It claims to help burn fat, fights off anxiety, and even ward off migraines, so it’s no surprise that the keto diet has become such a fan-favorite among the healthy eating community. But the trendy diet also brings with it some less-than-welcome side effects, including the infamous “keto breath” and “keto poops,” and the latest: “keto crotch.”
Keto dieters, raise your hand if you know exactly what the internet has recently united about (and shoutout to Reddit for raising the question in the first place).
While no formal study has been completed to look into the “keto crotch” phenomenon, it’s been a popular talking point for those who’ve banished carbs and welcomed healthy fats into their diet.
Keto crotch 101:
Just like with keto breath, the unpleasant odor in your private area is thought to come from the excess in ketones your body produces when you’re consuming an added amount of fat, but there’s no direct line from consuming added healthy fats to your vaginal odor.
However, a 2007 study, which came long before the current keto craze, did look into the theory of how diets higher in fat could affect bacterial vaginosis. But the link is not quite there.
“Any diet can change your vaginal pH,” Jessica Shepherd, MD, tells Women’s Health. “Changes in diet can lead to potential changes in vaginal health, which could mean more rashes.”
If you’re experiencing rashes, in addition to an odor, don’t automatically assume that it’s keto-related, experts urge. Maybe you’re working out more, wearing your sweaty workout clothes longer than you should, or not changing your underwear post-workout — all of these could contribute to vaginal odor.
But if you notice it for an extended period of time — give it a few days to really tell if it’s something more serious — then speak to your doctor, and make her aware of your recent dietary changes. Then you can find out the exact cause of any odor.