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Scent of Change: Navigating Body Odour in the Menopausal Journey

Podcast Episode 9 transcript.

Listen on: Apple, Spotify, Website

Today, I'm discussing an unexpected change that can happen but is not often discussed - increased body odour during menopause.

As women experience hormonal changes during menopause, so does their body chemistry, affecting their body odours.

The first thing to understand is that these changes are entirely normal. As estrogen levels decrease during menopause, the body undergoes a boost in sebum and sweat production, resulting in this change. Not all women experience this symptom, and it can occur at any stage of your menopause journey.

Body odour frequently coexists with hot flushes and night sweats, as these cause the body to produce excess sweat. This excess sweat fuels the bacteria on your skin, leading to an unpleasant odour.

Some studies also show that menopause itself changes the actual composition of sweat.

Although menopausal body odour can be alarming, a few treatments and remedies can help.

With HRT, replacing lost oestrogen can help regulate the body's sweat and sebum production.

For those experiencing excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), prescription antiperspirants can be a solution. Embracing deodorants with essential oils with antibacterial properties, such as tea tree oil or lavender, can be a game-changer. Incorporating these into your skincare routine can help combat odour while promoting a sense of calm and relaxation.

In extreme cases, Botox can block the nerves that trigger the sweat glands, producing less sweat and less body odour.

Personal hygiene becomes even more crucial during menopause. Regular showers, mild moisturising or antibacterial soaps, and staying well-hydrated can make a difference. Additionally, choosing breathable fabrics and loose-fitting clothing can help minimise the chances of odour retention.

It's also essential to address any potential dietary contributors. Some people find that certain foods, like garlic, onions, alcohol, seafood, and red meat, can make their body odour more unpleasant. Staying hydrated is essential. You might find reducing foods like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and some spices like chilli and cumin useful as they contain sulphur. (Sulphur is the smell of rotten eggs) Only some people are affected the same way, and we do not advise cutting these foods out entirely as they are very good for you in other ways, but try eating smaller amounts and bulking up with aubergine, courgettes, and sweet potato instead. We also suggest keeping a diary to monitor if your body's smell is affected by certain foods.

As we wrap up today's episode, I want to remind you that you're not alone in this journey. Reach out to friends and family, especially seek professional guidance if unsure, as specific significant body odour changes may indicate an undiagnosed medical condition.

I hope you enjoyed today's episode of Radio Menopause. I hope you are now more aware of what causes this, what products you can try, and what help is available if you are struggling. If you found today's episode helpful, please share it with someone who might benefit from it.


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