Vaginal infections can produce symptoms such as itching, burning sensation, difficulty urinating and even unusually colored discharge.
The colors of the fluid can vary from clear to milky white, light yellow to green and even dark or black. There are instances when you will experience a bad odor emanating from the fluid. In most cases, they indicate an infection or something unusual.
A thick or light yellowish discharge may be odorless or smelly, sticky or light.
What should you do when you get this kind of discharge especially during pregnancy? When should you visit a doctor?
- Vaginal discharge is a normal part of the woman’s reproductive system.
- It is mucus or a fluid that keeps your vagina clean, moist, and ensures that it is protected from different kinds of infection.
Even though it is normal, there are instances when you should be concerned, such as when it changes its normal color or when it changes it texture and smell.
A greenish or light yellow fluid is considered to be an abnormal secretion that often tends to have a foul odor. It is normally accompanied by additional symptoms such as:
In most cases, the secretion is caused by an infection, but it can also come as part of a secondary infection. Depending on the level of the disease that you have, the discharge could begin as frothy, then yellow-looking, then light green before becoming thick green.
Typically, the discharge has a foul smell with most women describing it as being fishy in nature.
For women who may have any of the symptoms mentioned above, they should consider the following causative factors and treatment methods.
It will also be important to keep in mind that the following are overview causes of this kind of discharge, and that a proper medical examination should be sought for you to get the best possible treatment.
According to the Center for Disease Control, sexually transmitted infections are the leading causes for vaginal discharge.
You will find that the infections are normally caused by bacteria and viruses that spread from one person to the next. People with multiple sexual partners have an increased risk of contracting these infections.
Women who have been affected by an STD will normally experience more severe symptoms as opposed to men. The women will experience symptoms such as inflammation and abnormal vaginal discharges. If neglected, these kinds of infections can spread to the reproductive organs, at which point they would then cause pelvic inflammatory disease.
Even though you will find that there are more than twenty sexually transmitted infections in existence today, those known to cause this kind of discharge include gonorrhea and chlamydia.
It is caused by oral, anal, or vaginal transmission of a bacteria known as Neisseria gonorrhea. Any woman who has contracted this STD will usually start showing symptoms within two to ten days, and in some cases up to three weeks after she has been exposed.
Some women will not show symptoms of this condition while others will exhibit signs such as:
- Intense burning and itching of the vaginal area
- Thick green or yellow discharge
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Pain when urinating
- Bleeding between menstrual days
- Pain when having sex
- Frequent urination
You should note that gonorrhea can cause irritation to your cervix and can also lead to pelvic inflammatory disease. If not treated, this condition can cause infertility.
3. Infection in the cervix and uterus
PID is the chronic infection of the woman’s reproductive organs. In some cases, you will find that the infection can spread from your cervix to your ovaries, uterus, fallopian tube, and all the other surrounding organs. When this occurs it may include conditions like:
- Salpingitis—this is the inflammation of the fallopian tubes
- Cervicitis—cervix inflammation
- Peritonitis—inflammation of the entire membrane surrounding your abdominal cavity
All the above are conditions that are normally associated with common STDs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. The conditions all produce the same kind of symptoms including the green vaginal mucus.
4. Bacterial vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is not considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI). In most women who get BV may show symptoms ranging from painful urination experience to a foul smell from the vagina. A green discharge is listed as one of the symptoms of BV. Other symptoms include:
- Thin, white, gray, or green secretions.
- Vaginal itching that becomes chronic with time.
- A disturbing burning sensation during urination.
- A generally foul smelling or fish smell vaginal odor.
It is important to know that there are many women with BV who do not show any signs and symptoms at all. [Mayo Clinic]. Seek treatment if you see these symptoms, or have developed a new yellowish discharge accompanied by fever.
Another possible cause of a greenish vaginal discharge is chlamydia. “Chlamydia is an infection with Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. When an infection is present, the bacteria can be present in the cervix, urethra, vagina, and rectum of an infected person.” [MedicineNet.com].
- In most cases, a chlamydia discharge may show varying colors. It can be milky white, yellow or even green in color.
- The bacteria can affect the urethra and end up causing a urinary tract infection (UTI).
- When a UTI develops, you are likely to experience a burning sensation during urination. Frequent urges to urinate may also manifest.
Other signs and symptoms of chlamydia in women include pain during periods, bleeding between periods, unusual abdominal pains accompanied with fever and vaginal itching.
You may also experience a heavy feeling around your hips. See a doctor immediately if you suspect chlamydia to be the cause of these signs..
Another major cause of a green discharge from the vagina is a trichomoniasis (or simply trich). It is caused by Trichomonas vaginalis parasite. Though it is an STD, most people with trich may not show any symptoms.
According to the CDC, “About 70% of infected people do not have any signs or symptoms. When trichomoniasis does cause symptoms, they can range from mild irritation to severe inflammation.”
Symptoms of trich can start appearing within 5 to 28 days of being infected. Symptoms in women include:
- A sore vaginal area.
- A burning sensation or discomfort during urination.
- Change in vaginal discharge. Your cervical mucus may become thin or increase in volume.
- Change in the color for vaginal discharge to white, grey, yellowish or even green with a fishy smell.
- Feeling unpleasant to have sex.
It is important to seek medical checkup and treatment if you have these symptoms. Trich can last for years if not treated.
7. Foreign object stuck in vagina or cervix
A foreign object in your vagina can be a tampon or even an IUD device. When left in the vagina for a long time, it can cause a change in the color of your discharge. You may get a dark brown discharge, yellow or even green as a result of such objects.
Symptoms of a foreign body in the vagina may vary, but it is common to experience a foul smelling discharge, pain and discomfort during urination.
During your pregnancy, it will be common for you to experience increased vaginal fluid. Traditionally, the discharge associated with pregnancy is odorless, or comes with a mild smell. After conception, you are likely to notice an increased flow of vaginal fluids due to increased estrogen levels in your body.
The discharge is mainly made up of old cells from your vaginal walls, cervix and vaginal secretions, as well as the usual vaginal bacterial flora.
However, there are women who may notice a change in the color of their vaginal discharge when they become pregnant. When dealing with a green or yellow vaginal discharge, smelly or not, it is important to ensure that you contact your doctor as soon as possible.
A pregnant woman with a green discharge could be dealing with a trichomoniasis infection. This is a sexually transmitted disease, and it will therefore be essential to ensure that it is taken care of as soon as possible.
Apart from the greenish yellow discharge in pregnancy, additional symptoms to be on the lookout for will include:
- Irritated vulva
- Pain when having sexual intercourse
- Itchy vagina
- Reddish looking vulva region
- Pain when urinating
In case you get the feeling that you could be dealing with a sexually transmitted infection while you are pregnant, ensure that you do not self-medicate by taking over the counter medications as they could be harmful to your unborn baby.
Additionally, these symptoms are not always easy to distinguish, and as such, visiting your physician will be beneficial in that you will get the proper diagnosis, as well as the right medication.
Light green fluid
Foreign bodies that have been forgotten inside the vagina e.g. tampons and even condoms can cause the normal bacteria flora found in the area to change.
When the bacteria change, the vaginal discharge will then change color from whitish to yellow to light green, and in some cases to brown.
When dealing with the presence of foreign bodies, you can be on the lookout for more symptoms such as:
- Vaginal itching
- Pain on urination
- Irritation when having sex
Antibiotic treatment is often recommended when dealing with cases of foreign bodies inside the vagina. But, this treatment may be unable to work if the foreign body is not carefully removed.
Presence of a foreign body will normally not lead to serious complications, although there are cases where scarring and pelvic abscess have been noted.
Yellow green discharge and no odor
As already listed above, another common STI known to cause such a symptomatic discharge with no odor is chlamydia. Like gonorrhea, the condition has been to affect both men and women, and can affect people of all age groups.
Normally, it may not be possible to know whether you have this condition, as there are many people who do not get any symptoms. When they manifest, the symptoms normally include:
- Lower abdominal pain
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Bleeding in between periods
- Yellow odorless discharge from the vagina
Sticky greenish mucus
Sticky greenish mucus discharge is often associated with the condition known as bacterial vaginosis. Popularly abbreviated as BV, it comes about when there is a disproportion of the bacteria normally found inside the vagina.
The normal bacterium is normally replaced by an overgrowth of the good bacteria.
You can know whether you have bacterial vaginosis by being on the lookout for symptoms such as:
- Greenish, sticky mucus like vaginal discharge
- Fishy odor
- Not all women will demonstrate these symptoms
Snot like, thick discharge
Any change that occurs in the normal bacterial levels found in the vagina are likely to affect the existing balance.
In return, this can lead to a change in the smell, texture, and color of the vaginal discharge. Some of the factors that are known to affect this balance, ultimately leading to snot like, thick green vaginal discharge includes:
- Steroid or antibiotic use
- Cervical cancer
- Use of birth control pills
- Douches, bubble baths, use of scented soaps
- Yeast infections
Abnormal discharge is a common problem affecting many women across the world. The discharge refers to a thin or thick yellowish or green fluid, which may occur between the menstrual cycles or during pregnancy, and one which normally lasts for between a few days and a few weeks.
Clear discharge is normally not a cause for concern, but the colored (green and yellow discharge)—which is often accompanied by symptoms like irritation and itching should cause some concern.
As mentioned earlier, the condition can be caused by a number of many factors ranging from hormonal changes to STD’s and vaginal infections. Additional factors that can cause this condition include unhygienic conditions e.g. a tampon that has been left in the vagina for too long and health conditions like diabetes and anemia.
If it causes any discomfort or embarrassment, you should make sure that it gets checked out immediately. There exists many over the counter medications that can be used to deal with the condition, though it is always best to start by trying the numerous home remedies at your disposal.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
ACV is considered beneficial for dealing with the green discharge as it assists in restoring the body’s normal pH levels. Additionally, it contains antiseptic and acidic properties, which come in handy in restoring the acidic qualities of the vaginal flora, as well as reducing any odor accompanying the discharge.
- Combine equal amounts of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar and distilled water in a bowl
- Use the acv solution as a vaginal wash, making sure to use it once or twice each day
- Alternatively, add two teaspoons of acv in a glass of water and drink it as it is. You can drink this solution once each day
Even though this solution is seen to be beneficial by many people, there is little scientific evidence to show that douching actually works. Some medical experts are also against using the vaginal wash as it may end up disrupting the natural balance that is present in the vagina.
2. Fenugreek seeds
These seeds are believed to affect the levels of estrogen in the woman’s body, in addition to assisting in restoring the required pH levels in the vagina. Another reason why you should consider this home remedy is because the seeds also function as a natural immune booster. Here’s what to do to get rid of a light yellow fluid.
- Take a single tablespoon of fenugreek seeds and soak it overnight in a cup of water. After waking up, take the water and strain it, before adding in a single teaspoon of honey. The fenugreek solution should be taken on an empty stomach
- Alternatively, you can take two tablespoons of the seeds and boil them in five glasses of water for at least thirty minutes. Once done boiling, allow it to cool down to room temperature before straining it. You should this solution as a vaginal wash, using it to wash your vagina at least four times each day.
3. Indian Gooseberry
Also referred to as amla, it comes with anti-infection properties that are vital for a woman that would like to improve her vaginal health.
In addition, it has a high vitamin C content, which helps in boosting your immune system, making it possible for the body to fight off any infections that could be causing the green discharge problem.
What to do at home
- Combine a single teaspoon of Indian gooseberry powder with three teaspoons of honey to come up with thick paste. Consume the mixture each day for at least two times.
- Alternatively, boil one tablespoon of dried Indian gooseberry in a single cup of water. Allow it to boil until the quantity reduces by half. You can choose to add some honey or sugar to sweeten it.
- Both remedies should be taken on an empty stomach
Banana fruits are another effective home remedy for women dealing with a vaginal discharge. In addition, this fruit can also be used by people who have digestive disturbances and would like to enjoy some relief.
What to do at home
- Consume two to three overripe bananas each day
- Alternatively, combine two tablespoons of banana flower juice with a single teaspoon of powdered Palmyra. Take the blend each day
According to Ayurveda, figs are the perfect home remedy for dealing with vaginal discharge. Figs contain beneficial laxative effects, which assists in removing toxins that could be present in your body.
What to do at home
- Take two dried figs and soak them in a single glass of water for a single night. In the morning, you will need to take these figs and blend them, before adding them to a glass of water and consuming the solution on an empty stomach.
- You may also consider grinding equal amounts of banyan tree and the bark of a fig tree. Blend the two until you get a fine powder. Once blended, take a single teaspoon and take it with two glasses of water
- The solutions should be used as a vaginal wash
It comes with antifungal, antioxidant, and antibiotic properties, which are essential in preventing the accumulation of bad bacteria in the vagina.
- Drink a single glass of unsweetened cranberry juice at least three times each day until you solve this problem
- In case you do not have access to cranberry juice, consider taking the cranberry tablets. You may however need to consult your physician to get correct dosage information.
Given that okra, also known as the lady’s finger is mucilaginous, it is considered to be beneficial when dealing with vaginal discharge. It assists in removing excess mucus from the body, and in by so doing ensures that vaginal discharge is reduced.
What to do at home
- Take a hundred grams’ okras and proceed to chop them into tiny pieces
- Place the chopped pieces in a pan, and boil them in one liter of water for at least thirty minutes. Allow them to boil until your water reduces by half
- Allow it to cool down, strain the solution, and then proceed to divide it into three equal parts
- Take a single part of the okra solution, with two teaspoons of honey for three times each day
- You should follow this remedy until you notice some improvement in your condition
8. Indian lilac
Commonly referred to as margosa or neem, Indian lilac has for generations been used in treating vaginal odor, which is common when dealing with vaginal discharge. Neem contains antiseptic properties, which are vital when attempting to fight off a vaginal infection. Additionally, it assists in reducing itching, and the various other symptoms that are associated with a vaginal discharge.
Even though a majority of these home remedies are effective and safe for use to get rid of a green vaginal discharge, it is recommended that you consult a physician before using any of them, especially if you are pregnant.
- American Sexual Health Association; (ASHA) P. O. Box 13827, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3827; 1-800-783-9877; http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/stdsstis/
- Family Doctor. (2017, April 4) https://familydoctor.org/condition/vaginal-discharge/#causes