If Your Discharge Is Gray
Trichomoniasis is a common culprit here, according to Dr. Streicher. It can cause either the white or greenish vaginal discharge weve mentioned, or one thats a yellow-gray color, ACOG says, so you might pick up on more of a gray hue.
Then theres that overachiever bacterial vaginosis. Not only can it cause white or green discharge, this condition can lead to a dark or dull gray discharge that has a thin consistency, ACOG says.
If you know your discharge like the back of your hand and it suddenly turns gray, see your doctor for an evaluation.
Essentials For Older Women
Thinning also makes certain vaginal infections more likely to develop. The thin, dry vaginal tissues are more easily damaged, allowing usually harmless bacteria from the skin to enter tissues under the skin and cause infection there. Such infections are usually not serious but can cause discomfort.
Problems that make good hygiene difficult, such as being incontinent or bedbound, are more common among older women. Poor hygiene can result in chronic inflammation of the genital area due to irritation by urine or stool.
Older women should see a doctor promptly if they have a discharge, particularly if the discharge contains blood or is brown or pink . A discharge that occurs after menopause can be a warning sign of a precancerous disorder or cancer and should not be ignored.
If Your Discharge Is Brown Pink Or Red
This usually indicates that theres some kind of bleeding going on, Dr. Minkin says, which isnt immediately an emergency!
If this happens a little before or after your period, its likely due to either early bleeding or old blood thats dribbling out. Either way, you shouldnt automatically view it as a red flag, Dr. Streicher says, unless its new for you even though nothing else about your health has changed.
Another possible cause here is breakthrough bleeding, i.e., bleeding that happens between periods. There are tons of possible reasons behind this, like recently starting a new birth control or messing up the way you take your usual birth control.
This can also be due to health issues like cervical polyps or irritation from an infection, Dr. Streicher says. A yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasispretty much any infection can cause bleeding from the vaginal walls that will cause red or pink discharge, she says.
In very rare situations, bloody discharge could be a sign of cervical cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Abnormal bleeding is a common sign of cervical canceryou might bleed after sex or spot between periods, and some of this blood can affect your discharge. Other possible cervical cancer symptoms include pain during sex. Definitely see your doctor if you have unexplained bloody discharge.
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Green Vaginal Discharge: Causes Treatments And Prevention
The good news is, its totally normal for vaginal discharge fluids secreted from your cervical glands to occasionally change color and even consistency.
Certain changes, though, may signal a health condition.
Green discharge, for example, could indicate an infection that requires treatment by a medical provider.
Infections that cause green discharge can be uncomfortable, but there are many treatments available, and you can also take steps to prevent abnormal discharge.
In this article, Ill explore green vaginal discharge causes, what green discharge means, and possible treatments. Ill also cover what normal discharge is like and how to prevent abnormal discharge.
Finally, Ill explain when to see a doctor for abnormal discharge.
Reasons For White Discharge
Vaginal lubrication: White discharge can occur for many of the same reasons as clear discharge. Its simply natural lubrication, keeping your vaginal tissue healthy and minimizing friction during sex.
Very light yellow discharge is more common than you might think. Sometimes the color is daffodil yellow. Other times its more of a greener chartreuse.
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Tests That Help Determine Yeast Infection Presence
The two most common tests for a yeast infection are the vaginal wet mount and the KOH test.
For the vaginal wet mount, your doctor or a lab technician will mix a sample of your vaginal discharge with a salt solution, put it onto a glass slide, and look at it under a microscope.
If there are an abnormally large number of Candida microbes and white blood cells , you have a yeast infection.
The wet mount can also help rule out other infections, including bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis.
Instead of using a salt solution, the KOH test uses potassium hydroxide.
If, after diagnosis, your infection doesn’t get better with treatment or comes back several more times within a year , your doctor may order a culture test of your yeast.
A culture test will help determine if a Candida species other than C. albicans is causing your chronic infection some yeast species are resistant to the drugs used to treat a C. albicans infection.
Causes And Risk Factors
Vaginal yeast infections are usually caused by a type of yeast called Candida albicans. Its normal for this yeast to live in the mucous membranes lining the genitals. There are usually only small amounts of it, though, so it doesn’t cause any problems.
But the healthy balance of microorganisms living in the membranes is sometimes disrupted for instance, through pregnancy or medication.
The level of estrogen in the body is particularly high during pregnancy. That can upset the healthy balance and increase the likelihood of developing a vaginal yeast infection. Taking the contraceptive pill affects a woman’s hormone levels in a similar way to pregnancy. So women who take the pill are also more likely to have yeast infections.
Some illnesses increase the risk of vaginal yeast infections. These include diabetes and other diseases that weaken the immune system. Various medications can increase the risk too, such as , steroids, hormone therapy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Other factors that increase the risk of vaginal yeast infections include stress, washing your genitals with soap, wearing synthetic and tight clothes, sweating and using non-breathable panty liners or sanitary pads. These things allow the yeast to thrive, leading to an inflammation.
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Im Pregnant And Have Green Discharge What Should I Do
The only thing more worrying than seeing green discharge is seeing green discharge while your pregnant. For many people, this may be a big cause of concern.
During pregnancy, your body goes through numerous changes, one of those might include vaginal discharge. The sight of green discharge can be quite alarming and instantly raises the question: is green discharge during pregnancy normal?
The answer is no. If you notice green discharge whilst pregnant you should never try and self-diagnose, always talk to your doctor as they will know your medical history and be able to offer more helpful insight.
Green discharge during pregnancy might indicate any of the possible causes weâve already discussed: trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, or bacterial vaginosis . All of which can complicate your pregnancy and hurt your unborn child.
However, during pregnancy there are two other possible causes of green discharge, urinary tract infections and on occasion amniotic fluid, which will discuss below:
If Your Vaginal Discharge Is Clear Or White
Healthy vaginal discharge ranges from clear to a milky white, with as many shades in between as youll find in a paint store. Healthy discharge may be the texture of an egg white a little bit gummy.
If your discharge is within this color range, the most important things to pay attention to are texture and smell, which can signify issues, Dr. Goje says.
Its common for discharge to change color and consistency during the span of your menstrual cycle. When youre ovulating, your discharge may be thick, white and stretchy.
How to deal: This kind of discharge may very well be normal. But if you start experiencing discharge youve never had before, it may be time to check in with your doctor. Keep an eye on your monthly discharge so you know whats normal for you, Dr. Goje advises.
Thick, cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge is typically a telltale sign of Candida albicans fungus, also known as a yeast infection. Its often accompanied by vaginal itching and burning.
How to deal: Yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter medications like tioconazole or with a prescription pill or vaginal cream from your doctor. If these dont work, your doctor can test to see whether another fungus is present, Dr. Goje says.
How to deal: Your doctor can test you for gonorrhea and treat it with antibiotic pills or shots.
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What Bacterial Disease Has Symptoms Of Thick Green Or Yellow Discharge
In its current form, gorrhea is a bacterial infection. There is a risk of severe health problems that could be caused by prolonged treatment. Although it is hard to cure, it can be treated quickly and easily. The symptoms range from vaginal discharge, stinging during urination, bleeding during periods, a high temperature or abnormal bleeding during an operation.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
Keep your genital area clean and dry when you have vaginitis.
- Avoid soap. Just rinse with water to clean yourself.
- Soak in a warm, not hot, bath to help your symptoms. Dry thoroughly afterward.
Other tips are:
- Avoid using hygiene sprays, fragrances, or powders in the genital area.
- Use pads instead of tampons while you have an infection.
- If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar level in good control.
Allow more air to reach your genital area. You can do this by:
- Wearing loose-fitting clothes and not wearing panty hose.
- Wearing cotton underwear or underwear that has a cotton lining in the crotch. Cotton allows normal evaporation of moisture so that moisture buildup is reduced.
- Not wearing underwear at night when you sleep.
Girls and women should also:
- Know how to properly clean their genital area while bathing or showering.
- Wipe properly after using the toilet. Always wipe from front to back.
- Wash thoroughly before and after using the toilet.
Always practice safe sex. Use condoms to avoid catching or spreading infections.
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What Is The Normal Discharge Experienced By Women
Women of childbearing age usually have white discharge. This can be thick discharge or sometimes watery discharge. In addition, vaginal discharge is odorless and without itching.
It can be watery during ovulation where women experience clear discharge or thick white discharge towards the onset of your next period.
Why Does Vaginal Discharge Smell
Yup, healthy vaginal discharge has a smell. The smell comes from the combination of cells and organisms in it. Tack on sweat from neighboring groin glands, too.
Just like the amount of vaginal discharge secreted is dependent on hormones, so is the smell. This is why you might notice it smells different throughout the month.
Unless the smell is overly strong or unpleasant, its usually NBD.
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How Do Doctors Diagnose The Cause Of Vaginal Discharge
After reviewing your symptoms and medical history, the health-care professional will likely perform a pelvic examination, which includes examination of the external genital area and the insertion of a speculum to examine the vaginal walls and cervix.
Depending upon the examination, the health-care professional may take swabs of the vaginal discharge for culture or for examination under a microscope to help define the cause of the vaginal discharge.
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What Does Green Discharge During Pregnancy Mean
Green vaginal discharge during pregnancy is a sign that you need to see a health care provider. This is considered abnormal discharge, and during pregnancy you need to be extra-cautious.
If you experience green discharge while pregnant, make an appointment with your health care provider immediately. Certain infections that cause green discharge pose threats to the pregnancy and the baby.
For example, pregnant people with trichomoniasis are more likely to have preterm deliveries and babies with lower-than-average birth weights.
Any infection that is present during pregnancy needs immediate treatment.
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Yeast Infections Vs Bacterial Vaginosis
If youre experiencing changes in your vaginal discharge, you may be wondering whether your symptoms are due to a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.
These two infections can both cause discomfort and change your discharge, but they have different causes.
Yeast infections are caused by a fungal infection, and bacterial vaginosis happens from a bacterial infection.
Yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis usually cause different types of discharge.
While yeast infections often cause thick, white, clumpy discharge, BV can result in thin, milky gray, yellow, or even green vaginal discharge.
Its possible for a yeast infection to cause an unpleasant smell, but bacterial vaginosis usually has a distinct, fishy smell.
The treatments for yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis are different, too.
If youre unsure whether you have a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis, check in with your doctor for an exam and diagnosis.
Check If Your Vaginal Discharge Is Normal
Vaginal discharge is not usually anything to worry about if it:
- does not have a strong or unpleasant smell
- is clear or white
- is slippery and wet
You can get vaginal discharge at any age.
The amount of discharge varies. You usually get heavier discharge during pregnancy, if youâre sexually active or if youâre using birth control. Itâs often slippery and wet for a few days between your periods .
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When To See Your Healthcare Provider
You should immediately contact your healthcare provider if you have green discharge accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Known exposure to a sexually transmitted infection
You should also be aware of symptoms that may be an indication of an infection that requires treatment. See your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following:
- Sudden changes to color, consistency, or odor of discharge
- Itching in the genital area
- Swelling in the genital area
- Redness in the genital area
- Symptoms worsen
You should always see your healthcare practitioner under the following circumstances:
- The symptoms do not completely go away, even with treatment
- Symptoms return immediately or soon after you finish treatment
- You have other medical conditions like diabetes
- You have a new sexual partner
- You may be pregnant
Treatments For Yellow Discharge
Once your doctor diagnoses the medical reason for your yellow discharge, it can be treated relatively quickly in most cases. Treatment is typically a topical cream or gel, or antibiotic, but it will depend on the specific cause.
If a sexually transmitted disease is the cause, your doctor will advise you to have your partner treated as well. Both you and your partner must be treated to keep you from passing it back and forth to each other.
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Can Yeast Infection Go Away Alone
A mild yeast infection may disappear completely on its own, but this is rare. It will always be smart to treat an infection from yeast, even if it is mild. If yeast infections arent treated properly, they will return.Treatments for yeast-based infections soothe the afflicted area and target the overgrown Candida fungus. This two times action reduces the itching and losing and restores a wholesome balance of yeast and bacteria.
What Does A Yeast Infection Look Like
Yeast infection looks like cottage cheese discharge and may include the following signs:
- Milky white discharge or very light yellow discharge.
- Thick, chunky, looks like cottage cheese.
- Usually no smell or odor.
- Often with itching, irritation, swelling and burning around the vulva.
- Pain during sexual intercourse in also common.
To learn more, see our complete experts guide: What does a yeast infection look like?
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Diagnosis For Yellow Discharge
Only a licensed healthcare professional can diagnose the medical issue that your yellow discharge may be a symptom of.
Your doctor will do a pelvic exam to diagnose the cause of the yellow discharge. During a pelvic exam, your doctor will take a sample of your discharge that will be screened for infections. If youre sexually active, they will also determine whether you have any sexually transmitted diseases.
Its essential not to use any spermicide or before the pelvic exam to ensure you have an accurate sample.
Yeast Infection Renewable Discharge Stay Ahead With Our Quick Tips
Trichomonas: Trichomonas infection produces a frothy, yellow-green vaginal discharge with a solid odor. Associated symptoms range from pain during intercourse and urination, as well as irritation and itching of the female genital area.Gonorrhea: Gonorrhea might not produce symptoms in up to 50 % of contaminated women, but additionally, it may cause burning with urination or recurrent urination, a yellowish vaginal discharge, redness and bloating of the genitals, and a using up or irritation of the vaginal area.Chlamydia: Like gonorrhea, Chlamydia disease might not exactly produce symptoms in many women. Others may experience increased genital release as well as the symptoms of a urinary system disease if the urethra is involved.Vaginal candidiasis: A genital candidiasis is usually associated with a thick, white genital discharge that may hold the texture of cottage cheese.
- Abnormal discharge may be yellow or green, chunky in consistency, or foul smelling. Yeast or a infection usually causes abnormal discharge.
- Too often women attribute symptomatic discharge to an infection from yeast, which they try to self-treat with an OTC remedy. In most cases, however, the condition is not really a yeast infection but bacterial vaginosis .
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