You are what you eat. Maybe.
While we were researching our story on the best and worst foods for your vagina, we hit upon an age-old question that really got us curious: Can eating pineapple actually change your smell and taste below the belt?
It's not a totallyout-there idea. After all, the foods we eat affect how other secretions smell. Our bodies break down pungent foods like broccoli and garlic into equally pungent chemical compounds that linger in our blood until we release them in our breath, sweat, and urine. (Looking at you, asparagus pee.)
But, totally unsurprisingly, experts aren't exactly clamoring to put together a scientific study of how pineapple affects the sensory experience of oral sex. Not that that's stopped people from latching on to the idea. Several Reddit threads are devoted to the topic of making your vagina (or semen) taste like candy, oranges, cookies, smoothies…
…with people claiming to be biochemists weighing in…
…or even suggesting taking supplements of an enzyme found in pineapple.
Unfortunately, no research exists to definitively answer the question of whether pineapple sweetens the taste of your private parts, which is probably why Redditors and the rest of us keep asking the question. So naturally, we took the topic to some doctors.
Alyssa Dweck, MD, a New York–based ob-gyn and co-author of The Complete A to Z for Your V, says her patients definitely notice a change after eating pineapple "in a good way." While she admits it’s totally anecdotal, "I keep hearing and reading about it," she says.
There's equal (if not more!) curiosity about how pineapple affects the taste of semen—and the jury is similarly out. "In some ways, 'you are what you eat,'" says urologist Koushik Shaw, MD, of the Austin Urology Institute. It's possible that if you're eating foods with higher sugar content, like fruit, bodily fluids might taste a little sweeter, but that effect certainly wouldn't be noticeable in an instant. "Prostate fluid in ejaculate can be made weeks or months before," he says, so semen-sweetening pineapple would have to have been consumed way ahead of time.
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the HEALTH newsletter
Even though Shaw chocks this one up to urban legend, there's probably no harm in trying it if you're curious, he allows. Pineapple packs vitamin B, fiber, and a heaping dose of vitamin C, after all.
But at the end of the day, maybe it's okay if your vagina just smells and tastes… like a vagina. Your scent naturally changes a bit throughout your menstrual cycle, but it probably shouldn't ever taste or smell like a tropical fruit. In fact, if it smelled like something other than a vagina, especially if the smell is an unpleasant one, it's probably a sign to go talk to your gyno.