i understand that. it's perfectly fine to share your experience and talk about a 'risk' or 'potential problem' for using a given product.
it's not discouraging really, just informative.
no. they don't smell when they're clean, for certain. And, they smell less (or not at all) when i wear them and i'm using them.
to the issue:
i'm learning about an option where you never wear any menstrual products and become attuned to the movements of your menses and excuse yoruself to the restroom whenever you feel a "gush."
even though i use cloth pads, i've been doing this. second day of my period is the heaviest, so i did go to the bathroom a lot. but instead of going in the toilet, i went into my water-bucket (menstrual blood only, not feces) and then put it out on the plants. It's really quite pleasureable, the whole process.
anyway, i'm finding that i bleed less into the pads overall, because the larger clots and menstrual blood goes into the bucket and then into the plants. i use the same bucket to rinse my pads before washing them--and i put that water out into the plants as well.
you get really in tune with your body with this method.