vagina tastes, right?

Mariya Ostash/EyeEm/Getty Images

Well, that depends on who you ask. Perhaps it doesn’t come as a surprise that at this moment in time, no such peer-reviewed research or studies around this topic exist, and most medical experts will tell you this. "The urban myth is that pineapple can change vaginal odor,” San Francisco-based gynecologist and author Jen Gunter, M.D. said in an interview with SELF, “but there are no studies to prove this and no science behind it.” But in the absence of valid, definitive proof, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest otherwise — which may not be as trustworthy but is still fun to entertain. You’ve probably come across an article written by someone claiming that eating a bunch of fruit gives their vagina a pleasantly sweet taste, or that certain vegetables make them taste especially “green”; perhaps you personally know someone who swears by pineapple.

“Generally speaking, we hear that sweeter fruits and natural juices lead to a sweeter taste, whereas coffee, cigarettes, and asparagus can lead to a more bitter taste,” sexologist Jess O’Reilly, host of the podcast Sex With Dr. Jess, told Elite Daily. Based on what we know about how our diet affects our bodily secretions, all of that makes sense. But as do most experts when asked to speak on this subject, O’Reilly stressed: “Of course, this is all anecdotal.”

And not everything is so straightforward. Take, for example, garlic, which contains the compound allicin. “While this compound has been shown in lab studies to kill yeast, which can of course affect taste, taking garlic supplements orally is unlikely to kill yeast in the vagina,” O’Reilly told Elite Daily. “Just because a food is linked with a beneficial bacteria doesn’t mean eating it will send said bacteria straight to the vagina.” Also, just in case the thought popped into your head: Please don’t go shoving garlic cloves or pineapple (or any food, for that matter) up your vagina. You could throw off the delicate pH balance down there, which could lead to a whole host of problems.

But if you're interested in experimenting with how to make your vagina taste good, go ahead! So long as you’re not consuming anything unsafe, there's no harm in giving it a shot. “I’d suggest tracking your own food intake and tasting your own vaginal secretions, and see if you notice a difference over the course of two to four weeks,” O’Reilly told Elite Daily. However, she added, “It’s important to remember that the body’s natural secretions change if you have a menstrual cycle, so some of the shifts in taste will not be related to diet.” Also, in the course of this experiment, if you notice your nether regions giving off a noticeably yeasty or fishy scent, you might want to consider checking in with your healthcare provider. Those more unpleasant smells might be possible signs of vaginal infection.

At the end of the day, “eat what feels and tastes good for you,” O’Reilly says. “Know that you already taste delicious! The vagina is a self-cleaning oven, and although it can deal with infections, so can every other part of your body. You smell and taste just fine!”

Experts:

Jen Gunter, M.D., San Francisco-based gynecologist and author

Jess O’Reilly, sexologist and host of the podcast Sex With Dr. Jess