Although it can be concerning to see, light vaginal discharge is completely normal. Normally, discharge is white or clear in color and creamy or stringy (like egg whites) in texture. But when mucus takes on strange colors or emits foul odors, it’s usually a cause for concern.
Yellow discharge and orange discharge can be alarming to see, but it may or may not be the sign of a serious medical issue. Let’s explore what causes yellow vaginal discharge and what you can do to remedy the situation.
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What Does Yellow Discharge Mean?
Yellow mucus discharge can indicate a variety of different things, from an infection to an STD. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes.
Trichomoniasis is a very common sexually transmitted disease that’s caused by a microscopic parasite. This parasite can make your discharge turn a yellow or green color, and is typically frothy in texture. Many women experience a lot of discharge when they have this disease, and typically, mucus has a very unpleasant smell.
If you have trichomoniasis, you may also experience other symptoms, such as swelling, soreness and itching in the vaginal area, or painful urination.
Trichomoniasis is treatable with antibiotics. See your doctor right away if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above.
Yellow colored discharge can also be a symptom of gonorrhea. Typically, the mucus is cloudy in this case. You may also experience other symptoms, like bleeding in between periods, pelvic pain and urinary incontinence.
Gonorrhea is a common STD, and it’s completely curable. The disease is caused by a certain type of bacteria that grows in multiple places in the body’s mucous membranes. This bacteria can grow and thrive in moist, warm areas of the body, including the reproductive tract, fallopian tubes, uterus, throat and mouth.
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, see your doctor as soon as possible to get tested for gonorrhea and start treatment. This curable STD is treated using an injectable or oral antibiotic.
3. Normal Discharge
For some women, yellow discharge is completely normal. According to doctors, discharge can be white or yellow when dry. It may be clear or cloudy, too. What really matters is the odor. If there’s no odor and you’re experiencing no other symptoms, there’s a chance that your yellow colored discharge is completely normal.
Still, if your mucus is usually white and suddenly turns yellow, you may want to see your doctor just to make sure that there are no underlying medical conditions causing this change.
Is Yellow Discharge During Pregnancy Normal?
Discharge is completely normal during pregnancy, and you may get a lot of it at times. But if you’re seeing light yellow discharge – particularly if it has an unpleasant odor and is accompanied by itching – it’s time to see your OB.
This may be a sign that you have an infection or an STD.
It’s imperative to get treated for an infection or STD as is, but it’s even more important when you’re pregnant. Your baby’s life could very well be in danger if you don’t get treatment.
During pregnancy, yellowish discharge can be caused by:
None of these causes are good news, so it’s important to see your doctor away if you’re experiencing yellow discharge during your pregnancy.
What Causes Yellow Discharge Before Period?
Some women experience yellow discharge with no odor before they get their periods, and this can be completely normal. But if you’re seeing thick yellow discharge, it could be a symptom of a serious medical issue.
Yellow discharge before a period can be:
Cervicitis is inflammation of the cervix, and may be caused by a sexually transmitted infection, such as trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, herpes virus, human papilloma virus and chlamydia.
A variety of things can cause this type of infection, including an allergic reaction to birth control, or overgrowth of bacteria in the vaginal canal.
Along with yellow discharge, you may also experience pain, fertility issues and vaginal bleeding.
Caused by inflammation in the vulva and vagina, vulvovaginitis is another type of infection that can cause yellow colored discharge. This infection is caused by bacteria, viruses and yeasts, and is sometimes a result of a sexually-transmitted infection.
Typically, discharge will have a foul smell, and you may also experience burning while urinating. Pain and vaginal dryness may also occur as well as itching and irritation.
3. Bacterial Vaginosis
A common infection, bacterial vaginosis is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the vaginal tract, particularly Gardnerella and Mobiluncus bacteria.
Typically, this type of infection causes discharge to take on a fish-like smell, but is not accompanied by soreness or irritation.
A common STD, chlamydia is caused by a bacteria, and many women never experience any symptoms.
Common symptoms include:
- Fertility issues
- Yellow discharge
- Pain during sex
- Painful urination
- Loss of appetite
- PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)
If your discharge is yellow before your period and it’s normally white or clear, it’s time to see your doctor. Your physician will be able to determine what’s causing the change in color, and prescribe treatment.
Is Orange Discharge Normal?
Like yellow colored discharge, orange discharge is usually a sign of an infection or STD. However, discharge at the end of your period may appear to be orange if it’s mixed with blood. If this type of discharge is occurring at the end of your period, this is likely the cause. However, if it’s occurring mid-cycle and accompanied by other symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible to be tested for an STD or infection.
Yellow discharge can be concerning and is typically a sign that something is amiss. It’s important to see your doctor as possible if you’re experiencing this, especially if it’s accompanied by other symptoms. Most common causes are sexually-transmitted diseases and infections, and many of them can be successfully treated and cured.
Changes in discharge color and smell are often symptoms of underlying medical issues, but may also be normal. The only way to know for sure is to speak with your doctor about the issue.