Vaginal Discharge: Types of Vaginal Discharge and What They Mean

What is Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal discharge can be very unpleasant and worrying phenomenon for every woman, especially for a pregnant one. Don’t worry, this is usually completely normal experience throughout your pregnancy and menstrual cycle. However, you should pay attention to its color and consistency, because in some cases, discharge can be an indicator of severe health problems.

Before you start to worry seriously, try to get informed. Regardless of the color of discharge, don’t immediately think that you have cancer. For example, eliminate benign things, such as a forgotten tampon. In fact, in most cases, it is about harmless causes which can be followed by significant discharge. If there is a reason to suspect that you have a serious health issue, ask for your doctor’s help.

Types of Vaginal Discharge by Color: 

White Vaginal Discharge

White discharge is probably the most common type of discharge which is perfectly normal in various parts of the menstrual cycle. There are many causes of white vaginal discharge including routine cleaning, ovulation, irregular period, your period, pregnancy, yeast infection (candidiasis), bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis (foamy and smelling discharge), or gonorrhea (cloudy discharge). Any changing of the discharge’s color, consistency, or smell can be an indication of a medical problem and the sign that you should visit a doctor.

Distinguish Normal from Abnormal

a women wear white underwear

Brown Vaginal Discharge

Brown discharge looks like normal discharge but colored brown from light brown to dark brown. Most women have a brown period at least once in life. It can be frequent toward the end of a menstrual cycle. Don’t panic! Educate yourself and discover what the cause could be. You should be concerned if you have brown-colored bleeding during pregnancy, if your period lasts longer than a week, or if you haven’t had a period up to 6 months. There are a few possibilities which can be a reason for the brown discharge such as ovulation, endometrial tissue, miscarriage, peri-menopause, or birth control.

Visit the doctor to exclude possible diseases like bacterial vaginosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually transmitted diseases, breast cancer and cervical cancer if you feel cramps, abdominal pain, or burning sensation when urinating.

Common Questions, Causes & Brown Discharge during Pregnancy

Reasons for the Occurrence of Light Brown Discharge

a woman sit on the floor with bare leg

Yellow Vaginal Discharge

Sometimes yellow discharge is a sign of a severe medical issue, but it’s not always a case. Anyway, be careful because this color often indicates a variety of different serious things including trichomoniasis (unpleasantly smelled mucus and yellow discharge), or gonorrhea (cloudy yellow mucus)Orange discharge is usually a sign of STD or an infection. At the end of your period, discharge is probably orange because it’s mixed with blood.

Normal & Abnormal Yellow/Orange Discharge during Pregnancy and before Period & How to Prevent?

Green Vaginal Discharge

Green vaginal discharge is the primary symptom in about 23% of women who have problems with Bacterial Vaginosis and about 36% of them who experienced Trichomonas Vaginal Infection. This symptom lasts approximately less than a week in 39% of cases, day or two in 27% of cases, and almost 17% of women have this problem longer than a month.

Green vaginal discharge is almost never the only symptom. Women who experience it usually have problems with vaginal burning and (or) itch (about 18% of them) and nearly 9% of women experience additional yellow pus vaginal discharge. Except that, it is possible having vaginal pain, increased burning during urination, and (or) bleeding during intercourse.

Is Green Discharge the Sign of Trichomoniasis or Bacterial Vaginosis?

Pink Vaginal Discharge

Pink discharge is perfectly natural in most cases. It occurs when woman’s period is about to begin. Releasing an egg during ovulation can create a small hole which will cause minor bleeding during a few hours. Also, birth control pills can cause pink spotting at the beginning of use. Many women can experience pink discharge after delivery. Sometimes pink discharge can be an indication of vaginal infections, cervical erosion, liver or kidney disease, diabetes, ectopic pregnancy, or even endometrial or cervical cancer.

Causes, Complications & Solutions

Red Vaginal Discharge

Reddish brown or red discharge is difficult to diagnose. It is usually about dried menstrual blood. There are many causes of red discharge including ovulation, old blood from a previous menstrual cycle, pelvic inflammatory disease (genital tract infection), menopause, early pregnancy, and implementation bleeding. There is also a possibility of sexually transmitted diseases, contraceptives (hormonal changes caused by condom with frangipani flower, birth control pills, or injection medicine), ovarian cysts, or cervical cancer. In any case, you should talk with your gynecologist.

Causes of Red Discharge You Should Know

a woman with a red flower

Black Vaginal Discharge

Reddish brown or black vaginal discharge should be a reason for you to be concerned. It is an indication that you have been bleeding at some point. The appearance of the darker color means that the blood is older. The reason can be implantation, a foreign body (forgotten tampon), cervical cancer, end of a period, retained menses, cervical stenosis in older women, miscarriage (spontaneous abortion which occurs so early on in the pregnancy), or pelvic inflammatory disease – PID. Whatever is the cause, black discharge is the sign that you should visit your doctor right away.

Why it is Black & What to Do about Black Discharge?

a woman looks very terrible, feels not very well

Types of Normal Vaginal Discharge: 

Jelly-like Discharge

Bright and very light, white color jelly-like discharge can occur during the menstrual cycle. It keeps your reproductive system healthy by removing bacteria. Some women can even predict their fertility thanks to jelly-like discharge appearances. You should be concerned and get tested for an STD if this discharge is constant and smells terrible. In that case, it can be a sign of an infection.

How to Check Discharge to Determine Ovulation

A woman with a magnifying glass is checking her vaginal dischrage

Clear Watery Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal discharge is a usual way for the body to clean a vagina of bacteria. Causes of clear discharge are various. It can occur during ovulation, pregnancy, after intercourse, and during a period. But, you should consider going to a doctor if your discharge is pale or dark yellow (an indicator of early bacterial vaginosis or gonorrhea), cheesy with a foul odor (a sign of yeast), green with sour smell (a sign of trichomoniasis or chlamydia), or gray (a sign of bacterial vaginosis).

When Should Worry about Clear Watery Discharge

Types of Vaginal Discharge under Special Circumstances:

Implantation Vaginal Discharge

Cervical mucus is typical throughout the menstrual cycle. But this one after implantation is a little bit different. It can occur after conception, during ovulation, and after ovulation, and it can be a sign that the egg and the sperm fertilize. The amount of mucus can increase to the level similar to ovulation one, and it protects the future baby from harmful bacteria. Congratulation! This white discharge is an early sign that you may be pregnant.

Implantation Discharge & Cervical mucus 101

Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy

Leukorrhea (milky white discharge) is one of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy. Thanks to the hormone Estrogen, the amount of discharge will increase when you are 13 weeks pregnant. But, if you notice signs of yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, or sexually transmitted disease, as well as the leaking urine, amniotic fluid, or blood, you should visit your gynecologist.

Causes, Worries & How to Deal during Pregnancy

Vaginal Discharge after Miscarriage

Sometimes it’s hard to recognize an early miscarriage (the loss of pregnancy). One of the signs is strange bleeding and discharge in various colors and consistencies. Bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy can occur relatively often, and it’s usually a result of irritation, implantation, or infections. Later, it can be a sign of early labor. The bleeding after a miscarriage can be substantial and can be an indication of some severe problems. It can be brown (usually normal), yellow (a sign of infection), or clear (a sign of ovulation or a cyst).

Miscarriage Bleeding & Types of Discharges after Miscarriage

Vaginal Discharge after Sex

Vaginal discharge is a perfectly healthy thing, and it is an excellent indicator of the condition of your vagina. But, there are a lot of reasons for the appearance of the abnormal discharge. Vaginal discharge after intercourse is usually transparent. If there are no other symptoms, white discharge after sex occurs on a regular basis. Pink discharge after sex can signify the presence of blood because of trauma, menopause, oncology issues, menstruation, and pregnancy. You don’t need to worry if it lasts less than three days. Without other symptoms, brown discharge after sex can be harmless, and it’s a result of appearing endometrial cells and old blood. It can follow ovulation, implantation, stress, and birth control. Yellow discharge after sex is not a good thing, and you should talk to your doctor to find a possible problem.

Regular & Abnormal Discharge after Intercourse and Types