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Advice please! Boyfriend stinks of fish

(67 Posts)
Burtz Thu 26-Mar-20 23:07:52

So this might seem a little odd and I've been a little unsure on which thread to post it on and I don't know where else to turn now.

I've been with my boyfriend for about a year, although I've known him longer. When we first got together and started being intimate I occasionally noticed a fishy smell in the air, but it was only very mild so I thought it could be anything.

After a little while I realised it was my boyfriends downstairs area, but it was a newish relationship at that point and it wasn't bad enough for to bring it up.

Fast forward to the last couple of months. The smell over time as gradually got worse and worse. It's now so overpowering and un ignorable. So much so that on one occasion of being intimate, I had my face near his area to do something and I felt physically ill because of the smell, was nearly sick and just said I didn't feel in the mood so we stopped. It's progressed now to his breath stinks of fish, even if he hasn't eaten fish that whole week. E.g we sat down to watch a film tonight totally fine and breath normal, then by the end of the film it stunk of fish, and all he had eaten was a chocolate cookie - honestly so puzzling. And now his whole body odour is becoming fishy, I sometimes find it hard to even cuddle up to him. As the smell kicks off my migraines.

It's really affected our sex life, as the incident with the gagging really put me of sex for. And I begin noticing that afterwards my downstairs area would smell fishy for the next few days. He obviously noticed me not wanting to do stuff and asked me about it more then once. I decided honestly was the best policy and sat down and took him through and explained everything, I was really nice and made sure I wasn't attacking him or making him feel bad. I came from the angle of that I was concerned there was something else going on with his health and that he should see a doctor. He said he appreciated it and that he understood I wasn't trying to be mean at all but I can tell he was a little hurt.

Since then we've had many conversations about it, puzzled about what's causing it and what it could be.

His work has a company doctor you can go and talk to and he's brought it up a few times with him but it's not been met with much success. The first time he said it sounded like thrush and suggested he treatment. We got canesten cream and he applied it regularly with no luck. Second time, after the first suggestion didn't work, the doctor said it's possibly to do with his diet and weight.

I really don't think it could be this though, as my boyfriend is an athlete and one of the most physically fit people I know. He isn't in the slightest over weight, is always exercising and eats very clean and a well balanced diet.

Can is also just add both my boyfriend and I have had STI checks and were both completely clear of anything. He is very very hygienic, showers daily (more if he's worked out) and brushes his teeth very regularly.

This has just become so baffling to us what could be causing this fishy smell and why it's getting worse? It really affecting our relationship and I love him and can tell it gets him down although I reassure him I know it's not his fault, it's not easy on him.

Has anyone else ever experienced something like this on a man?? You here if fishy women often but never men. Or any other advice on what could be causing this?

I'm happy to answer any other questions people might have in order to get to the bottom of this.

BumbleBeee69 Thu 26-Mar-20 23:13:40

Just did a quick google... this is what came up OP...

Fish odor syndrome (trimethylaminuria) is a genetic disease; symptoms are often present from birth. Fish odor syndrome is characterized by an offensive body odor and the smell of rotting fish due to the excessive excretion of trimethylaminuria (TMA) in the urine, sweat, and breath of affected individuals.

could it be this ? flowers

Disco91 Thu 26-Mar-20 23:14:26

Sounds like Trimethylaminuria, I read about it once

PositiveVibez Thu 26-Mar-20 23:15:20

Google 'trimethylaminuria'

TheRoqueforteFiles Thu 26-Mar-20 23:15:39

Fish odour syndrome has its own page on the nhs webpage

KellyHall Thu 26-Mar-20 23:16:23

Maybe it's this:

www.nhs.uk/conditions/trimethylaminuria/

Burtz Thu 26-Mar-20 23:21:06

Thanks everyone so far!

I've heard of the "fish odour syndrome" after I saw a woman on this morning who had it. And also found it in my searches previous to this post.

I was always under the impression it was only women that could be affected by this and didn't see any men online who had it. I could be sorely mistook though.

The only thing about this is, my boyfriend said no one else has ever brought it up with him before. E.g ex girlfriends, parents or siblings. Which is normally the case for this syndrome

tiredanddangerous Thu 26-Mar-20 23:24:38

If no one else has ever noticed it or mentioned it to him, is there a chance there’s a problem with you rather than him?

mamato3lads Thu 26-Mar-20 23:38:07

Does he drink a lot of coffee?

SirChing Thu 26-Mar-20 23:42:04

A fishy odour is often a sign of a UTI.

Aquamarine1029 Thu 26-Mar-20 23:45:10

I'd be binning him off. That's disgusting. You will never, ever be able to tolerate this.

NoMoreDickheads Thu 26-Mar-20 23:45:37

@tiredanddangerous you been at the wine like me? grin

I agree with the PP's. OP. Seen a couple of documentaries on Fish Odor Syndrome and this sounds like it. Previous partners I imagine just didn't want to bring it up verbally, but they're previous for a reason.

He should've seen his doctor as soon as the two of you agreed that it was a problem. I suppose now is not the time, but after the current drama he should go if he cares about you and your relationship.

In the meantime, could he use a strongly fragranced soap etc, and a perfume? And strong mouthwash used regularly.

As PP's linked, the NHS website has ^loads* of diet and lifestyle tips, and he should look.

He needs to start taking your discomfort seriously and doing something about it. xxx

Smilebehappy123 Thu 26-Mar-20 23:50:50

@Aquamarine1029 I'm laughing so hard at the fact that this is about fish and your name is Aqumarine , this man is your people
OP it sounds like rotten smeg , does he clean his bell end proper???
Do any of the other family smell of fish ?
Have you got a cat ?

Samtsirch Fri 27-Mar-20 00:00:29

I am sure I have read this thread before, so you cannot be the only one Op

VanGoghsDog Fri 27-Mar-20 00:12:51

This was on Doc Martin, I'm sure of it. Wasn't the "cure" Botox in some of the glands?

JaneJeffer Fri 27-Mar-20 00:37:09

@Smilebehappy123 grin (sorry OP)

Burtz Fri 27-Mar-20 01:10:56

@tiredanddangerous
Fair point it could possibly be just me, I just feel like because it's been so many times now I can't be imagining it. Someone else has mentioned it's an awkward thing to bring up verbally, which tbh it is but I was comfortable with our relationship and to bring it up with him.

Burtz Fri 27-Mar-20 01:12:41

@mamato3lads he doesn't drink it at home at all, occasionally has one at Costa or something but possibly does at work as they have a fancy machine thing so no idea on that I will ask him. Is coffee linked to fishy odour?

Burtz Fri 27-Mar-20 01:13:55

@SirChing he's had no other UTI symptoms and the smell is in the areas then downstairs now

Burtz Fri 27-Mar-20 01:21:17

@Aquamarine1029 lol at your username linking to this and that's your opinion which you are more then entitled to smile
The smell is really unpleasant yes, but it's worse for him when he's a very clean and he can't understand why this is happening. Also we are having a baby together so not planning on ending the relationship anytime soon, especially over what could be a medical condition. I'd much rather stick by him and help him sort out whatever this is.

SirChing Fri 27-Mar-20 01:24:44

@Burtz Men don't tend to show many symptoms of UTIs. It may still be worth a check.

Burtz Fri 27-Mar-20 01:27:07

@NoMoreDickheads thanks for your reply, I completely agree with you saying the other people right not have wanted to bring it up because it can be awkward.

And yes it's very difficult as of current situations right now. I've mentioned it to him before about getting a proper GP that he can walk into and have a proper exam not just a doctor that he can have a quick chat with at work. And I think after all this I will be pushing for him to take this route because otherwise it's just not going to get sorted.

When I am uncomfortable because of it he does get upset and appreciates how I feel. He doesn't do it to be mean by any stretch, it's just embarrassing for him which is why I think he's put off taking it further medically.

badg3r Fri 27-Mar-20 01:28:01

Has the smell got worse since you got pregnant OP? It could be like it seems like it is getting worse to you because your sense of smell of better at the moment? Mine is like a dog's when I am pregnant! I'm not doubting it is there, but you might get some respite once the baby is here. Does the smell bother him too now?

Burtz Fri 27-Mar-20 01:29:45

@Smilebehappy123 "this man is your people" lol

He has very good hygiene and as far as I'm aware that includes his bellend. Before this started up he was already very clean but has been taken even extra care and time in the shower

I've never noticed it on his family or in there house at all.

And no neither of us have a cat, or have ever had one

Burtz Fri 27-Mar-20 01:31:01

@VanGoghsDog interesting, is Doc Martin medically accurate? I might see if I can find this episode

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