Is White or Yellow Vaginal Discharge a call for concern

Females experience different types of vaginal discharges. Vaginal discharge is normal. But what if there is an abnormal colored discharge on the underwear? Most women fail to understand that each type of vaginal discharge is different and determines different factors or health conditions.

It is important to identify different types of discharges and know which discharge is harmful or indicates another health condition. A wet discharge is normal in a female’s cycle. This wet discharge has no color.

This normal discharge dries off or evaporates on the underwear and leaves behind a white or yellowish stain on the underwear. This discharge is odorless and brings no itching, burning or any uncomfortable sensation. If such discharge causes pain or burning sensation, it is time to visit your gynecologist.

Also Read: How Vaginal Discharge Occurs and How to Prevent It?

What does my body have to say with White or Yellow Vaginal Discharge?

Normally, vaginal discharge consists of water, mucus, and cells that are normally present in the body. The presence of this discharge is as normal as saliva in a person’s mouth. But if the discharge is in excess or accompanied by painful symptoms or is of abnormal color, it should not be considered normal and avoided. Abnormal changes in the color, amount or smell of the vaginal discharge should be discussed with a gynecologist. Different types of vaginal discharges with their causes are:

  1. Clear, White Vaginal Discharge

    Clear, transparent vaginal discharge is usually normal. This discharge gives no pain or uncomfortable sensation to the female. No need to worry if you see a small amount of clear white discharge on your underwear. This can happen normally between the period cycle of a woman. But if the discharge amount increases or is painful or itchy for you, consult an expert.
    blurred image of woman in the background showing thick white vaginal discharge on her fingers

  2. Milky White Vaginal Discharge

    Thick, milky white vaginal discharge is called leukorrhea and is normal to have at the beginning or end of the menstrual cycle. At the time of ovulation, this discharge may become very thick and have a thick, milky white appearance. Unless there is no pain, itching, burning sensation or rashes because of this discharge, it is considered normal. But if it is accompanied by any abnormal sensations, you need to make an appointment with a gynecologist.

  3. Brown or Bloody Vaginal Discharge

    Brown or bloody discharge is normal right after the periods. When the periods are coming to an end, the discharge can be light red to brown. In between periods also you can experience bloody discharge. This is known as spotting.

    If you are experiencing bloody discharge just after having sex, it can be a sign of pregnancy. In addition to all these cases, brown/bloody vaginal discharge is also an indication of endometrial or cervical cancer.

  4. Green Vaginal Discharge

    The most common cause for green vaginal discharge due to trichomoniasis which is a sexually transmitted infection The odor has a foul smell. Some of the symptoms of this infection are- discomfort while urinating, itchiness in and around the vagina, pain while having sex.

  5. Yellow Vaginal Discharge

    Yellow-colored vaginal discharge is generally a sign of an infection prevailing in the female. A pale yellow and odorless vaginal discharge may be a result of hormonal changes and is of no harm. Common reasons for a female to see yellow discharge are:

  • Before Periods- A slight amount of yellow-colored discharge is a sign of period coming.
  • Short Period Cycle- A small amount of brown-yellow colored vaginal discharge is normal in case the female has had a short period cycle. It is not generally a thing to worry about. But if accompanied with pain, consult your gynecologist.
  • Bacterial Vaginosis- This is a bacterial infection in the vagina. Due to using of scented soaps, liquids or washes around the vaginal area, douching, or as a side effect of waxing or laser treatment around the area, a bacterial vaginosis can develop. This discharge gives a bad odor after sexual intercourse and itching, rashes or pain around the vaginal area especially at the time of urinating. Consult a specialist immediately if you are seeing this yellow discharge on your underwear often.
    Bacterial Vaginosis in a female's vagina

Certain Diseases such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, STDs, Trichomoniasis, Cervicitis or Vulvovaginitis may also cause the smelly or odorless yellow colored discharge.

Prevention for Abnormal Vaginal Discharge

Some of the simple-yet-effective tips that can reduce the risk of abnormal vaginal discharge-

  • Wear cotton panties always.
  • Avoid douching in the vagina.
  • For vaginal lubrication, don’t use petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Don’t wear tight-fitting clothes such as a bathing suit, exercise wear, or pantyhose for long hours.
  • Don’t scratch if you have intense itching in the intimate area.
  • It is important that you wipe from front to back after urinating or bowel movement.

Get Professional Help!

Vaginal discharges in females are normal until they cause pain or discomfort. Painful discharges maybe your body’s call to indicate some other serious illness, disease or disorder. No woman should avoid such symptoms and visit a gynecologist to the soonest in such cases.

Also Read: Benefits of Lubricating and Moisturizing Products for Vaginal Dryness?

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