Vaginal discharge is a perfectly normal function of the body as the vagina is a self-cleaning organ. The glands inside vagina and cervix secrete a fluid, which carries away dead cells and bacteria. Vaginal discharge is clear and watery, but it can also have certain colours, odours, and textures.
The kind of vaginal discharge you have can be an indication of a problem, or a certain stage in your menstruation cycle. When you are ovulating, before or during pregnancy, after intercourse – the vaginal discharge will differ in every situation. So, it is important to monitor the discharge from your vagina for colour, texture and odour. This will help you spot an anomaly, when it happens.
What does green or yellow discharge mean?
When the vaginal discharge is yellow or green in colour, it is potentially a sign of an infection. A light-yellow discharge can be normal, but if it is thick, chunky or when it has a bad smell, it is abnormal. It might even look like yellow nasal discharge which comes from nose during sinus. Yellow discharge may be a sign of a vaginal infection, or a sexually transmitted disease. Although many women with chlamydia or gonorrhoea have no symptoms at all, those that do, may experience this type of discharge too.
If the vaginal discharge is greenish in colour and smells foul, you might have an infection in the vagina. Vaginal infections may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as itching, burning, discomfort or spotting. Pelvic pain may also occur but is not common. Green vaginal discharge indicates a serious infection, so seek medical attention immediately.
Is there an odour?
If you want to confirm if your yellow vaginal discharge is normal or not, check the odour. If the discharge is light yellow, it could be normal. But if it is accompanied by a foul, fishy smell, and turns green, then you can be sure something is wrong. You could have an infection in the vagina, which may need to be identified by a medical professional.
When does it normally occur?
Yellow discharge can occur at any time. Like when you are pregnant, your oestrogen levels are elevated, which can cause the vaginal discharge to turn yellow. If the discharge is yellow but without pain or odour, then it is normal. However, if the yellow vaginal discharge is accompanied by foul smell and itchiness, then you need to go to a doctor.
Your vaginal discharge can also turn yellow before, or after periods, as an indication that the period is about to start, or end.
Vaginal discharge is controlled by the hormones, so when you experience hormonal imbalance due to any reason, your discharge might change accordingly. Like during ovulation, when the body is preparing for conception, you might notice an increase in the vaginal discharge.
Green vaginal discharge, however, is a sign of infection. It is possible that you may feel itchy and uncomfortable before the vaginal discharge becomes green. Or the green vaginal discharge may be the first sign. Either way, you need to consult a medical professional.
Vulvar care with intimate washes
Taking care of the vagina and following healthy habits will combat yellow and green vaginal discharge symptoms and give you relief. Some of the solutions include:
- For itching or swelling, use a cold compress like an ice pack wrapped in a wash cloth to alleviate discomfort
- For suspected fungal infections, you can buy an over-the-counter antifungal cream
- Do not use douches and scented soaps. Use vaginal washes that are specially formulated for this delicate area
CAREFREE® offers a range of intimate care products, including intimate washes and panty liners. The intimate washes clean the vagina from the outside, preventing bacteria from causing infections. Wearing a panty liner everyday helps keep the vaginal area dry and clean, so that bacteria cannot grow.