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Common Causes of Abnormal Vaginal Discharge Without Odor

Written by Elizabeth Buescher, Gynecologist

Abnormal discharge is an abnormal feminine secretion that oftentimes indicates the presence of a vaginal infection caused by a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, or Chlamydia. While most of the time vaginal discharge is normal and happens as a result of the vagina flushing out dead cells and pathogens, there are times when it isn’t, thus putting your reproductive organs at a risk.

In order to avoid possible complications of delayed treatment, it is important that you identify abnormal discharge and its characteristics and proceed to treating the root cause by undergoing a detailed vaginal examination. Keep reading to find out more about the different types of abnormal looking cervical mucus.

1. Thick White Discharge No Odor

Creamy white discharge no odor is commonly caused by yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis, two types of infections that are not usually serious. Symptoms of yeast infection include milky and clumpy vaginal discharge with odor, vaginal and/or vulval itching, swelling and redness, burning during urination, lower abdominal (pelvic) pain, vaginal discomfort and painful intercourse. Similarly, bacterial vaginosis causes cottage cheese discharge with a really strong odor that becomes more noticeable after sex. However, there are no other symptoms such as those of yeast infection.
Note that symptoms may vary from woman to woman, and as such, your discharge may have no odor, especially if very mild.

2. Yellow Discharge No Odor

If your discharge is yellow or yellow greenish, there is a good chance that you have gonorrhea or Chlamydia instead, which typically cause your cervical mucus to alter its color. The discharge is usually chunky or clumpy, has a color ranging from pale yellow to yellow green, and the odor is only slightly noticeable, depending on the amount of discharge. Additional symptoms like itching, swelling and painful urination may be present.
Both gonorrhea and Chlamydia are sexually transmitted diseases that can be contracted during unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected sexual partner. There is a slight chance of contracting these STIs by coming into contact with infected surfaces, such as public restrooms, or infected clothing (e.g. bikinis, swimming suits or lingerie sampled in-store). STDs usually have very serious consequences if not treated on time, including ectopic pregnancy, premature birth (in case of pregnant women), and infertility.
If you experience yellow vaginal discharge no odor that looks abnormal or causes vaginal discomfort, seek medical assistance for appropriate treatment.

3. Green Vaginal Discharge No Odor

Greenish discharge is the most common symptom of vaginitis and typically occurs in case of either gonorrhea or trichomoniasis. The most notable characteristics of this type of discharge are greenish yellow color, frothy, cottage cheese-like texture that feels like lotion when rubbed between fingers, and a slightly musky odor that can become very fishy when there is a lot of discharge or after sexual intercourse. Other symptoms you might experience are inflammation, itching and redness of the vulva/vagina, burning during urination, discomfort during sex, and also spotting (light bleeding) between periods.
Gonorrhea or trichomoniasis may also cause late or missed periods depending on how serious the infection is. It’s important that you call your doctor about this unusual discharge to bring this to his attention as soon as possible. She will take a sample of the mucus and put it under a microscope for analysis and diagnosis.

4. Brown Discharge No Odor

Most women deal with brownish discharge during the last day of their period, and one or two days after their period stops. It is the result of their vagina expelling blood remnants and excess endometrial tissue in order to stay clean and healthy. If you experience brownish vaginal discharge at other times than after your period, this may indicate either damage to your reproductive system, or a more serious condition such as cervical, uterine, vaginal or ovarian cancer. If you are pregnant during the first trimester, brownish discharge no odor can be a sign of threatened or actual miscarriage, especially if accompanied by symptoms such as cramping and fever. Another possibility would be implantation bleeding, which may cause your discharge to become slightly brownish due to the presence of blood in your cervical mucus.
Even if inoffensive, you should call your doctor and have the issue investigated as soon as possible in order to identify what’s causing your discharge to be brown. The sooner the cause is identified, the sooner the treatment can be administered. Note that, if not addressed on time or left untreated, brown vaginal discharge can have lifelong repercussions that may interfere with your day-to-day life.