Fishy smell from vagina. Office on Women's Health. Reasons for a chemical odor Urine. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by a combination of several bacteria that typically live in the vagina. Rinse well and pat your skin with a towel until it is dry before you put your underwear on. If BV is behind your fishy vaginal odor, antibiotics you take orally or apply vaginally should get rid of it, the Mayo Clinic says. A vaginal discharge that has an odor or that is irritating usually is considered an abnormal discharge. Bacterial vaginosis. So a subtle smell is not a cause for concern. Sign up for our Newsletter and join us on the path to wellness. Your body contains two types of sweat glands, apocrine and eccrine.