Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 361–376 | Cite as

Cyclical changes in volatile acidic metabolites of human vaginal secretions and their relation to ovulation

  • George Preti
  • George R. Huggins


The major volatile constituents in human vaginal secretions were identified. Data collected during the course of 29 cycles from 9 subjects showed that the nature and abundance of the vaginal organic constituents differed with respect to subject. Only 3 of 9 subjects investigated consistently had C3-C5 aliphatic acids; acetic acid was present in all subjects. Lactic acid was the major acidic compound consistently found in the vaginal secretion of all subjects near the time of ovulation. Cyclical changes in the acidic constituents were demonstrated.

Key words

human odors human vaginal secretions lactic acid small aliphatic acids GC-MS metabolic profiling chemical communication ovulation detection 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Preti
    • 1
  • George R. Huggins
    • 2
  1. 1.Monell Chemical Senses CenterUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyHospital of the University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia

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