Vaginal Discharge Guide: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Your doctor might prescribe a second round of antifungal medication or take cultures to determine the real source of the infection. BV may contribute to developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), but more research is needed (12). Oral thrush: symptoms, causes, treatments, and more, there may also be redness and soreness inside the mouth, specifically at the corners. Factors that may disrupt the vaginal ecosystem include: Yeast infections are very common, and are most often caused by an overgrowth of the fungus candida albicans within the vagina. When you have uncontrolled diabetes, your blood sugar is not managed properly through diet and medication, allowing it to rise to excessive levels.

Patients with suspected cases should be referred to a specialist. For one, they help keep the vagina clean and free of harmful pathogens. Symptoms are worsened by alterations in vaginal pH (normal 3. )It may have an egg-white like consistency. If you are experiencing thick, white vaginal discharge with burning or itching and suspect you have a yeast infection: Symptomatic pregnant patients should be treated to prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes (Table 3). Most often caused by Candida albicans fungus, a yeast infection often produces a thick, cottage cheese-like, white discharge.

If spotting occurs during the normal time of your period and you’ve recently had sex without protection, this could be a sign of pregnancy.

If you notice an unusual discharge, it’s recommended that you consult with your healthcare provider, as they will be the in the best position to evaluate all of your symptoms and provide an accurate diagnosis. Before ovulation, the discharge becomes clear and sticky, and before the next period, discharge is thick and white in consistency. Oral candidiasis, (Sort of the miners canary.). Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted infection in the vagina caused by a parasite," says Dr. "If you do have sex, using condoms can reduce your chances of getting STDs. Or this thin discharge may be the beginning of fluid loss from the endometrial lining of the uterus.

Such products include anything that can come into contact with the vulva. If there are any of these other symptoms, it could be a sign of bacterial vaginosis or an STI. Candidiasis, this form of the disorder may begin as a painful swelling that later develops pus. For instance, when treating trichomonas, the medications used are usually metronidazole and tinidazole. Symptoms may include moderate to severe pain/tenderness in the lower abdomen. In about one of every three women with vaginal symptoms, the cause of the symptoms may be harder to find. Drugs that treat certain types of infections. Discharge that is stained with blood when you are not having your period also can be a sign of a problem. This can happen if yeast in your vagina, typically a kind called Candida albicans, grows too much and throws off the balance of microorganisms in there, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Please read further about the STIs in detail in "Causes of Abnormal Discharge" below. Another option is to use antibiotics in vaginal cream or gel form, especially if you have significant side effects when you take antibiotics by mouth. Red discharge is most commonly the result of bleeding during a period. This may mean just an external exam with Q-tip samples, or it may mean a vaginal exam with a speculum (a metal or plastic instrument inserted into your vagina and then slightly opened up in order to get a better look at your vagina and cervix).

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If your sexual partner experiences a new discharge or discomfort when urinating or during intercourse, he or she should be evaluated by a doctor. Itching is rare. The 3-month itch: my battle with a recurring yeast infection. You’ll need to make an appointment with your health care provider so that you can get checked and treated if necessary. These bacteria, it is thought, produce lactic acid – making the vagina a less hospitable place for germs. Are you on medications or do you take herbs or vitamins? Vaginal discharge colors and consistencies can be key indicators of your vaginal health. Condoms, soaps, face wash that may drip during showering, shampoos, laundry detergent, and toilet paper can all be irritating to the vulva. It may have a subtle scent, but it’s not unpleasant.

Common medications include metronidazole, tinidazole, and clindamycin.

If Your Discharge Is: Pink, Reddish, Or Brown...

Although this is quite correct from a Western medical point of view, from the TCM point of view any excess discharge of fluid or mucus from the body is thought to reflect a disorder in the fluid metabolism. What causes vaginitis? It's best to make an appointment with your doc to rule out a serious condition. Your doctor will likely give you the go-ahead to self treat using OTC products the next time an infection occurs.

Changes that may signal a problem include an increase in the amount of discharge, a change in the color or smell of the discharge, and irritation, itchiness, or burning in or around your vagina. It's more or less the consistency of the sticky, clear hair gel the members of N*Sync used to slick back their hair in the early 2020s. If treatment clears the Damp successfully, observation of fertile mucus becomes easier. ” and even “How was the sex last night?

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This type of discharge may be a sign of the infection trichomoniasis. Don’t use deodorized panty liners or deodorant sprays in your vaginal area. If you’re experiencing an overgrowth of yeast, you might see a thick, white, odorless discharge with the consistency of cottage cheese, and experience other symptoms like itching and burning of your vulva and vagina, a burning feeling during sex, and vulvar redness or swelling, the Mayo Clinic says. For women prone to yeast infections, Dr. All a woman can do is to practice safe sex, avoid harsh soaps and scented products.  If you are having a vaginal discharge that suddenly increases in amount, that is green or yellowish that has a bad odor, or is causing vaginal symptoms you should see your doctor to determine the cause and to get treatment. If the discharge is cloudy or yellow, it is a strong indication of gonorrhea. Vaginitis with discharge resembling egg-white, which itches and makes the vagina feel dry and irritated, is likely to respond to this remedy.

Yeast infections usually are treated with a cream or gel that you put into your vagina. You are completely healthy and normal if your discharge is cloudy white, has no odor or has a slightly salty odor, and is white or light yellow when it dries on underwear. Bacterial vaginosis is often treated with a prescription medication called metronidazole (Flagyl, Protostat). However, sometimes the number of candida increases. You should also be on the lookout for symptoms of yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis, 3 infections that can cause changes in your vaginal discharge.

Trichomoniasis, a common sexually transmitted disease (STD), may cause strong odor. A certain amount of vaginal discharge (fluid that flows out the vaginal opening) other than the expected vaginal bleeding at menstruation is normal. Additionally, look for low-sugar or no-sugar added options as the yeast can feed off of sugar. Brown discharge may be caused by irregular period cycles.

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It may be particularly heavy after walkouts. Vaginal administration exposes you to lower levels of hormones. These include antibiotics, birth control pills, cervical cancer, diabetes, scented soaps, lotions, and even a bubble bath. This is very likely a sign of a yeast infection. Bacterial vaginosis vs. yeast infection, the increase in BV in women with new sexual partners was independent of frequency of intercourse, suggesting exposure to a new partner is a more important risk factor than the number of episodes of intercourse. If the first round of treatment doesn’t relieve your symptoms, ask your doctor for more tests. While most women experience vaginal discharge at some point, some women have it more often — and in larger amounts — than others. Tight-fitting or nonabsorbent clothing, which leads to heat rashes.

Take daily showers or baths using gentle soap and warm water. Avoid bubble baths. (pdf) vaginal yeast infections during pregnancy, uterine infections can also make labor more dangerous and difficult. Occasionally, infections come back. Brown or bloody Brown or bloody discharge is usually normal, especially when it occurs during or right after your menstrual cycle.

In this article we’ll explore the range of discharge colors that you might experience and what they could mean.

Cause of Condition

Painful sexual intercourse Yeast infections usually are not caught from a sex partner. It could be other problems such as fibroids or other abnormal growths. However, there are certain types of discharge that can indicate an infection. Atrophic vaginitis is not caused by an infection but can cause vaginal discharge and irritation, such as dryness, itching, and burning. Experts explain how to make the correct diagnosis and determine appropriate treatment. Is this normal? Douching can interfere with this process and even lead to infection.

The majority of the liquid in vaginal discharge is mucus produced by glands of the cervix. BV can only be properly treated with a prescription from your ob-gyn or health care provider, so you'll want to book it to your doc for an appointment if things seem fishy down there (pun 100 percent intended). Vaginal discharge Normal vagina and cervix during a medical speculum exam demonstrating IUD strings at the opening of the cervix and normal milky white vaginal discharge on the vaginal walls, cervix, and pooled in vaginal fornix. This is why it’s significant to get yourself checked every year. (5), which can occur with the introduction of semen, menstrual blood, or douching. Are you pregnant? BV is actually the most common vaginal infection among women ages 15 to 44, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is easily cured with prescription meds once your doctor diagnoses it. If this is allowed to occur, patients may go on to have pain with intercourse; some patients have pain with just sitting or standing.

Setting the stage for vaginitisThe purpose of normal physiologic vaginal discharge is to lubricate the vagina. The following breast cancer treatments can cause vaginal discharge: You’re especially at risk if your age falls between 20 and 24. It can also be cloudy, bloody, or green. You may especially notice this after sex," she says. Yeast infection: vaginal yeast infection symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, signs and symptoms of candidiasis in the skin include itching, irritation, and chafing or broken skin. "In one study looking at women presenting to clinic with concerns about vaginal discharge or a foul smell in their vagina, it was found that 34% had bacterial vaginosis and 23% had vaginal candidiasis (yeast infection).


Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing so the vaginal area can breathe. Clear or white fluid that comes out of the vagina is called vaginal discharge (also known as leukorrhea). • Don’t scratch infected or inflamed areas; it can cause further irritation. We don't know what's normal because — shocker — we don't discuss it. Got a yeast infection? try these easy home remedies, 17 The dilution factor is irrelevant, however, as none of the ingredients is known to be effective for vaginitis in any case, and ingesting Candida for a candidal infection is wholly irrational. SOME OF THE COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS ARE:

Trichomoniasis usually is treated with a single dose of an antibiotic by mouth.


If symptoms persist after completing the treatment, an exam is indicated. Vaginal yeast infection, a prolonged course of a topical antifungal agent is occasionally warranted (but these may themselves cause dermatitis or result in the proliferation of non-albicans candida). Oral thrush: symptoms, causes and treatment, consult a doctor before using this or any supplement. These causes of vaginal infection can usually be easily diagnosed by your doctor in the office using simple techniques. Do you have other health problems (like diabetes)? A person who needs this remedy is often nervous and very sensitive to noise. That being said, you don't want to ignore the symptoms.

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This may be a watery sort of discharge and will not be offensive like an infection but may still be irritant. However, there is a delicate balance in healthy vaginal secretions. Yellow discharge is abnormal discharge, as this is a sign of a bacterial infection or sexually transmitted infection.

However, if your doctor suspects that the discharge may be caused by cancer, you will be referred to a cancer specialist for further diagnosis and treatment.

The infection is transmitted by sexual contact. Apart from these three STDs, a vaginal discharge infection could also be caused by bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection. A vaginal infection is present when the normal vaginal discharge changes color, becomes heavier or smells different, or if there is itching, burning, swelling, or redness around the vagina. How to bathe a dog with a yeast infection, in this article, we look at the benefits of a baking soda bath and how taking one may help. It might mix with some urine, or blood around the time of menstruation, which can influence how it smells on your underwear. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an infection caused by a change in the vaginal flora, which refers to the community of organisms that live in the vagina.

Vaginal discharge is a combination of fluid and cells continuously shed through your vagina.

Following a period, a person may notice less vaginal discharge than usual. If symptoms don’t go away or get worse, you should see a doctor or nurse to find out what’s going on. Candidiasis (yeast infection), in fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates nearly 75 percent of women are likely to contract one yeast infection in their lifetime, with up to 45 percent of women experiencing recurring ones. It can sometimes be a sign of endometrial cancer. Overgrowth of yeast also can occur if the body’s immune system, which protects the body from disease, is not working well. A vaginal discharge is often present at some stages in the menstrual cycle.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Vaginal Discharge?

Both of these infections can be treated with antibiotic shots or pills. Up to 75% of women will experience an inflammatory condition of the vagina at some point in their lives. Your discharge is a reflection of what is happening internally. In fact, they can protect the individual from other infectious and invasive bacteria by producing substances such as lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide that inhibit growth of other bacteria. Vaginal yeast infections: Should I use an over-the-counter medication to treat a yeast infection?

The blood vessels in your vagina dilate and fluid passes through them, causing an increase in clear, watery discharge.

This usually happens while you are menstruating. Women who have trichomoniasis are at an increased risk of infection with other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Although it’s normal for the color, texture, and amount of vaginal fluids to vary throughout a girl’s menstrual cycle, some changes in discharge may indicate a problem. We have witnessed non-clinician staff treating patients over the phone based on the same vague symptoms, often multiple times. Frequent recurrences are generally treated with azoles as well, but for a longer duration. This is completely normal and can happen at any time of the month. “Trichomoniasis is caused by an organism that can live on towels, vibrators, and other inanimate objects,” says Dr. If you have to wear tight clothing, don’t wear it for a long time.

These can all cause green discharge as well. However, there are going to be situations that pop up that could warrant a trip to the doctor’s office. This could be a sign of uterine or cervical cancer. They sometimes occur in times of stress or other illness. But you should encourage your partner(s) to see the doctor as well. What the heck is discharge, anyway? This increased wetness and clear vaginal discharge signal ovulation.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Yeast Infection?

Storm cloud gray Share on Pinterest When white turns to gray, like storm clouds or exhaust, see your doctor or call your OB-GYN. Douching is not necessary to keep your body clean. Suggested medications include topical and oral metronidazole or topical clindamycin. How to cure candida, some manufacturers use gluten, nuts, dairy products or animal products in their probiotics. Blood red to dried brown Share on Pinterest Red or brown bloody discharge is normal during your period.

It's not like you can just casually bring up your discharge discrepancies over a round of cocktails with your friends. It may be especially heavy after exercise. Once again, the peak day of fertility will be the last day that this different sort of mucus is observed before the return of the usual discharge. This type of discharge may be a sign of a yeast infection. This is especially likely if the hue only coincides with a change in diet or dietary supplements. Skin complications, sometimes women with yeast infections also experience pain with urination or while having sex. “There are many tests out there that labs can run to make a diagnosis of an infection,” Dr.

This form of discharge may be an indication of trichomoniasis infection, which is frequently transmitted through sexual intercourse. There is more discharge when you ovulate or breastfeed, or when you are sexually excited. You may also notice an increase in thick, white discharge before and after your period. If your vaginal area is already irritated, you should not use scented toilet paper, spermicides, or harsh soaps.

What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?

Vaginal Yeast Infection Symptoms

Is the color of your vaginal discharge telling you something important about your health? Not all probiotics are created equal. Douching can also make an infection worse if you already have one, push the infection up into your uterus and fallopian tubes, or hide symptoms of a vaginal infection so it’s harder to diagnose.

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– White, clumpy discharge (somewhat like cottage cheese). The vagina normally contains bacteria. Only you know your body.

Most vaginal infections have no apparent cause. The natural balance of the vagina can be disrupted by anything that interferes with its normal environment. If your discharge is more of a yellow color than clear most days, that's probably just your normal. The vagina, it turns out, is also inhabited by a community of good, helpful bacteria – a community known as the vaginal microflora. Clear and stretchy When discharge is clear but stretchy and mucous-like, rather than watery, it indicates that you are likely ovulating. The treatment for vaginal infections depends on the cause.

It’s often yellow, greenish, or cloudy in color. Heal the gut: 17 gut-healing strategies to start today. The vagina contains lactobacilli, which act as vaginal regulators and maintain a healthy acidic environment. But unlike BV, yeast infections do not cause a fishy or unpleasant odor," she says. "Resist the urge!

More on Discharges

A recurring yeast infection can happen for a number of reasons, and we’ll take a look at some of them now: Some people report this color change occurring whenever they take new vitamins or try certain foods. If you have been treated more than three times in a year for BV, consider wearing condoms with sexual intercourse, Dr.

  • This is especially important if you've had sex because it could be a sign of an STD.
  • Any sexually active woman can get a chlamydia infection.

Yeast Infection vs. Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

• Dermatosis of the vagina. We’ve decoded the candida diet for you! It is pretty easy to adapt the diet to almost any food preferences. Yeast infection (candidiasis) occurs when there is an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina, often due to antibiotic use or other factors that affect the natural balance of bacteria in the vaginal area. There are other causes of vaginal infections that are less common.


Wipe from front to back in the bathroom. What causes these changes? This medication is taken by mouth. It’s always a good idea to get a checkup if you can’t pinpoint a cause or seem unsure of your health status. These bacteria are sometimes spread from the rectum to the vaginal area by wiping from back to front after using the toilet.

However, it’s important to never self-diagnose a vaginal yeast infection unless you have previously been diagnosed by your health care provider. Vaginal fluids should be clear, white, or off-white in color. Spotting during an early phase of pregnancy can be a sign of miscarriage, so it should be discussed with your OB-GYN. What changes may be a sign of a problem? Changes that may signal a problem include an increase in the amount of discharge, a change in the color, smell or texture of the discharge. Too often women attribute symptomatic discharge (e. )In many cases, an infection can be detected by the physical or pelvic exam. If you wear pantyhose, remember to wear cotton underwear.

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Slight redness and swelling of the vagina or vulva Bacterial vaginosis usually is treated with antibiotic pills or creams. This condition happens due to an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in your vagina. Cervical cancer can easily be screened for with yearly Pap smears and HPV testing. Mucus from the vagina and cervix sometimes turns yellow when it comes into contact with the air, according to the U.

Vaginal discharge may result from infection with: Most of the time, vaginal discharge is perfectly normal. These may cause additional symptoms like a strong vaginal odor, itching, and burning, but symptoms aren’t guaranteed. It literally comes with the territory. Though there are many benign causes of intermenstrual bleeding, it can sometimes signal a serious condition. The combination of these factors can help reveal what may be going on in your body. You’re probably ovulating and producing cervical mucus.


Anyone who experiences bleeding between menstrual periods should see a doctor. Avoid vaginal contraceptives because they increase the risk of infection. How do I know if I have a problem? Practitioners without proper training may recommend treatments that can further damage and destroy the tissue. A thin white discharge that comes along with other symptoms can be a sign of bacterial vaginosis, according to the Mayo Clinic. Characteristics such as the color, thickness, or smell of the discharge may change based on the following factors: There isn’t enough evidence to include the use of yogurt or Lactobacillus probiotics in formal treatment recommendations (9), although there may be some benefit for certain people and it’s unlikely to be harmful (13-14). While most changes are normal, others can signify anything from an STD to whether you just need to drink more water.