Ask the doctors
As I get closer to menopause, I'm noticing my own body odor even though I haven't changed my hygiene habits. What's going on?
A. Perplexing, isn't it? But many women report stronger body odor as they transition to menopause, with several possible explanations.
First, it's important to keep in mind that our sense of smell can change during perimenopause, making us think we stink even if we don't. Beyond that, profuse perspiration from hot flashes and night sweats can nourish underarm bacteria, leading to more body odor. The menopausal drop in estrogen also leaves our bodies with relatively higher levels of testosterone — produced by our ovaries in small amounts — than before. This can attract more bacteria to sweat, making it smell funkier.
Your best defense is to keep bathing regularly and using high-quality deodorant or antiperspirant. Also, stay hydrated to offset fluid loss from sweating. If you're still concerned, or if you notice a strange new scent, talk to your doctor.
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