How long will the vaginal discharge have a fishy smell in genital herpes?

Q. I have genital herpes. Will it make the vaginal discharge smell fishy indefinitely?

Answered by
Dr. Reetika
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sushrutha Muralidharan
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 02, 2021 and last reviewed on: Sep 21, 2023

Hi doctor,

With genital herpes, will it make vaginal discharge smell fishy indefinitely? Kindly give your opinion.



Welcome to

With treatment, it should go, and I am sure you must have taken some antiviral medicines. As you must be aware that herpes is a recurring kind of complaint, but the periodicity of occurrence varies, and the period of infection can be reduced by proper, timely treatment. As far as fishy odor associated with herpes is concerned, it should go after the treatment, but here I wish to highlight that besides herpes, there are multiple other reasons that can cause fishy odor to vaginal discharge. Certain other reasons for fishy vaginal discharge are itching various kinds of vaginitis (infection or inflammation). Reasons can be a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, sweat, etc. Please tell me when did you have the last herpes infection and when did the treatment end. Also, if you have any other complaints now like burning, pain while urinating, inflammation, or redness, what is the color of discharge, and if experiencing pain after intercourse. Please share other details as well. In my opinion, the fishy odor need not be necessarily associated with herpes, and we must be clear if there is some other underlying cause, as explained.

I hope this was helpful. Please get back for further queries.

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