Keto Crotch: An Unmentionable Worth Mentioning

Keto flu, keto crazies … and now “keto crotch” ?!? The side effects of strict ketogenic dieting keep piling up… and they’ve got smelly side effects. I was just as surprised as you, because after five  years of my Keto-Green lifestyle, I’ve never experienced it or had anyone complain to me. I decided to do my own research on this curious subject that traditional keto dieters have been complaining about.

I explain keto flu in my book The Hormone Fix. As your body gets used to burning ketones for fuel instead of glucose on a keto diet, you might experience flu-like symptoms such as headache, fatigue, nausea, or upset stomach for a few days.

I also talk about the keto crazies – and how a ketogenic diet that’s very carb restrictive can, at least temporarily, can make you feel cranky by messing with brain chemicals meant to stabilize your mood.

And now some keto-dieters are reporting an unpleasant odor emanating from their lady parts – dubbed “keto crotch”- supposedly triggered by staying on a strict and straight ketogenic diet. Yikes! Just thinking about this though makes me want to schedule a relaxing V-steam.

Before I go on, let me assure you that most people who follow my Keto-Green Diet, outlined in The Hormone Fix, do not experience any of these symptoms. I suspect that The reason is: my diet is alkalinizing. It includes plenty of alkalinizing vegetables (especially green veggies), fruits, and plant oils. Ultimately, going Keto-Green prevents the typical inconvenient side effects of strict keto dieting because it’s healthier for your body to be in an alkaline state.

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When I polled my Magic Menopause and Keto-Green community, 94+ people reported never experiencing keto-crotch, 27+ had never even heard of it, 6+ were unsure and only 4+ said they have experienced it!

So what do I need to know about this keto crotch symptom?

Although there’s no research connecting vaginal odor to keto dieting, many doctors believe that the smell may have to do with the acid/alkaline balance in your vagina.

A ketogenic diet can make your system – including your vagina - more acidic than usual because you’re eating a lot of acidic foods like meat and cheese, and not enough alkalinizing vegetables. This imbalance may be responsible for the odor.

Also, a strict keto diet may upset the ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria in your vagina. In a healthy vagina, infection-causing microorganisms are kept in check by an acid/alkaline balance and “friendly” bacteria. However, a keto diet that is low in alkaline foods, or even a stress-filled life, can throw off your internal chemistry, giving bad bacteria the chance to multiply. This can result in vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis, both of which give off odors.

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If you want to prevent this and other symptoms of traditional keto dieting, I offer the following tips:

  • Stay Keto-Green. Alkalinizing  foods help maintain the acid/alkaline balance in your body, making you more resistant to infection. Keto-Green dieting emphasizes alkalinizing plant fats, too, such as avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, and seeds. There is less emphasis on animal-based fats – which have been found to increase bacterial vaginosis, according to research published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2009.
  • Cultivate “good" bacteria.” The vagina has good and bad bacteria that live together to make a healthy environment. To maintain that environment, my Keto-Green Diet  includes probiotic-based foods, such as yogurt and sauerkraut, as well as prebiotics (which feed probiotics) in the form of garlic, leeks, and onions. For further support, I also recommend supplementing with a probiotic formulated with four of the most highly researched species: Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lactobacillus plantarum.  The supplement should contain 30 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) of these strains. This can also be used vaginally.
  • Use  Julva daily. This is a topical vaginal cream formulated with the hormone DHEA, restorative ingredients, and plant stem cells to help repair the delicate tissue and mucous membranes around your vagina and keep it healthy and odor-free. Julva also helps lubricate your lady parts, eliminate dryness, and promote pleasurable intercourse.
  • Test your urinary pH. Do this first thing in the morning (and periodically throughout the day), with the goal of keeping your pH at or above 7.0 – which means your body is alkaline. You can test using special pH strips available at your pharmacy, or at You can also test your vaginal pH.  The vagina is naturally 3.5 -4.5 , when the pH is higher, you are more susceptible to bacterial vaginosis and an odor.

If you detect an unusual smell “down there,” please see your doctor. An odor is an odor, and ruling out poor personal hygiene, it can be a sign of infection. While Keto-Green nutrition and lifestyle actions may help with infections and odors, it is important that you consult a physician if these odors are already present.


    P.S. If you’re suffering from vaginal dryness...

    You need to try Julva – my restorative topical cream for the vulva. Its combination of DHEA and other quality natural ingredients has helped thousands of women physically, mentally and sexually.

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    Dr. Anna Cabeca

    Dr. Anna Cabeca

    Certified OB/GYN, Anti-Aging and Integrative Medicine expert and founder of The Girlfriend Doctor. During Dr. Anna’s health journey, she turned to research to create products to help thousands of women through menopause, hormones, and sexual health. She is the author of best-selling The Hormone Fix, and Keto-Green 16 and MenuPause.

    Learn more about my scientific advisory board.