Discharge color and types
What are the types of vaginal discharge and what does the color of vaginal discharge mean?
There are a lot of various types of vaginal discharge. These types are grouped based on their color and consistency. A few types of vaginal discharge are normal, but others may be a sign of an underlying condition that needs to be treated. What the color signifies really depends on the situation. It’s hard to isolate the color alone, as even white discharge can be abnormal, depending on what else is happening with the patient. There’s no way to make a diagnosis based on the color alone, but you would have to take into account certain factors like a patient’s age, behaviors, menstrual cycle, and other symptoms. But basically, the colors can mean the following:
Not necessarily abnormal. A little bit of white discharge, particularly at the start or end of your menstrual cycle, is normal. However, if the discharge is followed by itching and if it has a thick consistency with a cottage cheese texture, it could mean there is a yeast infection. I would say a milky white discharge can be anything from normal to suggestive of an infection depending on if there is anything else going on, such as itching, odor, or pelvic pain. If there are any of these other symptoms, it could be a sign of bacterial vaginosis or an STI.
Clear and Watery
Sometimes a woman may experience a clear and watery discharge .This is completely normal and can happen at any time of the month. It may be particularly heavy after walkouts.
Clear and Stretchy
When your discharge is clear and stretchy or looks like mucous instead of water, it is a sign that you are possibly ovulating. This is a healthy and perfectly normal discharge.
Brown or bloody discharge
If a woman has brown discharge while she is menstruating or towards the tail end of a period; it may be normal. A late discharge at the end of your period can look brown instead of red. This is probably just some blood in the discharge. You may as well witness a tiny bloody discharge between your periods. Depending on when it happens, it could even be spotting in between periods. If you experience spotting the normal time of your period and you have not long had unprotected sex, it could be an indication that you are pregnant. Spotting at an early phase of pregnancy can be a sign of miscarriage.
So, if this happens you should see a doctor, but it may not necessarily be a sign of infection or miscarriage. However, if a patient is postmenopausal, this could raise concern for a potential cancer of the female organs. In uncommon occasions, brown or bloody discharge could be a signal of advanced cervical cancer. This is why it’s significant to get yourself checked every year. Go for routine pelvic exam and Pap smear, so that your gynecologist will examine you for cervical abnormalities.
This can also be normal, but could potentially be a sign of an infection. Generally, when a yellow discharge is thick, chunky, or when it has a bad smell is abnormal. This form of discharge may be an indication of the infection known as trichomoniasis, which is frequently transmitted through sexual intercourse. Although many women with chlamydia or gonorrhea have no symptoms at all, those that do may experience this type of discharge.
I would say this is usually abnormal and suggestive of an infection. A yellow or green thick, chunky and foul smelly discharge is not normal but could be a sign of sexually transmitted disease like trichomoniasis.
- I think there is nothing specific about these 4 colors that are scary in and of themselves, but you would have to take into account certain factors like where the patient currently is in her reproductive cycle.