Vaginal infection, or vaginitis, is the most common cause of light green discharge. While yeast infection is the most common type of vaginal infection, affecting as much as 75% of women, there are other forms of vaginitis that can trigger abnormal discharge with odor. Most of the time, the infections are not life-threatening, but they should be addressed immediately to prevent complications.
What are the most common causes of green discharge, and what can you do to avoid them in the future?
Trichomoniasis is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in women, and it’s usually caused by an infection with Trichomonas vaginalis. Estimations show that as much as 7.4 million new cases occur each year in both women and men. Typical symptoms of trichomoniasis include light green vaginal discharge, strong, unpleasant odor, vaginal itching and irritation, painful urination, discomfort during intercourse, and lower abdominal (pelvic) pain.
Women can usually contract trichomoniasis by engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners, or with a new partner. You should seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the symptoms described above. Your doctor will consult you, take a few samples of the discharge and have them tested in a specialized laboratory to see whether you have trichomoniasis or not. Treatment usually consists of an oral antibiotic called metronidazole (Flagyl), which is also the only safe medication during pregnancy.
If left untreated, trichomoniasis may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility or ectopic pregnancy in case of pregnant women.
Also an STD, Chlamydia affects about 1 million Americans every year. Chlamydia is triggered by an infection with Chlamydia trachomatis, a type of bacteria that can be contracted during unprotected sex. Women with Chlamydia experience abnormal, yellow-green vaginal discharge with bad odor, abdominal pain, painful periods, itching or burning of the vagina, painful urination, bleeding between periods, pain during sex. However, as much as 75% percent of women suffering from Chlamydia report no symptoms, meaning you may still have the infection even if it’s asymptomatic.
Chlamydia is generally easy to treat and requires an average of two weeks of medications. Your doctor will prescribe you either azithromycin or doxycycline, which are both potent oral antibiotics, along with a probiotic supplement to prevent yeast infection. In case of severe infections, hospitalization may be required, along with intravenous medication and pain medication. If you exhibit Chlamydia symptoms while pregnant, make sure to tell your doctor about them and have yourself checked to prevent pregnancy complications.