You’ve probably heard that vaginal discharge is completely normal. It promotes vaginal tissue health, provides lubrication, and keeps your vagina clean. However, you should be concerned if you notice an unusual discharge colour.
This article will go over eight different vaginal discharge colours and why they occur.
- Clear (Egg-white)
Normal vaginal discharge is sticky to the touch and has a clear colour and consistency, similar to egg whites. This clear cervical mucus is found in women’s underwear at various stages of the cycle, but it is especially abundant in the days before ovulation. It can also appear creamy, white or light grey. Your discharge should ideally fall within this colour range. Any other colour with an unusual odour can indicate a problem with your vagina.
- Curdy white
If your vaginal discharge becomes thick, clumpy, and curd-like, this could be a sign of a yeast infection, such as candida and thrush. In this case, your vagina will constantly feel itchy and burn, especially during intercourse or urination. While it is uncomfortable, it is usually treatable with medications prescribed by your doctor.
Red discharge is commonly associated with menstruation. Period bleeding varies in amount and consistency from person to person. While you may experience a light, bright red bleed, some girls may experience heavier, dark red blood with clotting.
Aside from menstruation, a variety of other factors can contribute to red discharge:
- Cervical infection or any injury
- Withdrawal bleeding: It occurs when you stop using hormonal birth control or are between pill packets.
- Spotting: This bleeding occurs between periods
As blood ages, it turns brown, resulting in a darker vaginal discharge than the bright red blood we’re used to seeing on our periods. This discharge is completely normal and could be the result of a late period or spotting caused by hormonal contraception.
Green vaginal discharge may indicate an infection. There are several sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that can cause green discharge, such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia, or trichomoniasis. This type of discharge can also indicate a urinary tract infection.
Yellow discharge is usually harmless and is caused by blood mixing with cervical mucus. You might notice this type of discharge before your period or if your cycle is shorter than usual.
Yellow discharge can also be caused by other conditions, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, or by an allergic reaction in some cases. If your vaginal discharge is yellow with a greenish tint, this could indicate that you have STIs or another type of infection.
If your vaginal discharge becomes greyer, it indicates something is wrong with your vagina. Grey discharge is a symptom of bacterial vaginosis (BV). This vaginal inflammation is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria that is naturally present in your vagina. Other symptoms include a strong odour (fishy or ammonia-like), especially after intercourse, and a burning sensation, particularly when urinating. This bacterial imbalance is treatable with the course of antibiotics.
Pink discharge is usually considered normal. It can occur when the bleeding is light and new, like at the start of your period, or if you experience spotting around ovulation. However, you may also experience pink discharge after intercourse if the vagina or cervix is irritated.
We advise speaking with a healthcare provider to learn more if you notice any changes in your discharge or experience any other unusual symptoms in addition to unexplained discharge.