Know all the Potential Vaginal Discharge Colors and What They Might Indicate

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It’s normal to get vaginal discharge when you have a vagina. It’s likely that, unless you notice an odd color, you don’t pay attention to the colors of your vaginal discharge.

Vaginal discharge is the liquid that originates from your vagina, as you surely already know. According to Loriana Soma, MD, an ob-gyn at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, it is made up of mucus, germs, and fluids from the vagina and cervix. Discharge serves a purpose and isn’t only there for amusement.

According to Jennifer Wider, MD, a specialist in women’s health, it helps to clean the vaginaand avoid infection. “Fluid that helps remove germs and dead cells is expelled by glands inside the vagina and cervix.”

Therefore, having vaginal discharge is quite natural. Realize that it might change during your menstrual cycle. Dr. Soma claims that there is little discharge during the menstrual cycle. “After the menstruation is over, it may be brown from old blood.” Less discharge may be present in the days following your period, and it may also be sticky.

When you are fertile (a few days before ovulation), your cervical mucus and discharge may appear slick, thin, transparent, and of an egg-white consistency. You could see less discharge after ovulation, and the liquid you do see has a thicker consistency.

Having said that, a strange color could occasionally constitute a red flag for an issue. According to Dr. Soma, infection is the most frequent reason for irregular discharge. In addition to during pregnancy and menopause, people on birth control tablets may also experience changes in vaginal discharge. You could see variations in your discharge’s appearance, volume, and consistency.

Here are the key points about vaginal discharges and what they may indicate.

Clear vaginal discharges

Most individuals with a vagina experience clear vaginal discharge as a baseline, according to Dr. Wider. Therefore, everything is probably in fine functioning order down there if you’re getting a clean discharge. White

White vaginal discharges

Discharge can be typical, especially as your period is approaching, but it can also be an indication of an infection, such as a yeast infection, according to Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale Medical School. She explains that yeast infections typically manifest as itching and a white, cottage-cheesy discharge on the vulva, which can also be red and irritating.

If you have these signs and symptoms, you might try treating yourself by applying an anti-fungal miconazole cream. But if it doesn’t work, you should see your doctor.

Yellow vaginal discharges

Another situation where the answer is “it depends” is this one. According to Dr. Soma, a minor yellow tint might be considered normal, but a heavy yellow discharge could indicate an infection, such as cervicitis (a cervix infection) or pelvic inflammatory disease, which affects the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries.

The STIs trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia are among the other possible diagnosis in the combination.

If you have symptoms like a strong vaginal odor, itching, inflammation, and discomfort along with thick yellow discharge that won’t stop.

Green vagina discharges

According to Dr. Wider, this is usually abnormal, especially if you also have a strong odor, inflammation, swelling, itchiness, and a burning sensation. According to Dr. Minkin, trichomoniasis can manifest with a green discharge and a fishy-smelling odor. Get it checked out, then. According to the Mayo Clinic, antibiotics can be used to treat it.

Gray discharges

Gray discharge is a characteristic presenting sign of bacterial vaginosis (BV) and is “usually malodorous,” according to Dr. Soma.

In addition to being annoying, the excess of the bacteria that cause this discharge can exacerbate STIs, and women with BV who become pregnant have an increased risk of premature delivery, according to Dr. Minkin.

Therefore, it’s wise to treat BV due to these possible issues as well as its bothersome discharge. Thankfully, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medications can typically make it go away (CDC).

Pink discharges

Pink discharge often results from “little bleeding” from the uterus or cervix, according to Dr. Soma, who also notes that it “may indicate the start or conclusion of a regular menstruation.” However, if it occurs after intercourse, it may be an indication of cervicitis, cervical dysplasia, or abnormal cervical cells that may be precancerous or cervical cancer.

Do consult your provider, advises Dr. Minkin, if the discharge appears to be blood-tinged. You should still get it examined even if it doesn’t occur either before or shortly after your period, according to her, because it might be an indication of an STI.

When should you visit a physician?

Contact your doctor if you are experiencing discharge that is out of the ordinary for you and you are concerned. The same applies if you are experiencing green or gray discharge, as well as heavy white or yellow discharge. According to Dr. Wider, symptoms like irritation, burning, smells, and swelling are other indicators that something is wrong with your vagina. Basically, don’t wait to get things examined.

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