The vaginal discharge is a liquid secreted by the glands of the cervix and vagina necessary to keep possible infections that can compromise its health short and long-term intimal area well lubricated, cleaned, and protected against. Its quantity, texture, and color may vary depending on the stage of life in which the woman is, such as puberty, ovulation, pregnancy, lactation, menopause, etc. However, when this presents significant changes and, in addition, is accompanied by symptoms such as pain, burning, stinging, inflammation, redness, or other discomforts, it is advisable to go to the gynecologist urgently, as it is likely that it is some infection or condition.
At FastlyHeal, we explain the causes of yellow discharge, a change in the color of vaginal secretions that can be normal in some cases, and a clear indication of infection or inflammatory process in others.
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How is the normal vaginal discharge?
The vaginal discharge is a liquid produced by the glands located inside the vagina and cervix of the uterus, and its primary function is to keep clean the zone, expelling to the outside all the dead cells and bacteria, eventually, could end up damaging the personal health of the woman. In short, it is a defense mechanism of the female body to keep itself protected against vaginal infections and other conditions.
It is essential to remember that vaginal discharge varies from one woman to another, something completely normal. In addition, it can present an increased volume in specific periods. Especially in those in which hormonal activity is increased during pregnancy, in the menstrual cycle, in the days before menstruation, near ovulation, in the lactation period, during the taking of contraceptives to estrogen base, etc.
Typically, vaginal discharge is light or whitish, transparent or milky, and an odor that may be mild but not unpleasant. In addition to these characteristics, the absence of symptoms in the intimate area, such as pain, burning, redness, itching, etc., is a clear sign that it is an entirely normal physiological vaginal discharge.
When should I be concerned about vaginal discharge?
In addition to knowing the features that characterize normal vaginal discharge is also convenient to know when vaginal secretions should become a reason for medical consultation. You must pay attention to any alteration in your flow, especially if it begins to appear with a different texture, smell, or color than usual. These sudden changes can indicate the suffering of some vaginal infection or disease that should be detected and treated appropriately.
In case you have doubts, take note of the following signs and go to your gynecologist in the case of manifesting them:
- Changes in the discharge color go from whitish or transparent to yellow, greenish, brown, or grayish.
- Vaginal discharge that gives off a bad smell.
- Very thick vaginal secretions.
- Presence of blood in the flow before or after the menstrual period.
- Itching, burning, redness, or stinging in the genital area.
- Pain or discomfort when having sexual intercourse.
STD, the leading cause of yellow flow
Among the leading causes of yellow discharge are some more common sexually transmitted diseases contracted by having an active sex life. The venereal diseases that, among other symptoms, can cause the vaginal discharge to acquire a yellowish hue are the following:
- Trichomoniasis: an infection caused by the protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis, which can remain without symptoms for a long time. When it does manifest itself, in the case of women, it affects the vagina, urethra, and bladder, and symptoms such as yellow, grayish, or green foamy vaginal discharge with a bad smell, similar to fish, itching, and redness in the vagina are experienced, pain when urinating and having sex. It requires antibiotic treatment for its cure, which must also be administered to the infected person’s partner.
- Gonorrhea: a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which in the female sex causes symptoms such as thick and yellowish vaginal discharge, painful urination, increased urination, pain during intercourse, sore throat, pain in part lower abdomen, or bleeding between periods. The symptoms may be mild and are mistaken for other infections, so it is advisable to consult a doctor as soon as possible. It should be treated with antibiotics to kill the causative bacteria and prevent the disease from spreading.
- Chlamydia: A common infection spread through sexual contact caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. Although in many cases, infected women do not have symptoms, these can appear between 5 and 10 days after contracting it and are usually: yellow vaginal discharge with a foul odor, burning or pain during urination, pain during sexual intercourse, bleeding between menstrual periods, abdominal pain, rectal pain, and swelling inside the vagina or around the anus. Its treatment is also based on antibiotics to prevent future health and reproductive problems.
It is essential to be clear that the only safe way to prevent sexually transmitted infections like these is through a condom in all sexual relations, whether vaginal, anal, or oral. In addition, it is necessary to perform timely gynecological examinations and avoid high-risk sexual practices.
Cervicitis, inflammation that can cause yellow discharge
The cervicitis refers to inflammation of the cervix, which is the final part of the uterus and is a condition that can also lead to yellow vaginal discharge, whitish or greyish. It is usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, HPV, or trichomoniasis, or by other factors such as wearing a diaphragm, allergy to spermicides or latex, or exposure to chemicals. In addition to yellow discharge, it can manifest itself through symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain during intimate relationships, vaginal pain, and pressure in the pelvic region.
Its treatment is established according to the factor that causes it so that it can be based on antibiotic or antiviral drugs. In those cases in which it remains for a long time, it may be necessary to resort to cryosurgery, electrocautery, or laser therapy.
Cervical polyps, neoplasms that cause yellow vaginal discharge
Another condition that could explain this change in the color of the vaginal discharge is the presence of cervical polyps. Although the exact causes are unknown, these are neoplasms of the cervix could result from an unusual response to increased estrogen, chronic inflammation, or a blockage of the blood vessels in the lower part of the uterus.
Cervical polyps can be asymptomatic or present with heavy periods, vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse, menopause or between menstrual periods, and yellow or white discharge. A simple intervention can remove those small polyps, but larger ones will need removal through electrocautery.
Other possible causes of yellow discharge
Yellow vaginal discharge is not always a sign of infection, inflammation, or another type of condition, as there are usual circumstances in the body that can also cause this variation:
- Pictures of stress and nervousness.
- Hormonal alterations
- He is taking oral contraceptives.
- After unprotected intercourse, you may notice a change in the color of the discharge, which may turn more yellowish, forming small clots.
However, it must be taken into account that in these cases, the flow will always be very similar to normal, odorless, and will not appear accompanied by other discomforts or symptoms.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Causes of yellow discharge, we recommend that you enter our category of the Female reproductive system.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.